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] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: For we are not our own masters when we live or when we die. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: The truth is that we neither live nor die as self-contained units. (Phillips: Touchstone)
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;
|Romans — 3:21-5:21||Romans — 6:1-8:39||Romans — 9:1-11:36||Romans — 12:1-16:27|
Jew and Gentile
|Demonstration of Salvation|
|Power Given||Promises Fulfilled||Paths Pursued|
Restored to Israel
|Slaves to Sin||Slaves to God||Slaves Serving God|
|Life by Faith||Service by Faith|
Modified from Irving L. Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's Survey of the NT"
FOR NOT ONE OF US LIVES FOR HIMSELF : 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? Here Paul is explaining why we should do what do "for the Lord."
Cranfield - "The first gar (for) indicates that the purpose of Ro 14:7–9 (for these three verses are to be taken closely together) is to support what has been said in v. 6. That both weak and strong alike do what they do, as they follow their different ways, as service of the Lord, is necessarily true, since no Christian at all (humon must mean ‘of us Christians’, not ‘of us men’) lives or dies ‘to himself’, that is, with no other object in view than his own gratification, for, in fact, all Christians live ‘to the Lord’, that is, they live with the object of pleasing Christ, they seek to use their lives in His service, and, when it comes to dying, they glorify Him by committing themselves to His keeping. (A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, volume II)
As J B Phillips paraphrases it “we neither live nor die as self-contained units.”
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)
In 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.
James Denney - 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. In Romans 14:14 ff. Paul comes to speak of the influence of conduct upon others; but here there is no such thing in view; the prominence given to for the Lord three times in Romans 14:8 shows that the one truth present to his mind is the all-determining significance, for Christian conduct, of the relation to Christ. This (ideally) determines everything, alike in life and death; and all that is determined by it is right. (Romans 14 - The Expositor's Greek Testament)
Morris - There is a sense in which “no man is an island”, for all our actions affect our fellowmen. But that is not what Paul is saying here. His thought is rather that neither in life nor in death can we escape the fact that what we do and are we do and are before God. Neither in life nor in death are we quite alone; we do both before God. No one lives or dies “for himself” (GNB). It is God, not self, that is important ultimately; to concentrate on self is to neglect our Maker and to sin against him (Black quotes D. M. Baillie, “the very essence of sin is self-centeredness”). V. P. Furnish sums up this section of the epistle by saying, “All these expressions refer to man’s release from the tyranny of a life turned in upon itself, preoccupied with its own ambitions and accomplishments, and thus alienated from its true destiny”; he cites 2 Cor. 5:15 (Theology and Ethics in Paul [Nashville, 1968], p. 181). (The Epistle to the Romans- Leon Morris)
Spurgeon - 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."
Charles Hodge comments that "himself" means " in dependence on himself. This verse is an amplification and confirmation of the preceding (Ed: Notice the for = term of explanation). The principle on which both the classes of persons just referred to acted, is a true Christian principle. No Christian considers himself as his own master, or at liberty to regulate his conduct according to his own will, or for his own ends; he is the servant of Christ, and therefore endeavors to live according to his will and for his glory. They, therefore, who act on this principle, are to be regarded and treated as true Christians, although they may differ as to what the will of God, in particular cases, requires. No man dies to himself, i.e. death as well as life must be left in the hands of God, to be directed by his will and for his glory. The sentiment is, ‘We are entirely his, having no authority over our life or death.' (Romans 14 - Hodge's Commentary on Romans)
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 6:19,20)
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 Bible Commentary)
Paul is saying that all believers, strong and weak, live out their lives accountable to God.
A T Robertson - Life and death focus in the Lord.
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 himself."
James Denney - 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 lives to himself’ does not mean, ‘every man’s conduct affects others for better or for worse, whether he will or not’; it means, ‘no Christian is his own end in life; what is always present to his mind, as a rule of his conduct, is the will and the interest of his Lord.’ The same holds true 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 wills, as the Lord will, and even by his death glorifies God. In Ro 14:14 Paul comes to speak of the influence of conduct upon others; but here there is no such thing in view; the prominence given to the Lord three times in Ro 14:8 shows that the one truth present to his mind is the all-determining significance, for Christian conduct, of the relation of Christ. This (ideally) determines everything, alike in life or death; and all that is determined by what is right. (Romans 14 - The Expositor's Greek Testament)
Vincent on "for himself" - For himself. But unto Christ. See Ro 14:8. Hence the meaning “a Christian should live for others,” so often drawn from these words, is not the teaching of the passage.
