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Old and New Testament.
Romans 14:7-9 Commentary
Updated July 26, 2014
one of us
himself, and not
Greek: oudeis gar hemon heauto ze (3SPAI) kai
oudeis heauto apothneskei (3SPAI)
Amplified: None of us lives to himself [but to the Lord], and
none of us dies to himself [but to the Lord, for]
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: For we are not our own masters when we live or when we
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: The truth is that we neither live nor die as
Wuest: For no one lives with reference to himself, and no one
with reference to himself dies (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: For none of us to himself doth live, and none
to himself doth die;
Jew and Gentile
Restored to Israel
Slaves to Sin
Slaves to God
Life by Faith
Modified from Irving L.
Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's
Survey of the NT"
FOR NOT ONE OF US LIVES FOR
oudeis gar hemon heauto ze (3SPAI):
"The truth is that we neither live nor die
as self-contained units. " (Phillips)
For - Functions here as a
term of explanation.
Pause to ponder this term, asking what is Paul explaining?
For not one of us lives for himself - James Denney explains that
"The truth which has been affirmed in
regard to the Christian’s use of food, and observance or non-observance of
days, is here based on a larger truth of which it is a part. His whole
life belongs not to himself, but to his Lord. “No one of us liveth to
himself,” does not mean, “every man’s conduct affects others for better or
worse, whether he will or not”; it means, “no Christian is his own end in
life; what is always present to his mind, as the rule of his conduct, is
the will and the interest of his Lord”. The same holds of his dying. He
does not choose either the time or the mode of it, like a Roman Stoic, to
please himself. He dies when the Lord will, as the Lord will, and even by
his death glorifies God. (Romans 14 Commentary
- Expositors Greek Testament)
Henry Alford - This verse illustrates the kurios (Ed:
Lordship of Christ) of the former, and at the same time sets in a still
plainer light than before, that both parties, the eater and the abstainer,
are servants of another, even Christ. (Romans 14 Commentary)
all of Scripture, there is no greater call for holy living and for
submission to the sovereign and unconditional lordship of Jesus Christ.
Paul's point is that whether one is a strong or or weak, a sincere
believer feels free or not free to do certain things out of the same
motive: to please his Lord. Neither one is more or less spiritual or
faithful because of his convictions about practices such as those
discussed above. Being "strong" in this sense is not synonymous
with being spiritual, and being "weak" is not synonymous with being
fleshly. The problem is that some believers of both persuasions thought
themselves to be more spiritual and the others more fleshly. Paul’s whole
purpose in these verses, and in the larger context of (Ro 14:1–15:13), was to
disabuse believers of those false, divisive, and destructive notions.
No true Christian lives to himself, and
therefore as he lives to God we have no right to judge his course of action....I think the first instinct of one who has
been himself called by grace is to go and call others. When Christ appears to
Mary, Mary runs to the disciples to tell them that the Lord has spoken to her.
Samuel is chosen that he may carry the message to Eli. And let each believer
feel that he is favored by God that he may take a blessing to others, "for none
of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself."
AND NOT ONE OF US DIES FOR HIMSELF: kai oudeis heauto apothneskei (3SPAI):
(Ro 14:9; 2Corinthians 5:15; Galatians 2:19,20; Philippians 1:20, 21,
22, 23, 24; 1Thessalonians 5:10; Titus 2:14; 1Peter 4:2)
Paul asks the Corinthian
saints "Or do you not know that your body is a
temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that
you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians
J Vernon McGee comments that "not one of us lives for
himself, and not one dies for himself" is generally quoted as a proof
text that our lives affect others [Ed: in the sense of John Donne's "No
man is an island."]. However, that thought is not in this passage. The
truth is that we as Christians cannot live our lives apart from Christ.
Whether you live, you will have to live to Him; whether you die, you will
have to die to Him. Our Christian conduct is not gauged by the foods
spread out on the table, but by the fact that our lives are spread out
before Him. That is the important thing. One day we are going to have to
give an account of the things we have done in this life." (Thru the
Paul is saying that all believers,
strong and weak, live out their lives accountable to God.
