The Wages of Sanctification
True, Hillary Clinton seems to be above the law unless she is the most misunderstood person who has ever lived in all of human history, and in fact, lightning does strike in the same place often. Furthermore, although the former is more likely the case, she would seem to be on her way to being rewarded with the presidency of the United States. It would “seem.”
Now enter a biblical principle that is a metaphysical reality according to God’s design of things; wages. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
This is the way the Bible frames it because of our limitations in understanding this concept thoroughly as God does (Rom 6:19): there are two masters in the world that pay wages; sin pays death wages, and righteousness pays life wages. EVERYONE is under one of these masters—one or the other. The Bible uses an employee/employer relationship to explain the metaphysical construct.
Secondly, depending on the master you are under, you only receive one or the other wage in varying degrees determined by the wage you don’t receive. Let me explain. Those under the sin master are enslaved to sin but free to do good works. Good works reduce the only wage they can receive; death, which is manifested in many, many various and sundry ways. These are the ones who are under the “law of sin and death” and receive less death for doing good works. Mankind is wired to love life, so minimal death can yield a pretty decent life experience.
Yes, obviously, unsaved people can do good works. Why? Because they are created in the image of God and have the works of His law written on their hearts administered by the conscience and either excusing their actions or accusing them (Rom 2:14-16). This is why final death wages (judgement) will be administered to unbelievers in varying degrees.
And of course, this truth turns Protestant orthodoxy completely on its head.
Now let’s turn our attention to the other master who pays life wages: righteousness. You are enslaved to righteousness; not in respect to the idea that you have to do right all the time because you have some sort of righteousness addiction, but rather that is the master you work for and are obligated to. This is the illustration the apostle Paul is using; the employee/employer motif.
However, don’t miss this: those “under law” or “under grace” have different types of desires. Those under law have sinful desires and a desire to have good life (happiness that comes from a clear conscience) while those under grace have the like desires of God’s Spirit because they are reborn of Him. This is why believers love God’s word and its truth while unbelievers are more or less indifferent to it. Those under grace have a remaining sin that dwells in mortality, but without the condemnation of the law, sin is stripped of its ultimate power to enslave. But, either party can become addicted to the desires which they obey.
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16).
You can frame this practically in regard to the fact that we are all creatures of habit. Can a Christian become addicted to some kind of sin by obeying its desire over and over again? Yes. Can an unbeliever avoid addictions through some motivation that wants to avoid death wages? Absolutely.
Back to those under grace. They are enslaved to righteousness but free to sin. They can only receive life wages, but the wage is offset by sin (Rom 6:20, 21). Let’s cite some examples, a few among many in regard to how this works itself out in life:
Ephesians 6:1 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
1 Peter 3:10 – “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Proverbs 13:15 – Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.
Now back to Hillary Clinton. This upside down world and its kingdoms will often have distorted justice, but one thing that can’t be avoided is life wages. The world would gladly give her the presidency, but all indications presently point to her failing heath preventing such. Yes, you may call it “karma” if you would like. Yes, you may say, “What goes around comes around.”
But all in all, it is God’s design for this present time. Those who are not his children will be paid more or less, now or later.