The Gift of New Life

I asked three of our church members to help me in one of my illustrations. The first person represented a human being. The second, I said, represented God – just for the sake of illustration. The third person represented sin. We turned to a very familiar passage, Romans 6:23. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

We took the verse one half at a time. First, I asked the person representing every human being, to go over and do some work for Sin. When complete, he went back to sin and received his paycheck – the wage of death. A person receives a wage, because they earn it. They deserve it. The person in the illustration worked for sin and deserved an appropriate wage. The person playing Sin pulled out a check labeled “DEATH.” So now the person who received this check would be dead. We took the time to look at a few different passages of scripture that confirm that a person without Christ lies “dead in their trespasses and sin.”

I turned to the congregation and said, “Lets be perfectly clear. Is this man spiritually alive or dead?” “Dead” came the answer.

“And what is God’s gift according to Romans 6:23?”

“Life” came the reply.

What does the dead person need?”

“Life.”

What does God have?”

“Life.”

Then the man who represented God, in the illustration, came and offered the person a gift. He held in his hands a large package with wrapping paper and a bow – symbolizing the “gift of eternal life.” Now a gift differs from a wage in that you do not earn it or work for it. The giver gives the gift based on their willingness to give. So the man representing God held out the gift of eternal life and the person playing a spiritual dead human reached out and accepted it.

I asked the congregation if the man receiving the gift deserved the gift, worked for the gift, or in any way merited the gift. The answer came back a unanimous “no.”

“Wait a minute! Let’s re-enact this again. I feel we have missed a crucial point.” As we focus on the difference between a gift and a wage, we must not overlook the very serious difference between life and death.

Again God held out the gift and the man reached out to accept it. As his arms left his side to reach out for the gift I hollered, “Freeze!” Do that again. He did it again. Again I commanded him to freeze in mid motion of reaching up to receive the gift.

I turned to the congregation and asked, “I thought ya’ll said this guy was supposed to be dead. Isn’t that what Romans 6:23 says? Ephesians 2:1? etc etc.”

I said, I do not know about ya’ll, but if I went down the street to Edmond Fay’s funeral home and walked up to a casket and the corpse reached out his hands like this fella just did, I’d be out the front door!”

I looked at the guy and said, “Let me see that paycheck again.” He showed it to me with “DEATH” written across it. I said, “You are supposed to be dead buddy.” At that he fell to the ground motionless. I checked his pulse – nothing. I lifted one of his arms, let it go, and it flopped lifeless on the ground. He lay their stone cold dead.

I turned to the congregation and said, “Let me ask you again. Is this man spiritually alive or dead?” “Dead” came the answer.

“Are you sure this time?”

A resounding, “yes” came back.

“And what is God’s gift according to Romans 6:23?”

“Life” came the reply.

What does the dead person need?”

“Life.”

What does God have?”

“Life.”

Now we can re-enact Romans 6:23 with a little more accuracy. God walked over to the man who lie cold on the floor. The dead guy could not reach up to accept the gift. He had no desire for the gift. He didn’t look at the gift and say to himself, “Oh I wish I could have that gift.” He did not go and work to earn the gift. He couldn’t even reach out to grab the gift. He lay there dead.

The persons total inability to obtain for himself eternal life left him hopeless apart from God’s initiative. The person playing God took the gift, opened the box, and poured the contents out on the lifeless corpse. With the gift of new life applied, the sinner began to move, stood to his feet, and embraced God in gratitude.

That is what Paul was saying in Romans 6:23. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

God does not come to a spiritually dead sinner and say, “If you have faith, then I will give you this gift.” A spiritually dead person can not muster up the faith needed to obtain eternal life. Dead men do not exercise saving faith. God unconditionally grants new life to the dead sinner. The sinner then springs to life, fully equipped with a new heart of faith. God gives the new life. God gives the new heart. God alone deserves the glory and praise.

3 comments on “The Gift of New Life

  1. Tony Link on said:

    Very well illustrated! I think that will be very helpful to a lot of people.

  2. Excellent illustration….with your permission, I’d like to work that into an article I working on…that is just “smack ya between the eyes” outstanding!

  3. Don Sr. on said:

    Wow!! You never cease to amaze me how God speaks through you. Love Dad.

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