C H Spurgeon - I think the first instinct of one who
has been himself called by grace is to go and call others. When Christ
appears to Mary, Mary runs to the disciples to tell them that the Lord has
spoken to her. Samuel is chosen that he may carry the message to Eli. And
let each believer feel that he is favored by God that he may take a
blessing to others, "for none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to
Well, in Ro 14:7 Paul says,
"For not one of us lives for himself,
and not one dies for himself."
If you are a believer, sincere in your
walk, that is who he is talking about. You don’t live for yourself, and
you don’t die for yourself because you are not your own.
Ro 14:8 continues,
"For if we live, we live for the Lord,
or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we
are the Lord’s."
There is your principle. There is no
greater statement of the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every single
believer’s life. If I am eating, then I ought to eat for Him. If I am
drinking, whatever I am doing, it is to Him. If I mess up and do it wrong,
He is the Lord and He is the judge and He will deal with me about it. So
every man is under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the stronger and the
1Corinthians 6:20 he says,
"For you have been bought with a price,
therefore glorify God with your body."
Sometimes we don’t do that, do we?
Therefore we have to be chastened and disciplined, and God will do that.
But our motive is to live unto Him.
Ephesians 1:7 (note)
"In Him we have redemption through His
He paid a great price for us. We are
His property. We are His own. He is talking about people who love God,
people who have differing opinions on things but they are doing what they
are doing because they love God. It is the motive of their heart to serve
Him. He says, "You had better back off and don’t be their lord and judge
because if they believe that, then you are not to be lord over them.
Hopefully you will have an opportunity to encourage them and instruct
them." That is what the Christian community is all about. But don’t shun
them, don’t demean them, if they are doing with sincerity what they are
doing, for all of us live unto the Lord. (Romans
live for the
die for the
die, we are the
Greek: ean te gar zomen (1PPAI)
to kuriozomen (1PPAI) ean te
apothneskomen (1PPAS) , to kurio
apothneskomen (1PPAI). ean te oun
zomen (1PPAI) ean te apothneskomen (1PPAS),
tou kuriou esmen (1PPAI)
Amplified: If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die
to the Lord. So then, whether we live or we die, we belong to the
NLT: While we live, we live to please the Lord. And when we
die, we go to be with the Lord. So in life and in death, we belong to
Phillips: At every turn life links us to God, and when we die
we come face to face with him. In life or death we are in the hands of
Wuest: For, whether we are living, with reference to the Lord
we are living. Whether we are dying, with reference to the Lord we are
dying. Therefore, whether we are living or whether we are dying, we
belong to the Lord;
Young's Literal: for both, if we may live, to the Lord we live; if
also we may die, to the Lord we die; both then if we may live, also if we
may die, we are the Lord's;
FOR IF WE LIVE WE LIVE FOR
THE LORD: ean te gar zomen (1PPAI) to kuriozomen (1PPAI):
"At every turn life links us to God, and
when we die we come face to face with him. In life or death we are in the
hands of God." (Phillips)
"For, whether we are living, with
reference to the Lord we are living. Whether we are dying, with reference to
the Lord we are dying. Therefore, whether we are living or whether we are
dying, we belong to the Lord;" (Wuest)
For - Functions here as a
term of explanation.
Pause to ponder this term, asking what is Paul explaining?
If we live - The idea is
"while we are alive."
If we die - The idea here is
"when we die."
John Stott comments - Life and
death seem to be taken as constituting together the sum total of our
human being. While we continue to live on earth and when through death
we begin the life of heaven, everything we have and are belongs to the
Lord Jesus and must therefore be lived to his honor and glory. (Romans-
God's Good News for the World -Bible Speaks Today)
signifies He Who has complete sovereignty, absolute authority, total
ownership and unrivaled power.
this describe Jesus in my life? ...where I go, what I watch, what I
buy, etc? Is He Lord over every area of my life?
What we do for other
believers, we do not only for their sakes but for our Lord’s sake, because,
whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. Christ is our mutual Lord,
our mutual sovereign; and therefore everything we do, even in our dying,
should be to please and to glorify our sovereign Savior and Lord. He is our
Owner; we are His slaves, His possessions. We live (and die) to serve Him,
not to please ourselves. Since each believer belongs to Christ, it is out of
place for strong to despise the weak or the weak to judge the strong
concerning non-essential issues or matters not central to our Christian
Henry Alford - The inference,—that we are, under all
circumstances, living or dying (and a fortiori eating or abstaining,
observing days or not observing them), Christ’s: His property. (Romans 14 Commentary)
The very design of our Lord's work is to make
us live unto him and not as the servants of our fellow men; we are therefore
very wrong when we attempt to make our brethren the servants of our opinions and
ideas. Let us leave them to serve the Lord as their consciences teach them.
