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Pay Day!

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
September 2, 2021 12:00 am

Pay Day!

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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September 2, 2021 12:00 am

In this message, Stephen takes us to a future and final payday where God will render to every man according to his works. It will be a day of rejoicing for some...and a day of mourning for others.

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He is the giver of grace. He is the fountain of grace.

He is the conduit of grace. It is no one but Jesus Christ. It is not Confucius. It is not Mohammed. It is not Krishna. It is not Mary. It is not Joseph Smith.

It is not Buddha. It comes solely through the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world, the one who came to seek and to save those who are lost. It comes through and only through this one who said, I am the way, the truth, and the life.

No one comes to the Father except by me. Jesus Christ is the theme of salvation. There are very few things in life that are free. In fact, most things, especially things of any value, are costly. That's part of the reason why many people struggle with God's offer of salvation. How is it that the most precious thing of all, eternity in heaven with God, could be free? Can that really be true? We don't have to pay anything for the most important thing of all. We'll look at that question today. This is Wisdom for the Hearts with our daily Bible teacher, Stephen Davey.

Today, Stephen is concluding his series called Delivered from the Kingdom of Sin with this lesson he's calling Pay Day. It was the late summer of 1914 when Ernest Shackleton left England with 27 other men. Their goal in life was to cross Antarctica on foot. They set sail on a ship named Endurance and their plan was to disembark at some point and literally cross Antarctica as a team on foot. By January of 1915, when their ship was just 100 miles away from land in that point where they were going to disembark, I have read that the ship became trapped in ice.

They weren't quite prepared for the conditions of that area. And that ice pack, in which they were literally stuck, which sort of grew around the ship, carried them further and further away from land. Shackleton and his crew lived on the ship stuck fast in that ice for eight months. They lived on that ship until the ice snapped that boat apart like it was an old rotting limb. Then for five more months, they lived on the ice pack with supplies. They had salvaged from that ship. And for more than one year, if you can imagine, they lived on that floating prison of ice, barely surviving, floating helplessly along. The next spring, when the ice began to thaw and melt around them, Shackleton and a few men were finally able to set sail on a couple of lifeboats that they had saved before the ship they were on sunk. And they eventually reached a nearby island called South Georgia. And a few months later, Shackleton was able to return and rescue every one of those men. He never accomplished his goal of crossing Antarctica on foot.

In fact, not much later, he would die a 46-year-old man of a heart attack on the island of South Georgia. One author that I was reading made this comparison between Shackleton's ice pack and sin, three of them actually. One, sin will take you further than you ever wanted to go. Second, sin will cost you more than you ever wanted to pay. And third, sin will keep you longer than you ever wanted to stay. I found it interesting that while Shackleton was a prisoner on that island of ice, he recorded this conclusion.

And I quote, the ship is pretty near her end. And what the ice gets, the ice keeps. What the ice gets, the ice keeps. You could word it this way, what sin gets, sin keeps. And that has been the message of Romans 6. You are either enslaved to sin and if you belong to sin and you die in sin, unconfessed as an unbeliever, you will belong to sin forever. But those who've come to faith in Christ are now enslaved to God. And those who die in Christ belong to Christ forever. Look back at Romans 6, verse 21, where Paul says, Therefore, what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit resulting in sanctification and the outcome is eternal life. Throughout this letter, as I'm sure you're aware, Paul has been contrasting different things. He's talked about two different ways. He's talked about two gospels. He's talked about two Adams. He's talked about two masters. He's talked about two kinds of slavery.

And he's also talked about two kingdoms. Well, now in the verses we just read, he's giving several more contrasts and he begins by talking about two benefits of life in general, two fruits. In fact, that's the literal word used in verse 21. Therefore, what benefit, karpon, literally what fruit were you then deriving? The middle part of verse 22, having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your karpon, you derive your fruit, which is eternal life ultimately.

So Paul is contrasting two kinds of fruit. There is the fruit of sin, verse 21, and there is the fruit of salvation, verse 22. The fruit of sin, verse 21, is death. The fruit of salvation, verse 22, is eternal life.

