For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23 (NIV)

Did you know that only one sin deserves the death sentence? One single act of indiscretion, one choice or even one mistake that does not align with God’s will for man, is punishable by death.

As we’ve learned from an early point in our lives, we are not perfect beings. We sin all the time, every day. From impure thoughts to stubborn pride to excessive overeating to lustful eyes to money-grubbing greed to even being a slothful couch potato, sin is rampant — and all sins, big or small in our eyes, are equal in God’s eyes when it comes to salvation.

So the idea that God could take our life away as punishment for one of those sins is kind of alarming, isn’t it?

A pastor I know used to make the analogy of a lamp or, say, a vacuum cleaner to describe our dependence on God. Any common, every-day appliance that requires electricity or energy to operate is an example of what we are in our relational dependence to our Creator.

As long as we are connected to God — if we are “plugged in” — we will receive our ability to operate from the giver of life. However, if we disconnect from the giver of life — if we pull the cord from the source of life by sinning — we are ceasing to live, much like a lamp’s light dies or a vacuum cleaner ceases to operate when you yank the cord out of the socket.

The good news is that God doesn’t send us to death row for every one of our sins. We are renewed with life by the saving grace of Jesus, who paid the penalty of death that our sins deserved — and continue to deserve. For as long as we put our faith in Jesus, by God’s grace, we can have eternal life.