Spurgeon's devotional from Morning and
Evening (June 10 AM) - If God had willed it, each of us might have
entered heaven at the moment of conversion. It was not absolutely necessary for
our preparation for immortality that we should tarry here. It is possible for a
man to be taken to heaven, and to be found meet to be a partaker of the
inheritance of the saints in light, though he has but just believed in Jesus. It
is true that our sanctification is a long and continued process, and we shall
not be perfected till we lay aside our bodies and enter within the veil; but
nevertheless, had the Lord so willed it, he might have changed us from
imperfection to perfection, and have taken us to heaven at once. Why then are we
here? Would God keep his children out of paradise a single moment longer than
was necessary? Why is the army of the living God still on the battle-field when
one charge might give them the victory? Why are his children still wandering
hither and thither through a maze, when a solitary word from his lips would
bring them into the centre of their hopes in heaven? The answer is—they are here
that they may “live unto the Lord,” and may bring others to know his love. We
remain on earth as sowers to scatter good seed; as ploughmen to break up the
fallow ground; as heralds publishing salvation. We are here as the “salt of the
earth,” to be a blessing to the world. We are here to glorify Christ in our
daily life. We are here as workers for him, and as “workers together with him.”
Let us see that our life answereth its end. Let us live earnest, useful, holy
lives, to “the praise of the glory of his grace.” Meanwhile we long to be with
him, and daily sing—
My heart is with him on his throne,
And ill can brook delay;
Each moment listening for the voice,
‘Rise up, and come away.’
Stedman notes that Paul is "not talking about funerals, and life and death in that sense. He is
talking about those who feel free to enjoy liberty to the fullest. They
are living, while others, because of deep convictions of their own,
limit themselves, and to that degree they are dying, because death is
limitation....The important thing is that we belong to the Lord. He
understands." That, therefore, is what we ought to remember in our
relationships with one another. We belong to the Lord. We are brothers
and sisters. We are not servants of each other. We are servants of the
Lord and he has the right to change us." (On
Trying to Change Others - Romans 14:1-12)
THEREFORE WHETHER WE LIVE OR DIE WE ARE THE LORD'S: ean te oun zomen (1PPAI)
ean te apothneskomen (1PPAS), tou kuriou esmen (1PPAI): [Titus
2:14 Ro 14:7, 8, 9 1Co 6:19, 20 2Co 5:15 2Pe 2:1 1Pe 2:9; Rev 1:6;5:10 Ex
19:5 Dt 7:6; 14:2 Isa 43:21 Mal 3:17] (John 21:19; Acts 13:36; 20:24;
21:13; Philippians 2:17,30; 1Th 5:10) (1Corinthians 3:22,23; 15:23; 1Th
4:14, 15, 16, 17, 18; Revelation 14:13)
Therefore - Always pause and
term of conclusion.
refers here to literal physical life (opposite of death, Acts 22:22,
25:24, 28:4, Ro 7:1-3, 1Cor 7:39)
from apo = marker of
dissociation implying a rupture from a former association, separation,
departure, cessation + thnesko = die) literally (as here)
describes physical death, although in some contexts it is used
We are the Lord's - Believers are His possession
now and forever (Titus
2:14 1Co 6:19-20 2Co 5:15 1Pe 2:9). While we
live, we live to please the Lord. And when we die, we go to be with the
Lord. So in life and in death, we belong to the Lord. The sentiment is,
"We are entirely His, having no authority over our life or death." No
part of our life or death, not even our seemingly insignificant opinions
about matters of indifference, is outside the boundaries of our
responsibility to our Lord.
F B Meyer (Our Daily Walk)
LOVE AND LIBERTY
"None of us liveth to himself, and no
man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord: and
whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live, therefore, or
die, we are in the Lord's."--Rom. 14:7-8.
