The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NRSV)

A Dutch pastor and his family got into big trouble with the Nazis during the Second World War. The family had been hiding Jews in their home to keep them safe from Hitler. One night in the darkness, they heard the sound of heavy boots and loud, impatient knocking on their door. Their crime had been discovered. They were arrested at gunpoint. That night they were placed in a cattle car to be taken to one of the notorious death camps. All night long, they rode in heartbreaking anguish, jostling against one another and the other prisoners who were jammed into the car. They were absolutely terrified. They knew they were going to die in one of Hitler's extermination centers.

Finally, as daylight was breaking, the train stopped. The doors of the cattle car were opened and they were marched out. The guards had them line up along the railroad tracks. The pastor's family looked at one another knowing they would soon be separated from each other and led off to certain death. In the midst of their gloom, they discovered some news too good to be true--news beyond belief! They discovered, in the bright morning sunlight, that they were not in a death camp at all. In fact they were not even in Germany, but in Switzerland! During their night of terror, some courageous and daring person, had tripped a switch and sent the train to Switzerland and freedom. Instead of being sent to a certain death, they were welcomed to new life.

That is the message Paul is trying to communicate to Roman Christians. The wages of sin is death, but new life awaits all those who believe on Christ.

Lord Jesus, thanks for the LIFE you have given. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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