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 weaker.
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) says, "In Him we have redemption through His blood."
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 14:1-6)
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 Lord.
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 the Lord.
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 God.
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 OR IF WE DIE WE DIE FOR THE LORD: ean te gar zomen (1PPAI) to kuriozomen (1PPAI) ean te apothneskomen (1PPAS) to kurio apothneskomen (1PPAI) :
DEAD OR ALIVE:
For - Functions here as a term of explanation. Pause to ponder this term, asking what is Paul explaining?
Cranfield - he probable explanation of the for (gar) at the beginning of Ro 14:8 (where an adversative conjunction might perhaps seem rather more natural) is that the positive statement in Ro 14:8a is felt to be an elucidation of the negative statement in Ro 14:7. (A critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Romans)
If we live - The idea is "while we are alive." And Paul amplifies this in Col 3:4 explaining that Christ is our life.
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)
Warren Wiersbe - Paul emphasized the believer’s union with Christ: “Whether we live, therefore, or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Ro 14:8). Our first responsibility is to the Lord. If Christians would go to the Lord in prayer instead of going to their brother with criticism, there would be stronger fellowship in our churches. (Bible Exposition Commentary)
Lord's (2962)(kurios) signifies He Who has complete sovereignty, absolute authority, total ownership and unrivaled power. Does 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 faith.
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)
Charles Hodge - The same sentiment as in the preceding verse, rather more fully and explicitly stated. In Romans 14:7, Paul had stated, negatively, that the Christian does not live according to his own will, or for his own pleasure; he here states affirmatively, that he does live according to the will of Christ, and for his glory. This being the case, he is a true Christian; he belongs to Christ, and should be so recognized and treated. It is very obvious, especially from the following verse, which speaks of death and resurrection, that Christ is intended in the word Lord, in this verse. It is for Christ, and in subjection to his will, that every Christian endeavors to regulate his heart, his conscience, and his life. This is the profoundest homage the creature can render to his Creator; and as it is the service which the Scriptures require us to render to the Redeemer, it of necessity supposes that Christ is God. This is rendered still plainer by the interchange, throughout the passage (Romans 14:6-9), of the terms Lord and God: ‘He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks. We live unto the Lord; we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and rose, that he might be the Lord,' etc. It is clear that, to the apostle's mind, the idea that Christ is God was perfectly familiar. Whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. We are not our own, but Christ's, 1Corinthians 6:19. 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. (Romans 14 - Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians)
Spurgeon - 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—
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 ponder this term of conclusion.
Die (599)(apothnesko 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 figuratively. Death for a believer is not separation but consummation! Thus Scripture often speaks of a believer's demise euphemistically as falling asleep (in Christ). Absent from the body present with the Lord. From fellowship now too often flawed by our sins, to a future fellowship without flaw and without end in Him!
We are the Lord's - "We belong to the Lord.” (Robertson) 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.
John MacArthur - The last phrase of Ro 14:8 is one of the greatest injunctions to holy living in all the Bible: "We are the Lord's." Every Christian is subject to the unconditional sovereignty of God. We are the Lord's‑‑we are His possession. First Corinthians 6:19‑20 says, "Know ye not that … ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price." I'm not my own, so I don't live to myself and I don't die to myself. I am His, so I live to Him and I'll die to Him. All believers have the same relationship to the Lord; we all serve the sovereign Lord we have embraced as our Redeemer. If we're weak and we limit ourselves to living a certain way, we do so because we believe we are pleasing Him. If we enjoy our freedom in Christ, we do so because we believe we are pleasing Him. Since those are matters of preference and not sin, let's not cause a rift in the church over them… Some would have us believe that weak believers accept Jesus as their Savior, but not as their Lord. He may not yet understand all that his new life in Christ means, but he understands the basics of the Christian life‑‑and nothing is more basic than the lordship of Christ in the believer's life. No one can tell me that I can have Jesus as Savior but not as Lord. In all the years I've known Christ, there has never been a time when I didn't sense a tremendous weight of responsibility to obey Him. Jesus is Lord. (Receiving One Another with Understanding, Part 2)
F B Meyer (Our Daily Walk) Devotional = LOVE AND LIBERTY
Greek: eis touto gar Christos apethanen (3SAAI) kai ezesen (3SAAI) hina kai nekron kai zonton (PAPMPG) kurieuse
Amplified: For 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 Lord.