By the way, we read it rather quickly, but you may see a word here that has all but disappeared from the consciousness of our culture in this country. Verse 21, he talks about the benefit you've derived from the things of which you are now what? You are now ashamed. Again, there is an implied contrast between the conscience of the world, which is not ashamed of sin, and the conscience of the true believer who has developed this God-given blessing called shame of sin. In fact, one of the greatest evidences of true conversion is when a person stops being an advocate of sin and becomes ashamed of sin. Romans chapter one in our study revealed the downward digression of a society, a perverted society ending with the climactic characteristic of a culture that's literally stuck fast to sin, when society as a whole defends and applauds and approves of sin and the sinner, when it applauds deviant behavior, when it brags about tolerance for perverse acts, when it justifies inventions of sin, when it encourages manifestations of pride and ego, when it gloats about its infidelities and selfishnesses and brutalities, when greed becomes good, when deceit becomes acceptable as long as you do not get indicted, when materialism becomes the new religion and possessions become the new gods made of wood and stone and plastic and chrome and shingle and steel and fabric. Paul summarizes that society enslaved to the kingdom of sin by writing, although they know the ordinance of God that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. They stand on the sidelines and applaud sin. They cheer on the sinner. The world, Paul implies, knows they are guilty. There is that God-given intuitive sense of knowing good from evil, but enslaved people cannot admit anything other than that they are free and not guilty lest their guilt penetrates their shield of unbelief, anything but something that would cause them to bend their knee before their creator God. Paul wrote to the Philippians that the unbeliever actually glories in his shame.

He writes, their end is destruction. Their God is their appetite and their glory is in their shame, the exact opposite of being ashamed. Yet they know their shame. They sense it, but hide from it.

They run from it and how their frantic pace into unsatisfying sin rushes on and on and more and more into sin, which only produces more and more guilt. One actress who made daily headlines with her lesbian affair with another actress until she later left that woman and married a man. She confided to a reporter not long ago that she had been abused by her father from the time she was a toddler to around 12 years of age.

Tragic story. She said, I have done a lot of things in my life to get away from what happened to me, drinking, smoking, drugs, promiscuity, whatever. Then she said this, I did anything I could to try and get the shame out of my life. But how tragic that she ran into more and more sin, which produced more and more shame. She only added to it. But all the while, her friends and the press and the culture we live in and the tabloids and the interviewers said, everything you're doing is great and right and acceptable and sophisticated and progressive.

Go for it. The prophet Jeremiah described his culture as having lost, quote, the ability to blush. The word of God, by the way, never says to run from shame. It doesn't even say to run from guilt. It teaches us to accept it and run to the cross. You want to run somewhere?

Run there and find in running there. You discover that God brings you to life. And those who have already been brought to life, you find that fresh sense of forgiveness. You pray like Ezra who experienced revival. Have you ever prayed something like this? Oh, my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to you, for my iniquities have risen above my head and my guilt has grown even to the heavens. After that, he is able then to say this wonderful text of prayer in verse eight. But now for a brief moment, grace has been shown from the Lord, our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in his holy place that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving.

That's so good. You admit it, you confess it, and you discover fresh forgiveness in life. Ladies and gentlemen, regardless of what the world will tell you to run from and try to cover up and try to ignore, the truth is never underestimate the power of godly shame. It is one of the evidences of true life. You are ashamed of sin.

And you repeatedly go to the Savior and find in him forgiveness. You parents, as you're raising young children, especially as part of your instruction, you're intuitively doing this. You say to that child, you ought to be what? Ashamed. The world would say, never say that, you're going to destroy their self-image. But you say, oh, what you did, shame, shame, shame, right?

You're teaching them that which will take them great distances toward purity as they learn to feel shame for impurity and sin. But the world is innocent in their own eyes. I couldn't help but think of that repeated tale, evidently true as reported in the Christian Century by a man named Lloyd Stephen about how when King Frederick II, an 18th century king of Prussia, was visiting on one occasion a prison in Berlin, he was visiting a holding cell where prisoners had been put as they were being matriculated into the prison system, having received their sentences. And he happened to be visiting then and it was filled with men and he was passing by and all the men clamored at the bars for his attention and they all protested their innocence.

They all gave them the reasons, the jury, the judge, these circumstances, we are innocent. Oh, great king. And they tried their best to convince him.

But over in the corner was one prisoner sitting on the ground with his knees drawn up to his chin, seemingly oblivious to all of the commotion. And the king noticed him. And finally, the king went over and looked in at him and said, What are you in here for? And the man said, Armed robbery, your honor. And the king said, Are you guilty? And the man said, Absolutely, I am guilty and I deserve my punishment.

The king then turned and gave an unusual order to the guard. He said, Release that guilty man. I don't want him in jail, corrupting all these innocent men.

