“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (HCSB)
When you work a job, you get paid, your wage is money. Wages are what you earn. When you commit a sin, you earn death, death is your wage.
A sin is any desire or action which goes against what God has told us to do in the Bible. If you hate someone, it is a sin. If you hurt the person that you hate, that is another sin. If you do not act on your hate, it is great that you had some control over your actions; however your hate is still a sin.
This death that is earned by sin is really two kinds of death. First there is the death everyone thinks about, when our physical bodies will die. Death is also referring to a second death, or a spiritual death. The second death is when you are sent to hell.
That is the bad news, but there is great news too. God’s gift to all who have faith in Jesus is eternal life. We will still experience the first death, but instead of the second death which we earned and deserve, we receive the great gift of eternal life. This is only possible because God punished Jesus even though He did not deserve it, we deserve it, but Jesus took the punishment for everyone who believes in Him.
Eternal life means we never die, we live on forever. We will be with God for eternity and will enjoy Him forever. When you first believe in Jesus, He starts making you perfect and He finishes when you die and enter heaven. We will be perfect in every way and we will be free from sin at last.