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; 1Peter 4:5)
For (gar) - For is a a term of explanation. Pause to ponder what Paul is explaining. This theological truth supports the premise that whether we are alive or dead we belong to the Lord Jesus. This is why He died and rose again.
To this end - Literally "to this" as "end" is added by the translators. Other versions have "for this purpose." In explaining why we "are the Lord's" possession (Ro 14:8), Paul now in turn explains the purpose of the Lord's death and resurrection.
Died and lived again - Clearly His Crucifixion and the resurrection (both died and lived are aorist tense which describe a historical event, His death and resurrection.)
Stott reminds us of the context of Romans 14 explaining that "Because he is our Lord, we must live for him. Because he is also the Lord of our fellow Christians, we must respect their relationship to him and mind our own business. For he died and rose to be Lord. (Romans- God's Good News for the World -Bible Speaks Today)
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 living.
That (hina) expresses the purpose of His death and resurrection that He might be Lord. Morris explains that "There is of course a sense in which Jesus was always Lord; that follows from his essential nature. Being who and what he is, he is necessarily Lord of all. But Paul is not talking about that. He is referring to what happened as a result of Jesus’ atoning work; that brought about “the lordship of redemptive relationship” (Murray). In a very special sense Christ is Lord of those to whom he brought salvation through his atoning death. Paul sees both the dead and the living as under the scope of this lordship. (The Epistle to the Romans- Leon Morris)
Denney adds that hina "denotes God’s purpose in subjecting His Son to this experience… it 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 Him." (Romans 14 - The Expositor's Greek Testament)
Might be Lord (Master) (2961)(kurieuo from noun kurios = master - power of control rather than physical strength) means to rule, to have dominion over, to exercise authority, to have control over others or to exercise lordship over. (Lk 22:25, Ro 14:9, 2Co 1:24). Scripture personifies various things which control human life including law (Ro 7:1), Sin (Ro 6:14) and death (Ro 6:9), but here speaks of the literal Lord of lords!
John MacArthur - The accomplishment of Christ's death (Ro 14:9) Scripture specifically states that Jesus died to be Lord (as opposed to Savior). It is hard for me to conceive how people believe someone can have Jesus as their Savior, yet not have any sense of submission to His lordship. Jesus died and rose that He might be Lord. The Greek verb kurieu[ma]o is translated here as "might be Lord." The noun form is kurios, the common word for Lord. Jesus died and rose to be Lord of both the living and the dead. The dead refer to saints already in glory. Christ died to reign over the saints in His presence and the saints still on earth. He has dominion over all creation and a special mediatorial function on behalf of His own people (Heb. 2:17; 7:25). It is impossible to deny the lordship of Jesus Christ without denying His work on the cross. (Receiving One Another with Understanding, Part 2)
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 Him. (Expositors Greek Testament)
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 explained that…
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)
Comment: 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)
Hodge - By his death he purchased them for his own, and by his resurrection he attained to that exalted station which he now occupies as Lord over all, and received those gifts which enable him to exercise as Mediator this universal dominion. The exaltation and dominion of Christ are frequently represented in the Scriptures as the reward of his sufferings: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,” etc. Phil. 2:8, 9. This authority of Christ over his people is not confined to this world, but extends beyond the grave. He is Lord both of the dead and the living. (Romans 14 - Hodge's Commentary on Romans)
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
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 opinion.
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 (in Ro 14:10-12). (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 judge.
Conclusion - 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 herself. 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, and left. 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).
Application Questions -
1 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 matters?
2 Where are you at on the matter of Sunday being the Christian Sabbath? Could you use Sundays more profitably than you do?
3 What are some areas where you are prone to judge other Christians or to look on them with contempt?
4 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) (Bolding added)
Dead (3498)(nekros from nékus/nekys = a corpse > English - necropsy, necrophobia, necrophilia, etc) literally describes that which is devoid of life, that which is in the condition in which breath and all vital functions have ceased (Acts 20:9). Nekros means deprived of vital force. Lifeless. Useless.
Nekros often refers to resurrection from the dead (Mt 10:8, 11:5, 14:2, 17:9, 22:31-32, 27:64, Mt 28:7, Mk 6:14, 9:9, 12:25-26, etc).