THE KEY to this wonderful chapter, so full of sound judgment and
sanctified common sense, is the reiterated reference which the Apostle
makes to the Lord, which occurs some ten times in fourteen verses. The
fact of Jesus being Lord both of the living and of those who have died,
and are living on the other side of death, is the solution of the
difficulty as to what the Christian should do or leave undone. Let each
of us stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, or at least before the
reflection of that tribunal which is mirrored in the tranquil expanse of
conscience, and we shall have an unerring guide for conduct.
The question agitated in Rome was as
to the observance of the seventh or first day of the week as the
Christian Sabbath; and, what principle should direct the use of
food--that of Leviticus, or of common use. The Apostle insists that
these are not questions which affect either our personal salvation or
our acceptance with God. In his opinion they are matters for each
individual Christian to settle and decide for himself. There are certain
factions clear as light, or black as night, about which there can be no
controversy; but there are other questions for the solution of which
each must apply one or other of these general principles for guidance
through the maze.
What would Jesus Christ, my Lord and
Master, wish me to do? I am His servant, and He will let me know His
will by the teaching of His Spirit in my heart. Whether I act or
forbear, it must be done unto Him; and in my liberty or abstinence I
must give Him thanks.
What is best for others? I have an
influence over some; perhaps more look to me for guidance than I know. I
must be on my guard not to put a stumbling block in another's way.
Though certain things are innocent to me, yet, if they will destroy,
directly or indirectly, one for whom Christ died, it will be better for
me to abstain from them.
What is best for myself? I ask God
not to lead me into temptation, but I must not put myself into it. I
must put aside all weights as well as sins, that I may follow Christ as
He goes forth to the conquest of evil.
PRAYER - O Lord and Master, may we be faithful to Thee in the little
things, always following the inner light, till it lead us into the
perfect day. AMEN.
lived again, that He
both of the
dead and of the
touto gar Christos apethanen (3SAAI)
kai ezesen (3SAAI) hina kai nekron kai
zonton (PAPMPG) kurieuse
Christ died and lived again for this very purpose, that He might be
Lord both of the dead and of the living.
NLT: Christ died and rose again for this very purpose, so that
he might be Lord of those who are alive and of those who have died.
Phillips: Christ lived and died that he might be the Lord in
both life and death.
Wuest: for to this end Christ both died and lived, in order
that He might exercise lordship over both dead ones and living ones.
Young's Literal: for because of this Christ both died and
rose again, and lived again, that both of dead and of living he may be
FOR TO THIS END CHRIST DIED AND LIVED AGAIN THAT HE MIGHT BE LORD BOTH OF
THE DEAD AND OF THE LIVING: eis touto gar Christos
apethanen (3SAAI) kai ezesen (3SAAI) hina kai nekron kai zonton (PAPMPG)
kurieuse: (Isaiah 53:10, 11, 12; Luke
24:26; 2Corinthians 5:14; Hebrews 12:2; 1Peter 1:21; Revelation 1:18)
(Matthew 28:18; John 5:22,23,27, 28, 29; Acts 10:36,42; 2Timothy 4:1;
For - a
term of explanation.
Pause to ponder what Paul is explaining.
Died and lived again - Clearly
His Crucifixion and the resurrection.
Henry Alford - And this lordship over all was the
great end of the Death and Resurrection of Christ. By that Death and
Resurrection, the crowning events of his work of Redemption, He was
manifested as the righteous Head over the race of man, which now, and in
consequence man’s world also, belongs by right to Him alone. (Romans 14 Commentary)
Christ’s death and resurrection are
given as grounds for Him to exercise lordship over both the dead and the
He might be Lord -
James Denney explains that it is "through Christ’s resurrection that His
lordship over the realm of death is established, so that not even in that
dark world do those who are His cease to stand in their old relation to
Paul explains in Ephesians that
God manifested "the working of the strength of His might
(This is the same mighty power) 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He
raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly
places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and
every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.
22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head
over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fulness of Him who
fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:19, 20, 21, 22, 23-note)
Writing to the Philippian church Paul
God raised him up to the heights of
heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, 10 so that at
the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under
the earth (the dead and the living!), 11 and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to
the glory of God the Father. (Php 2:9, 10, 11-note)
Dear reader, I cannot imagine you
would be interested in reading these notes if you had not yet bowed your
knee to the Lord of all the universe, but on the outside chance that there
is one reading who has yet to confess Jesus as Lord and believe in their
heart that they might be saved, may today be the day of the eternal
salvation of your eternal soul
(Ro 10:9, 10-note,
Acts 16:31, 4:12 2Co 6:2).