Good. Likewise, the one who admits his guilt and his shame and says in effect, Oh, great God, I am deserving of anything but your grace discovers his released from the kingdom and prison house of sin. Now Paul comes to the climax of his contrasts with one final, all encompassing statement, verse 23. And I have to tell you, this is an intimidating passage to come to as a preacher teacher. Where do you begin?

What an incredible statement. I thought, you know, maybe I ought to turn this into a four part series, but I could hear people saying, No, please. We shall end chapter six. And we will today, by the way.

But where do you start? Twenty one words in the English language, 19 in the Greek. Charles Haddon Spurgeon called this that golden sentence worthy of being written across the sky.

So true. Paul says, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Look at all the contrast there.

You ought to circle some of the words and draw a line to others as I have done. Wages versus gift. Sin contrasted with God. Two masters.

Death versus life. This great statement, as you can see, is divided cleanly into two sections. One is what we would call the bad news. One, the good news. Jonathan Edwards, a few centuries ago, said the gospel is, in fact, bad news before it can be good news.

And he's right. The wages of sin is death. Paul pulls no punches with this little phrase. The unforgiven sinner will be paid one day. In fact, the idea of this verse is that the unredeemed are actually being paid every single day with this great balloon payment payable at the end of life on earth. I get that idea from the word for wages.

It's the Greek word absonion. It was actually a reference to the daily food ration to be rendered fish ration for the Roman soldiers. They were paid every day just as all the other all the other laborers were in Paul's day. They were always paid at the end of the day. So they got their fish ration money for just enough food for that evening and the following morning. And they would often be paid in salt. That was a valuable currency.

And they could take it to the market and they could barter and sell and get food with that. Having been good soldiers, we get from that custom our phrase we use to this day that a man ought to be worth his what? Worth his compensation, his salt. He ought to be worth what he's paid. So also they were paid on a daily basis.

And that's the idea here. Paul is saying the unbeliever gets paid, as it were, daily. Now, it's true that after physical death, the word of God talks about the second death that is eternal separation, that ultimate payment which will last forever. What would he mean that the unbeliever is paid a death-like life daily? The one enslaved to sin.

Well, think about it. Pride puts relationships to death with its selfishness and arrogance. Lust puts to death virtue. It spreads like cancer, destroying integrity. Addictions, whatever they may be with food or drink or drugs, are ultimately self-destroying. Sloth kills opportunity. Envy destroys contentment. Greed destroys nobility. Sin is this great thief, this master which never gives, it always gets.

And what it gets, it keeps. It has stolen God, as it were, from true religion. It has taken the supernatural out of Christianity. It has erased authority from the Bible. It has voted God out of education. It has erased morality out of literature.

It has taken virtue out of art, ethics out of business, fidelity out of marriage, honesty from employment, truth from politics, creation from science, and on and on and on. The wages of sin is death now. Everlasting hell. That's the bad news.

You ready for some good news? That's the latter part of the verse. It starts with a little word but. Changes everything. But the gift, the free gift of God, is eternal life. So choose your master well. Will it be sin or the Savior?

You can choose your master, but you cannot choose the currency that they deliver. Sin will give you everlasting hell. The Savior will give you everlasting heaven. How do you get this gift? Well, Paul writes, it is a free gift. The free gift of God.

That is absolute insanity. Nothing is free. You don't even get a free lunch, right? If you can't get a free lunch, how do you get a free heaven? A free eternal paradise. Religion could never come up with this. You go around the world and their system is, you want to be saved from whatever, do this, do this, do this, and do this. God has concocted the only system of faith where he says, I have done everything for you.

You just believe me. Did you notice that the same word wages doesn't appear in that latter section of verse 23? Why? Because you don't get into heaven as a paycheck. Heaven is not compensation.

You didn't earn it. It's given to you the only way you can receive it, as a free gift. The little Greek word for gift is the word charis. It's translated throughout the New Testament often as grace. You could literally render this phrase, but the free grace of God is eternal life. Charis.

I like that word. It almost sounds like kiss. The kiss of God where he stoops over the penitent sinner who has come to him placing his faith in his son and he, as it were, kisses him with everlasting life. The free gift of God, the grace of God, not wages, but grace.

How? Well, that's why the verse ends with this critical phrase. Notice, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Key phrase. He is the giver of grace. He is the fountain of grace.