Jesus condemned the Pharisees as "like whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones." (Mt 23:27) The guards at the tomb "became like dead men." (Mt 28:4)
Vine - Nekros is used of (a) the death of the body, cf. Jas. 2:26, its most frequent sense: (b) the actual spiritual condition of unsaved men, Mt. 8:22; John 5:25; Eph. 2:1, 5; 5:14; Phil. 3:11; Col. 2:13; cf. Luke 15:24: (c) the ideal spiritual condition of believers in regard to sin, Ro 6:11: (d) a church in declension, inasmuch as in that state it is inactive and barren, Rev. 3:1: (e) sin, which apart from law cannot produce a sense of guilt, Ro 7:8: (f) the body of the believer in contrast to his spirit, Ro 8:10: (g) the works of the Law, inasmuch as, however good in themselves, Ro 7:13, they cannot produce life, Heb. 6:1; 9:14: (h) the faith that does not produce works, Jas 2:17, 26; cf. James 2:20. (Dead - Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words)
BDAG summarized - (1) pertaining to being in a state of loss of life (2) pertaining to being so morally or spiritually deficient as to be in effect dead… (a) of persons… of the prodigal son either thought to be dead, missing, or morally dead, depraved Lk 15:24, 32. Of a congregation that is inactive, remiss Rev 3:1 (b) of things… dead works that cannot bring eternal life (Heb 6:1, 9:14)… of sin where there is no law, sin is dead, i.e. sin is not perceptible (Ro 7:8)… Of the believer, in whom Christ lives:… the body (of sarx [flesh] and sin) is dead Ro 8:10. (3) Pertaining to having never been alive and lacking capacity for life, dead, lifeless… Of polytheistic objects of cultic devotion.
Gary Hill - figuratively not able to respond to impulses, or perform functions ("unable, ineffective, dead, powerless," L & N); unresponsive to life-giving influences (opportunities); inoperative to the things of God. nekros ("corpse-like") is used as a noun in certain contexts ("the dead"), especially when accompanied by the Greek definite article. The dead (Gk nekroi) with the article (hoi nekroi) refers to the dead considered as "a definitely conceived whole (Jn 5:21; 1Cor 15:52; 2Cor 1:9; Col 1:18)" (G. Winer, Grammar, 153). (See excellent resource The Discovery Bible to enable deeper Word Studies = http://www.helpsbible.org - see reviews of "The Discovery Bible")
Friberg - (1) of persons; (a) literally; (i) of human beings and animals no longer physically alive dead, lifeless, deceased (Acts 28.6; James 2.26a); (ii) substantivally ν. dead person (Lk 7.15); οn nekroi the dead, dead people (MK 12.26); (b) figuratively; (i) of persons unable to respond to God because of moral badness or spiritual alienation dead, powerless (Eph 2.1, 5); (ii) of persons regarded as dead because of separation dead (Lk 15.24, 32); (iii) of persons no longer under the control of something dead to (Ro 6.11); (2) of things; literally lifeless (e.g. idols); figuratively, of what is of no benefit morally or spiritually utterly useless, completely ineffective (Heb 6.1; James 2.26) (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament- Barbara Friberg and Neva F. Mille Timothy Friberg).
Webster's definitions of dead = lacking power to move, feel, or respond; inanimate, inert; no longer active; figuratively, used to describe anything that has lost any attribute (as energy, activity, radiance) suggesting life; incapable of being stirred emotionally or intellectually
Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Dead - Matthew 8:22 = Here those who are spiritually dead are requested to bury those who are physically dead. The undertaker may be dead to GOD, having no Saviour, no eternal life, and has never been born again. He is described as dead to GOD. The friend whom he is to take care of in death is physically dead. That one lies helpless in the casket. So he, the undertaker, pays no attention to GOD. Romans 6:11 = This word is used to describe the attitude of a true believer toward sin, wickedness and evil. (See also Colossians 3:3,1Pe 2:24). Colossians 2:13 = Again as in Matthew 8:22, the Holy Spirit describes the condition of the unsaved soul in the sight of GOD. GOD speaks to the sinner, but there is no response. He calls him, but there is no reply. He commands him, but there is no obedience. He loves him, but receives no affection in return. The soul is dead toward GOD. Hebrews 6:1 = These works are those which have no value in GOD's sight, and do not produce GOD's life in the experience of others. They are nearly always religious works, which are observed by those in false religions. They have no spiritual value whatever. (See also Hebrews 9:14). Revelation 20:14 = When the soul is forever cast out of GOD's presence after the final judgment of the Great White Throne, this is characterized as "the second death." The first death