New Defender's Study Bible Notes
6:23 wages of sin. Again the apostle emphasizes that the coming of death into the world resulted directly from the coming of sin into the world (note Romans 5:12, et al.). God warned Adam that this would happen, and it did (Genesis 2:17; 3:17-19). There was thus no death in the world before Adam; otherwise, it would be meaningless to say that death is the price of sin. It would also be pointless for Christ to die for the sin of the world, if death already was pervasive throughout God’s creation before sin came in. Those who accept the geologic-age system, with its supposed characteristic of billions of dead and fossilized animals in a groaning world of suffering and decay, are in effect accepting the concept of a sadistic God (or else no God at all), for the loving and wise God of the Bible would never create such a world as that. Evolutionists claim that some such system of suffering and death brought man into the world, but God has made it emphatically clear that man brought suffering and death into the world by his sin. He has also made it clear that Christ’s suffering and death were accepted by God in payment for the sin of the world, a marvelous act of love whereby all suffering and death will eventually be eliminated from the world (Revelation 21:4-5).
6:23 gift of God. The “gift” is better rendered “free gift.” Although the death of His Son cost both Father and Son infinite pain, it is all offered to us as a free gift, by His grace. It only becomes a gift in reality if it is accepted, of course, and the tragedy is that most people will never accept it.