The Penalty of Sin

This is the second article in the “Gospel of Salvation” series. (Previous “The Problem of Sin”)

  • I Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
  • 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
  • 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
  • 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

I Cor. 15:1-4 is the gospel (vs. 1) of salvation (vs. 2) in a nutshell. The good news of Jesus Christ referred to here in I Cor. 15 is Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. In this article, let’s focus on the phrase “…Christ died for our sins….”

Why did Jesus die for our sins? Was there no other way? No, the only way was death. You see, sin has a penalty. That penalty is death.

  • Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death;”

For instance, if you get in trouble with the law, you are penalized with a fine, community service, jail time, or prison. Sin’s penalty, though, is a lot harsher. Sin’s penalty is death. Notice that Rom. 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death.” If you work a job, you get wages or payment for your labor. Sin has a consequence. You work sin, you get paid death.

All are sinners (Rom. 3:23), and all sinners deserve death. Death is the penalty of sin.

  • James 1:15 “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

Somebody may say, “Oh, sure, but that’s no big deal. Everyone dies eventually.” Sometimes when asked, “If you died today, where would you go?” the unsaved say, “In a grave.” or “In the ground.” Understand, though, that physical death is only the beginning of sin’s penalty.

  • Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

After physical death, sin in the unsaved must still be judged which results in the unsaved going to hell.

  • Luke 16:22-23 “…the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments”

But hell’s excruciating fire is only the beginning.

  • Revelation 20:13 “…death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”

Notice how hell’s occupants will one day get final judgment for their sins. They are not burned up and consumed. Their bodies must endure the fire until they are “cast into the lake of fire” where they will burn forever. (Mk. 9:43-48)

  • Vs. 14 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

Sin’s penalty is death; two deaths. The first death is physical which leaves the unsaved in hell. The second death is spiritual which leaves the unsaved eternally in the lake of fire.

For more on this crucial subject, read “The Payment for Sin.”