Sanctification & Growth : And reverberating in our hearts is the reality of 2 Corinthians 9:15. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” Christmas is about giving, because Jesus is a gift. It is not hard to make Romans 6:23 a Christmas text. “The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The first Christmas was the gift of Christ coming into the world to purchase for us eternal life by dying in our place and rising again. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Free Gift of God Is Sanctification : The incarnation is past, once for all. It will never be repeated. But sanctification is present. And all true believers are experiencing it in some measure. And this too is a gift. That is what I want to talk about this morning. Our text is Romans 6:22–23.
If eternal life is a free gift, as Romans 6:23 says it is (“the free gift of God is eternal life”) and is not a wage — not something you earn, not something you deserve — and if  this eternal life is the outcome (not the wage) of sanctification, as verse 22 says it is, then the sanctification must be a free gift too. Let me try to show you this more closely from the very wording of Romans 6:22 and its connection with verse 23. Verse 22 says, “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.” So eternal life is the outcome or the end of sanctification. Or to turn it around, sanctification is the process of becoming more Christ-like from one degree to the next (as 2 Corinthians 3:18 says) which ends in eternal life. You can say it either way. You can say eternal life is the outcome of sanctification. Or you can say sanctification is the path that leads to eternal life.
Because Eternal Life Is a Free Gift : Now notice the relationship between verse 22 and 23. Verse 23 begins with “for” or “because.” That is a crucial word for understanding how sanctification and eternal life relate to each other. So what is the argument in verse 23 about eternal life? It’s the second half of the verse: “. the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” So let’s put the two verses together with this connector that Paul used: Eternal life is the outcome of being freed from sin and enslaved to God and bearing fruit in sanctification, or because, “eternal life is a free gift.” Amen Praise God, thank you My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.