He is the conduit of grace. It is no one but Jesus Christ. It is not Confucius. It is not Muhammad. It is not Krishna. It is not Mary. It is not Joseph Smith.

It is not Buddha. It comes solely through the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world. The one who came to seek and to save those who are lost. It comes through and only through this one who said, I am the way, the truth, and the life.

No one comes to the Father except by me. He is the conduit of grace, the bestower of grace. Jesus Christ is the theme of this grand statement, salvation. I went back into this letter and noticed how Jesus Christ is the theme throughout.

Just for the sake of time, let me read you some of the statements Paul has already made and how it ties directly to Jesus Christ. The gospel of God has been delivered through the power of Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead. Chapter 1 verse 4.

God's grace is through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. Chapter 3 verse 24. God is the justifier of the one who comes by faith in Jesus. Chapter 3 verse 26. We are counted as righteous having been raised in Jesus our Lord from the dead. Chapter 4 verse 24.

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Chapter 5 verse 27. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us much more than having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. Chapter 5 verse 9.

Those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through Jesus Christ. Chapter 5 verse 17. Even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Chapter 6 verse 11.

And now here in verse 23. We have eternal life through Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus our Lord. There is salvation in no one else, right? There's no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be, have to be saved. There is something about that name because it is that name which represents the saving plan of God through the second person of the triune God Jesus Christ. You deny him and you die now and forever. You accept him and you live now and forever.

The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Jan Davis, a professional veteran parachutist was involved in a dangerous sport called base jumping. It's leaping off fixed objects like towers, skyscrapers, cliffs. It was while base jumping that she fell to her death a couple of years ago.

I read about it. She and others were jumping off a 3,200 foot high granite cliff in Yosemite Park in California. The tragedy is she and the other jumpers knew that base jumping was illegal in Yosemite Park. A law had been recently adopted because there had already been six deaths in the park at that particular cliff. They were there protesting that law, jumping in protest. And ironically they were jumping to prove that the sport was entirely safe. So they ignored the law. They ignored the warning and Jan Davis paid with her life and her parachute failed to jump.

She fell for nearly 20 seconds with her husband filming the jump all the way to the bottom. You can ignore the law of God that there is a coming day and a coming judgment. As you free fall through life you can say, I don't feel any pain. I will ignore the warning and I will ignore him.

You're still falling. You have yet to land in this day of judgment upon the unbending, unwavering, unmerciful, holy justice of God because then he will be unmerciful. Sin will take you further than you ever wanted to go. It will keep you longer than you ever want to stay.

It will cost you more than you ever wanted to pay. What do you do about it? A Philippian jailer came to Paul, you know, when the earthquake released Paul and Silas and he said to them, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Religion would say, do these 10 things and come back and check in with me. He said simply, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Exercise your faith in this person called Jesus Christ and you will be saved. And the answer hasn't changed. A few years before the death of the Apostle Paul, he rewrote the answer again in this letter and he wrote it this way.

The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. You ignore him. You violate him.

You refute him. You disbelieve him and face eternal hell. You accept him. You trust him.

You embrace him. You believe in him and you face eternal heaven. Believe in him, my friend, and that coming payday, you will not experience the final wages, the final payment that lasts forever of sin. You will experience the heavenly reality of this place called heaven. You will live forever in that kingdom of our savior having been delivered even at that moment from the very presence, the stench, the temptation and the power delivered forever from the kingdom of sin. For those who by faith believe the message of the gospel, the coming payday will mean heaven and an eternity of joy in the presence of God.

And I hope that's true of you today. This is Wisdom for the Heart with Stephen Davey. The lesson you just heard is called payday. It's the final lesson in a series from Romans six entitled delivered from the kingdom of sin. We've taken Stephen series and put it together into a set of CDs. If you'd like to have this series in your library of Christian resources, please call us today. We can help you over the phone and get this resource out to you. You can call us at 866-48-bible. You can also learn more about this resource on our website, which is wisdomonline.org. We'd enjoy interacting with you online. If you'd like to write, our mailing address is wisdom for the heart P O box three seven two nine seven Raleigh, North Carolina two seven six two seven. Let me give you that again. Write to us at wisdom for the heart P O box three seven two nine seven Raleigh, North Carolina two seven six two seven. Next time Stephen begins a brand new series through a portion of Luke.

Join us for that here on wisdom for the heart. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-11 18:11:13 / 2023-09-11 18:21:02 / 10

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