Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord". ESV

  1. Why are the wages [opsonia- noun, plural] of sin plural but the free gift [charisma] is singular?

  2. The works [erga-noun, plural] of the flesh of Galatians 5:19-20 are plural. I think this is because "rivalries, dissensions, divisions" are divisive. But are these "works" the same as the "wages" of sin?


3 Answers 3


I put my wages in the bank today. But I only deposited one cheque.

I am paid £10 per hour. Every hour I earn £10. At month's end I am paid my wages - so many hours times £10.

The wages (plural) of every moment, every hour, every day will be tallied up and one payment will be made - the one payment of the wages which mounted up in life.

A lifetime of sin - every moment, every hour, every day : year after year : decade by decade.

One payment.

Because every moment, with every breath, I deserved to die. I was worthy of death - because of sin. It made me unfit to live and the righteous result was the cessation of life.

But every moment of every day, I was invited to repent and invited to believe. No works were ever asked : just repentance to God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

But I never did, and come the time, the allotted time, the span of days given, my life is taken away.

Because of sin. The forfeit of life is my reward for the sinful state in which I existed.

And then , after death - the judgment. For the actual sins and the degree of harm caused to others and the shocking rejection showed to God who made me and the appalling fact that I spurned his Son and lived contrary to his purposes made known in Christ.

But if through repentance and by faith in Jesus Christ I am in Him, then am I crucified with him.

I am crucified with Christ . . . . [Gal 2:20 KJV]

And not only so, but 'quickened together with him' and risen with him and ascended with him and 'seated with him in the heavenlies', Ephesians 2:5.

Then I shall no see death, but I shall fall asleep in Jesus, as did Stephen, and shall go to be with him.

For he was made (or, 'effected', for it is poeio, 'make' or 'do') sin for us, he who knew no sin, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Thus the penalty is exacted already, in him, at Golgotha. And I am seen, by God, in him : and seen dead in him, my humanity removed in righteousness.

And alive in him, under his humanity, as part of his humanity and his body.

Thence to live in him, and to wait for his return, occupied with his things, like writing an article on the subject of wages and death and life.

For the wages of sin is death . . . .

. . . . but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, Romans 6:23, KJV.


Paul is at pains to emphasize the same point in Rom 5 where the single gift of the sacrifice of one, the Lord Jesus Christ, paid the entire price for all sin of all men.

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned. 13 For sin was in the world before the law was given; but sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who did not sin in the way that Adam transgressed. He is a pattern of the One to come.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many! 16 Again, the gift is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment that followed one sin brought condemnation, but the gift that followed many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

18 So then, just as one trespass brought condemnation for all men, so also one act of righteousness brought justification and life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

  • Rom 7:25 - Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!

The American Heritage Dictionary defines “wages” as “a suitable return or reward.” Sin has a wage that it pays, and no one can avoid “payday” without faith in Jesus.

The wages (plural) of death that those who are not born again will receive can be broken into two categories. The Bible speaks of a second death (Revelation 2:11; 20:6, 14; and 21:8)–banishment to the lake of fire (Mark 3:29) on the Day of Judgment. The first death is this separation from God (or spiritual death) that was inherited through Adam (Romans 5:16, Romans 5:19).

So this verse is specifically speaking of the spiritual death that was inherited through Adam and then the second death, which is eternal banishment from God and torment in the lake of fire. However, any negative results of sin, which were not part of God’s original plan for man, can also be included in the term “death,” since they are a direct result of this spiritual death.

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