Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 14

Christ's authority over both living and dead people

Romans 14:9

Christ passed through death into a life that can never end. By that means, he received authority over all things and all people, whether they are dead or alive (Philippians 2:8-11; Revelation 20:11-13).

Of course, all people die; and all Godís people will rise from death (1 Corinthians chapter 15; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Godís people also receive authority from him (Matthew 25:14-30; 1 Corinthians 6:3); however, their authority is not like Christís authority (Matthew 28:18-20). Christ has complete authority as ruler of everything; they have the authority that he gives to them. Even in the New Jerusalem, when they will rule with him, they will still be his servants (Revelation 22:3-5).

Clearly therefore, the simple facts of Christís death and that he rose again did not give him this great authority. Rather, we need to understand what Christ achieved at that time. Hebrews 2:14-15 tells us that, by his death, Christ defeated both the devil, and the power of death itself. Romans chapter 5 explains that a new kind of relationship became possible between God and people because of Christís death. Christ suffered the punishment for their evil deeds so that they can receive a right relationship with God.

Then Christ became alive again (1 Corinthians 15:1-7 and 15:20). That shows that his work on the cross was complete, and successful. In other words, by his death, Christ had completed the work that God the Father had given him to do. That is why God the Father gave him the place of greatest honour and authority in heaven (Hebrews 1:3).

Christ was able to do these things because he is God the Son (John 1:1-2; Mark 1:11). He was able to suffer the punishment for our evil deeds because he is perfect (1 Peter 2:22-24). He rose from death because it was impossible for death to have any power over the perfect Son of God (Acts 2:24-36).

Next part: Why Christians should not accuse each other bitterly (Romans 14:10)


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© 2018, Keith Simons.