|The χάρισμα τοῦ θεοῦ (“free gift of God”) is eternal life|
what delivers the baptized from the "end" (telos) of "death"? It is that internal renovation which sets the soul free from its bondage to the practice of sin and sets its course into the practice of holiness and righteousness (emphasis added). It is very explicit here that St. Paul believed in the necessity of righteousness in the baptized for the attainment of eternal life, and yet it is a gift of God.
As a reformed person, I always used to think that when St. Paul says that "the wages of sin is death" is a statement with reference to the life of a believer "before" his conversion. And that is true of course, but St. Paul is speaking to the contemporary moment. The "wages of sin is death" even for the baptized who decide to go in the direction of sin. This is brought out in more detail in Romans 8, where St. Paul says that we are indebted to God to live in the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, for if we do, the "end" (telos) will be death.
These are not wild conclusions, but rather very intelligent, with great support from the Scriptures.
Erick, this is a typical bait-and-switch move on the part of Roman Catholic apologetics. “Somehow, show that works are necessary for salvation” or “you can lose your salvation”, “therefore Roman Catholicism is correct”. However, even if somehow “the wage of sin is death” applies to “the baptized” (which I don’t grant to you), it is not an argument in favor of turning the accretions of Roman Catholicism into required dogma and practice.