For years we have had this collection of short articles posted on line and we slowly add to them as new topics come up. We don't claim to have all the answers, but we're sharing how we see things. As we all share, our perspectives are widened, and it becomes easier to lay aside fear and dead religion and to choose instead pathways of freedom, boldness, and love. We hope you enjoy the mythbusters.
Myth #1o "The Penalty For Sin Is Death"
To some it may seem strange that we would quote Scripture, and then say it is a myth. But some have already caught on.
This very well known Scripture is often misquoted and mistunderstood. The way this Scripture should read is, "The wage of sin is death.
There is a GIGANTIC difference between what these two phrases communicate.
If we say, "the penalty for sin is death", then we infer that God is paying out the penalty. Nothing could be further from the truth. When attached to the rest of the verse, "but the free gift of God is eternal life", it makes it seem like God is sitting on a cloud with entrance tickets to heaven in one hand and a hangman's noose in the other. It infers that He is watching our lives and deciding which fate we will each earn by our behavior!
But actually, "sin" is being personified here. Jesus is telling us that if we make Sin our master, we will slave for him all of our lives and the wage he will pay us is death. In fact, we will have difficulty and darkness all through our lives if we choose to serve Sin.
Then there is a comparasin. Jesus is telling us that God is already holding out a free gift in His hand, one which we do not have to work for -- life. Sin pays a wage - God gives a gift.
There are two ways to serve Sin. The first is to be to be drowning in self destructive habits, drugs, uncontrolled sex, drinking, lying, stealing, etc.
The second and less obvious way to be trapped by Sin is to attempt to please God through good behavior and religion. That will lead a person into an unwinnable battle with sin which can only end one of two ways; in false pride, or failure and sorrow. If we allow Sin to be our master and to control our lives, he will direct us into the same dead religious patterns that Jesus came to defeat. Sin will entrap, hurt, break down, and finally kill us.
But God has a gift - eternal, abundant, overflowing life. A gift, by definition, is something which is in no way earned.