Bow today, by grace through faith
(Ep 2:8, 9-note),
but if you do not, be assured you will one day be forced to bow but then
it is too late for salvation
(cp He 9:27, 28-note)
We are not our own
but Christ’s (1Co 6:19-note). This right of possession, and the consequent duty of
devotion and obedience, are not founded on creation but on redemption. We
are Christ’s because he has bought us with a price.
In all of Scripture,
there is no greater call
for holy living and for submission
to the sovereign
lordship of Jesus Christ.
To deny the lordship of
Jesus Christ in the life of any believer is to subvert the full work,
power, and purpose of His crucifixion and resurrection. Christ's Lordship is
the foundational truth for the unity of the Church amidst diversity of
Neither the strong nor the weak lives for himself or dies for himself, and
for the same reason—both of them live for the Lord and both of them die for
the Lord. What we do for other believers, we do not only for their sakes but
for our Lord’s sake, because, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
Christ is our mutual Lord, our mutual sovereign; and therefore everything we
do, even in our dying, should be to please and to glorify our sovereign
Savior and Lord.
Newell - The argument of Ro 14:7, 8, 9 is
that each one of us is living or dying absolutely unto the Lord, - whose
we are. We are not in any sense one another's lords, but belong to Christ
alone, Who died and lived that He might rule over us all, and not we be
lords of each other! or of the faith of others.' Therefore comes the
searching question. (Ro 14:10-note) (Romans 14)
Steven Cole - Jesus is the Lord
of all; thus we all will give an account of our lives to Him. Romans
14:9: “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be
Lord both of the dead and of the living.” Christ, of course, was the
Lord of all before He came to this earth. He is the eternal Son of God.
But in coming to this earth as a man, Jesus subjected Himself to death
on our behalf. When God raised Him from the dead, He conquered death
once and for all. God highly exalted Him to His right hand and put all
things in subjection to Him as the crucified and risen Lord (Eph.
1:19-23; Phil. 2:5-11). By virtue of His death and resurrection, He is
“Lord both of the dead and of the living” (14:9). This means that He is
the Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2Ti 4:1; 1 Pet. 4:5).
As Paul told the Athenians (Acts 17:31), God “has fixed a day in which
He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has
appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the
dead.” Or, as Jesus Himself told the Jews (John 5:22-23), “For not even
the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so
that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does
not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” By the way,
that is a strong claim of Jesus’ deity. You see the same thing in our
text, where Paul freely moves between “Lord” (referring to Jesus) and
“God” (referring to the Father). In Romans 14:10, Paul says
(according to the best manuscripts), “For we will all stand before the
judgment seat of God.” In 2 Corinthians 5:10, he says, “For we must all
appear before the judgment seat of Christ ….” Since God and Christ are
one (John 10:30), it’s the same judgment seat. We all will give an
account of ourselves to God and Christ.
Perhaps you’re thinking, “But I thought that there is no condemnation
for Christians (Rom. 8:1). I thought that we will not come into judgment
(John 5:24). How is it, then, that we all will stand before the judgment
seat of God?”
Paul cites first a phrase from Isaiah 49:18, “‘As I live,’ says the
Lord,” followed by Isaiah 45:23, “Every knee shall bow to Me, and every
tongue shall give praise to God.” Then Paul concludes (14:12), “So then
each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” The point is,
God is the sovereign Lord of all and hence He has the right to judge
all, including believers. For believers, it will not be a determination
of heaven or hell, but rather a judgment of our works. Paul explains in
1 Corinthians 3:12-15:
Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious
stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the
day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire
itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which
he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work
is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so
as through fire.
I’m not sure what it means to “suffer loss” at the judgment, but I don’t
want it to happen to me! It must involve a moment of deep regret and
shame over what I have done or not done with the spiritual gifts that
God has entrusted to me. But, clearly, I should live in light of that
certain day ahead when I will stand before the Lord to give an account.
Have I lived in light of His purposes? Have I used my time, talents, and
treasure to seek first His kingdom and righteousness (Matt. 6:33)? Will
I be able to say, with Paul (2 Tim. 4:7), “I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the course, I have kept the faith”?
