Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 17, 1970

The Wages Of Sin

George Welsh Tyler

The apostle Paul wrote, "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 6:23). We must not sin. If we attempt to serve sin we become its slaves, and in the end we will be condemned to eternal death. If we are obedient to Christ our sins will be blotted out and eternal life will be our reward for serving Him.

Let us stop and consider what sin is and does. It is the ally of disease and death, the enemy of life. It bends over every cradle and blows its hot breath in every baby's face. It lies in wait at your doorway and mine with soft velvet padded feet with their claws drawn up and hidden, like beasts of prey, ready to pounce upon our loved ones as soon as their little feet can carry them outside of the home shelter. Sin is the archenemy of all mankind. It destroys manhood, womanhood, fatherhood, motherhood, the young, the middle aged and the aged. It attacks the brain till all good motives, ambitions, courage and resistance to temptation leak out. It attacks the blood stream until every corpuscle red or white, runs frightened to the gunwale with poison. It attacks the conscience and eats it out like a canker, until it becomes a sieve with meshes so large that right and wrong sift through together.

Solomon wrote, "The way of the transgressor is hard" (Prov. 13:15). The way of sinners is not only hard on them but also on others. Service to sin is said to be perfect slavery. Jesus said, "Every one that cornmitteth sin is the bondservant of sin" (Jno. 8:34). The road to hell is strewn with "thorns and thistles" (Gen. 3:18). The vices of the world bring forth disease, suffering and death. Paul wrote, "The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he that herein serveth Christ is well-pleasing unto God and approved of men." (Rom. 14:17, 18).

God's Word constantly warns us to be on guard against sin. At the very beginning it shows this enemy of life, the ally of death at its ugly business in the garden of Eden. In that garden we stand at the source of the stream whose turbid waters have poured down through the centuries that torrent of evil called sin. There have been times in the history of the world that its black waters rose to floodtide and threatened to drown it. The way that things are moving today makes us wonder if this age is another such time? It is high time for us to build higher and stronger the levee of faith, law, order and obedience, lest men and their homes be swallowed up by the polluted waters of sin.

All the inspired writers of the Bible seek to put us on guard against sin. At the very outset of God's Book it shows us this enemy of life, this ally of death and destruction at its very ugly business in the garden of Eden. In that garden we stand at the source of that stream whose turbid waters have poured down through the ages a swift torrent of evil. There have been times in the history of the world when its black waters rose to floodtide and threatened to drown the world in sin. Is our age going to be another of those times? Anyhow, it is high time to build higher and stronger the levee of faith, truth, law and obedience lest we be engulfed in the putrid waters of sin.

It is expedient we avoid evil at all times, hate it, be immovably set against it lest at sometime it becomes convenient to sin and we fall from grace. God hates sin. The apostle John, wrote, "Sin is lawlessness" (I Jno. 3:4). Again, "Unrighteousness is sin" (I Jno. 5:17). "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and *righteousness of men" (Rom. 1:18). A tolerant, take-itor-leave-it attitude toward sin is ungodliness. We must love God. Matt. 22:37 reads, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." "Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good" (Rom. 12:9). Paul says, "Seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God" (Col. 3:1). Solomon said, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23). Jesus said to the Pharisees, "Ye off-spring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. The good man out of his good treasure bringeth forth good things: and the evil man out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil things" (Matt. 12:34, 35). In the thirty-seventh verse of this same chapter He said, "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Peter wrote, "Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure" (2 Pet. 1:10).

In the very first pages of the Bible the Holy Spirit seeks to put us on guard against sin, unrighteousness and ungodliness. You may not believe the story of the garden of Eden but I do and for two excellent reasons:

1. In the garden of Eden scene sin was shown in the seed. It was there, the whole of it, there its essential nature appeared, its insinuating approach was exhibited, its evil consequences and its method of attack were all there in germ. In the life of every man sin begins just as it did in the garden of Eden — in disobedience of God's laws. It is the same thing, in fact, always and everywhere. Sin is the breaking of the law regardless of whether the law was given by God or man. In the state we call it crime; in the body we call it disease; in the intellect we call it ignorance; in the soul we call it sin. It is bad enough to break the laws of the land and spend years in the penitentiary but if one breaks God's law it is fatal to his soul. In sin disobedience began, and in disobedience it will continue till the end of time. Disobedience is the word that has in it the hangman's gallows, the gas chambers, the electric chairs, guillotines and penitentiaries. Always sin is a broken law just as it was in Eden. Disobedience has in it pain, disease, and death for violations of the laws written for the flesh; it has in it atrophy of the spiritual faculties and moral decay for all who violate God's laws of the soul of man.

2. The story of Eden is true because a penalty has to be paid any and all disobedience, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were driven out of the garden of Eden by the Lord (Gen. 3:23). Today men and women are being driven out by sin with the same results. The thing all Christians need to remember is that sin is humanity's worst enemy, that it empties this garden of the men and women who are born into its innocence, and upon us has fallen the great responsibility of teaching the way of salvation to all who know not Christ — teach them "the things concerning the kingdom of God" (Acts 19:8).

Jesus said, "Go ye therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19, 20). Again He said, "I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit" (Jno. 14:16). The inspired writer, Paul wrote to the Roman church, "My, brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring fruit unto God" (Rom. 7:4). Jesus said, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples" (Jno. 15:8). Again, Jesus said, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, He, the (Father) taketh it away" (Jno. 15:2). The command of Jesus is to "make disciples" and the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul admonished the church at Rome to produce "fruit unto God" (Rom. 7:4), which is equivalent to a commandment. Disobedience to the commandments of the Deity is sin. James wrote, "To him therefore that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (Jas. 4:17). The very small response to the gospel call today indicates that there are a lot of sinners in the church. Jesus said GO. Satan said NO. Brethren, we just cannot serve two masters. Peter wrote, "Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure" (2 Pet. 1:10). In his farewell address to Israel Joshua said, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve" (Joshua 24:15). This is good advice to the members of the church who are not doing all they can to imitate their Saviour who came to this earth to "Seek and to save that which was lost" (Lk. 19:10).

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