is the physical death when the soul is separated from the body, and can no longer go to church services, nor hear songs, nor see the flowers, nor mingle among Christians. The second death takes place when that disembodied soul which has been in hell since its first death, is taken out of hell, is reunited with his body in the second resurrection, is judged at the Great White Throne in his body, and then both body and soul are cast into the lake of fire, to be punished forever in conscious torment. Never again can that person see or have any relationship whatever with the GOD and the Saviour who would have saved him had he trusted Him. In this passage the figure used by the Holy Spirit is "the container for the thing contained." The "grave," called in this passage death, gives up the body and hell gives up the soul. Just as the believer in the first resurrection goes to the Judgment Seat of CHRIST in his body to be judged, so the sinner in the second resurrection and in his body is judged at the Great White Throne and forever cast out of GOD's presence. (Dead - Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types)
Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary - Nekros in Classical Greek - From the time of Homer and following nekros was a common word used to describe persons and animals that had died. It was probably used first as a noun, “dead body,” and then later as an adjective, “dead.” Its early occurrences as an adjective appear from 500 B.C. (cf. Liddell-Scott). A body without life (psuchē ) was just a “corpse, inanimate, mere matter.” However, nekros could also refer to the spirit or “shade” of the dead individual as a “dweller in the netherworld” (Homer Odyssey 10.526; cf. Liddell-Scott). The word’s meaning also extended to include lifeless and inanimate “things” (nekra), such as stone and wood. Figurative uses of nekros also appear in the classical period. Evil men were occasionally described as “dead”; Stoic philosophers picked up the term to describe false teachers as well as their words. Evidently “dead” meant “dying,” or “leading to death,” or perhaps “not life-giving.” Similarly, wealth was said to be dead. Even the body, while still alive, came to be called “dead” in this same sense of “destined to die,” and the soul (psuchē) was referred to as “death-bearing,” because it was considered to be still carrying the body. (Complete Biblical Library - Greek-English Dictionary - Ralph W.; Gilbrant, Thoralf Harris)
Stoic writers used nekros figuratively based on three criteria "(a) What is nekros is what is not controlled by the psychē, soul, or the nous, the mind, or spirit, i.e. the world of the senses. (b) Also nekros is the physical part of man, i.e. his sōma, body, which the nous has to drag around with itself, the part of man which he has in common with the zōa, the animal world, and which separates him from what is divine. (c) Finally nekros is also used to describe that which does not accord with one’s own standards of judgment, determined by nous, e.g. false teachers or philosophers. All three definitions are based on the assumption that nothing but the consciousness of the highest and most sublime in us (nous) is worthy of being described as alive. Hence, all that does not come under its control is dead. (NIDNTT)
Nekros - 128x in 120v in NAS - Translated: corpse(1), dead(122), dead man(3), dead men(1), dead men's(1).Usage: corpse(1), dead(122), dead man(3), dead men(1), dead men's(1).
Nekros - 47v in the non-apocryphal Septuagint - Ge 23:3-4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15 = All of the uses refer to the death of Abraham's wife Sarah; Lev 21:5; Nu 19:16; Dt 14:1; 18:11; 28:26; Jdg 4:22; 19:28; 1Sa 31:8; 2Sa 19:6; 2Kgs 19:35; 23:30; 2Chr 20:24; Ps 31:12; 38:20; 88:4, 10; 106:28; 115:17; 143:3; Eccl 9:3-5; Isa 5:13; 8:19; 14:19; 22:2; 26:14, 19; 34:3; 37:36; Jer 7:33; 9:22; 19:7; 33:5; Lam 3:6; Ezek 9:7; 11:6f; 32:18; 37:9
Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary - In the Septuagint Nekros usually translates the Hebrew word mûth, “dead person,” but also translates several other words suggestive of deceased persons or corpses. Sometimes the dead are pictured as going to a dark “underworld” (Hades) where there is—at least in relation to the world of the living—no consciousness (Ps 88:3-12; 115:17; 143:3; Eccl 9:3-6) and no hope (Eccl 9:4; Isa 26:14). At other times there is the hint that the souls of the dead still exist and may be joined in their “pit” (Ezek 32:18-32, cf. 2Sa 12:23 and Homer Odyssey 10.526 above) and that there is the possibility (Ezek 37:9), and even the hope (Isa 26:19, cf. Job 19:26; Da 12:2 - Ed: Although nekros not used in the latter two passages, only Isa 26:19), of a resurrection to life. (Complete Biblical Library - Greek-English Dictionary)