Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 14

In life or death, Christians belong to Christ

Romans 14:7-8

You might think that your life and death are private matters, for you alone. In life, your greatest desire is to please yourself. At its end, you alone and nobody else will suffer when you die. Other people may care about you but, in the end, these things only really matter to you. Such may be your attitudes.

It can be very different for a servant who carries out important personal duties for his master. Paul referred to such a servant as a word-picture for a Christian in verse 4. That servant cannot say that he has his own life, separate from the life of his master. Rather, he gives his whole attention to his master (Psalm 123:2). His only desire is to do what his master wants - and to do it well. At the death of such a good and capable servant, the master himself feels great loss - and his loss is real.

God knows and cares even when a small bird dies (Matthew 10:29-31). So of course God cares very much more about the people whom he truly loves (5:8). Nothing - not even death - can separate them from his love for them (8:35-39). God cares deeply about every part of their lives (Matthew 6:25-33).

In fact, God loves them so much that their own lives and deaths hardly seem to matter to them now. Their present troubles seem slight when they remember Godís plans for them (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17). In life or death, their desire is to please him (2 Corinthians 5:9). They use their lives to do the work that God directs them to do. They know that even death cannot defeat them. Its effect will only be to take them to be with God always (Philippians 1:21-23).

Next part: Christ's authority over both living and dead people (Romans 14:9)

 

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© 2018, Keith Simons.