4. Since God is the Judge of all, we must not judge other believers or
regard them with contempt.
Romans 14:10, “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why
do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before
the judgment seat of God.” Again, this does not refer to judging our
brothers over matters of sin or serious doctrinal error. We must judge
one another on these matters. In this context, it refers to not judging
one another over non-essential matters where the Bible gives no
commands. This calls for discernment. The fact that I will stand before
the judgment seat of God gives me the courage to confront a believer who
is in sin or who is promoting serious error when by nature I would not
do anything (Ezek. 33:1-10). It gives me the courage to teach difficult
truths from God’s Word that I would be prone to skip.
But the fact that I will stand before God’s judgment seat should also
cause me to refrain from speaking against a brother who may be doing or
saying something that is not clearly commanded in Scripture. If I think
that what he is doing or saying is spiritually immature or will cause
him or others spiritual harm, I may need gently to come alongside and
offer correction at the proper time. But if it’s a neutral matter, then
I should assume that he is doing it for the Lord and let the Lord be his
A traveler, between flights at an airport, bought a small package of
cookies. Then she sat down and began reading a newspaper. Gradually, she
became aware of a rustling noise. From behind her paper, she was
flabbergasted to see a neatly dressed man helping himself to her
cookies. Not wanting to make a scene, she leaned over and took a cookie
A minute or two passed, and then came more rustling. He was helping
himself to another cookie! By this time, they had come to the end of the
package, but she was so angry she didn’t dare allow herself to say
anything. Then, as if to add insult to injury, the man broke the
remaining cookie in two, pushed half across to her, ate the other half,
Still fuming some time later when her flight was announced, the woman
opened her handbag to get her ticket. To her shock and embarrassment,
there she found her pack of unopened cookies! Sometimes, we judge others
very wrongly! (Leadership, Spring, 1991, p. 45.)
Perhaps our text can best be summed up by saying, “Don’t judge your
brother on non-essential matters, because God will judge him. Judge
yourself, because God will judge you” (paraphrased from F. Godet,
Commentary on Romans [Kregel], p. 459).
How can we determine whether a non-essential matter is spiritually
harmful or not? When should we talk with a brother or sister about such
Where are you at on the matter of Sunday being the Christian Sabbath?
Could you use Sundays more profitably than you do?
What are some areas where you are prone to judge other Christians or to
look on them with contempt?
Do you live in light of standing before Christ for judgment of your
works? How can we make this more central in our daily lives?(Why
We Should Not Judge Others Romans 14:5-12)
Ro 14:9 says, "For to this end Christ died and lived
again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living."
I want to encourage you that when you
finish your life someday, you can look at others and look at God and say,
"I have lived my life, not perfect, but I have dealt with sin. I have
dealt with mistakes as best I know how, but I have lived my life so as my
convictions have never been compromised. Fallen, failed, yes, but never
compromised. But I have also lived my life so that because of my life my
brother’s convictions were never compromised or defeated." Now that is the
way we are supposed to live.
The Apostle Paul said something in Acts 23:1 that caught my attention when
he spoke before the council. It says, "And Paul, looking intently at the
Council, said, ‘Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good
conscience before God up to this day.'"
Can you say that? Have you lived your
life that way? That doesn’t mean perfection at all. Paul wouldn’t even
want you to think that. It simply means that the convictions that governed
him have continued to govern him until that day but in such a way that he
didn’t take his convictions and cram them down somebody else’s throat to
where their convictions somehow were demeaned and scorned. That is a
You say, "I can’t live that way." Neither can I, but God never said
we could. He can, and He always said He would. You live Romans 12:1 (note),
Ro 12:2 (note)
and let Him take care of the rest of it. A love without hypocrisy is going
to be developed in you. It is going to cause you to see people in the body
differently and people outside the body differently. It is even going to
cause you to treat people who persecute you in a different way than you
ever thought possible. As a matter of fact, you are going to have a
respect for government authority that you never dreamed you would have.
You are even going to pay your taxes without grumbling. But not only that,
you are not going to cause a weaker brother to stumble with the freedom
that you have found under grace.
How is your spirit? Is it celebrating Christ, celebrating His
resurrection, celebrating His life in you? Then it is going to be seen in
the way you handle people. It is going to be seen in the way you handle a
weaker brother. (Romans