“For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

“None of us liveth to himself”
Literally:  “for no man lives to himself”–This verse is usually understood in the sense of John Donne’s ,“No man is an island,”  that our lives affect others.

           But this is not the meaning that Paul has here.  The thought that he is  really bringing out is that we Christians cannot live our lives apart from Christ.  All believers live out their lives accountable to Christ.  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.  We are the Christ’s servants; His purchased possession (I Cor. 6:19-20; I Pet. 2:9-10).  Our lives must be devoted to His service; indeed, we are to lay down our lives for Him if He requires it; no setting up ourselves as judges when Christ alone is the Lord of conscience.
          Christians must act in all things according to the mind and will of God, and not follow their own wills.  God is our Master, we must live to Him, as we live under His notice and by His bounty; and when we cease to live among men, we are still in His hand.  Therefore, what we do, or what we leave undone, should be in reference to that eternity which is ever at hand.
          The great object of every Christian, in life and death, is not himself, but Jesus Christ. His language is, “Not my will, but Thine be done.” To dispose of Himself or shape his conduct after his own ideas and inclinations. In the great principles of the Christian faith we are now united. Where there was evidence of a sincere desire to do the will of God there should be charitable feeling, though there was difference of opinion and judgment in many smaller matters.
          To live to ourselves is an evidence that we are strangers to true faithfulness.  And if it be the great motive of our lives to live at ease, (Amos 6:1)–to gratify the flesh, to gain property, or to be distinguished in places of fashion and amusement–it is evidence that we know nothing of the power of that Gospel which teaches us to deny ourselves, and take up our cross daily.
1.      We cannot isolate ourselves from the past.
         We are the product of what the past has made of us. Our roots are in the past.
2.      We cannot isolate ourselves from the present.
         There is little that we do that does not affect others.  All our actions have consequences.
3.      We cannot isolate ourselves from the future. 
         Whatever we do today, we live with later.  We hand on to our children the results of our own lives.

“no man dieth to himself”
Literally:  “No one dies to himself.”–Neither do we die unto ourselves, nor when we so choose, but when God appoints: therefore, either living or dying we are His. 

We live and die unto the Lord, when we are willing to be at the disposal of God, both for life and death; and this as to time, manner, and means; yea, all circumstances whatsoever, both of life and death. When a man is willing to lay down his life for the Lord, or at the call of the Lord, it is a certain evidence that he lives and dies to the Lord

NO MAN: (Grk.–oudeis)—literally:  “no one.”  This Greek word is used only in reference to Christians here, and makes no mention about other men.

            DIETH TO HIMSELF:   (Grk.–heatoi apothneiskei)–(See 4:8). This expression is used to denote the universality or the totality with which Christians belong to God. Everything is done and activated with reference to His will. In our conduct, in our property, in our trials, in our death, we are His; to be disposed of as He pleases. In the grave, and in the future world, we shall be equally His. As this is the great principle on which all Christians live and act, we should be kind and tender towards other Christians, though in some respects they differ from us.

“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord, and whether we die, we die unto the Lord, whehther we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”

“whether we live”
Literally:  “For both if we live..”  As long as we live.   For both if…and if.  Both our living and dying is to the Lord.

“we live unto the Lord”
Literally:  “To {the} Lord we live.”–We live to do His will, and to promote His glory.

This is the grand purpose of the life of the Christian. Other men live to gratify themselves; the Christian to do those things which the Lord requires. By the Lord here Paul evidently intends the Lord Jesus, as it is evident from v. 9; and the truth taught here is, that it is the leading and grand purpose of the Christian to do honor to the Savior.  It is this which constitutes his peculiar character, and which distinguishes him from other men.

“whether we die we die unto the Lord”
Literally:  “If we die, we die to {the} Lord.”– In the
dying state, or in the state of the dead; in the future world.

WHETHER:  (Grk.–ean)— “Therefore” gathers up the facts just stated into one summary expression.

We are nowhere our own.  In all conditions we are His, and bound to do His will. The connection of this declaration with the argument is this: Since we belong to another in every state, and are bound to do His will, we have no right to assume the prerogative of sitting in judgment on another. We are subjects, and are bound to do the will of Christ. All other Christians are subjects in l this same manner, and are answerable, not to us, but directly to the Lord Jesus, and should have the same liberty of conscience that we have. The passage proves also that the soul does not cease to be conscious at death.

“we die unto the Lord”
Literally:  “To {the} Lord we die.”–In view of verse 9 this must mean, “when we die, we do not pass out of His bond service, but only into another mode of it.” 

          In the world to come we are still at His command, responsible to Him. Not so much the act of death as the state of the departed seems to be in question here. We are still the Lord's; His even when the body is in the grave; and we are His in all the future world (see v. 9).

            “We are the Lord's”– We seek His glory, are governed by His will, and belong to His redeemed people. While living, the aim must be to do the Lord's will, and even when we die we will be fully resigned to His will. We are not at our own disposal.
            Since none of us is his own master, none of us has the right to live as we desire, but all of us are the subject of Christ, and are obliged to do as He has commanded.  It is a usurpation of Christ’s prerogative to pretend to rule the opinions and actions of others in matter of faith; and no person should submit to such a usurpation.

“For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.”

            “For to this end”
            Literally:  “for this purpose” or “for this design.”

Christ both died, and rose, and revived,”
Literally:  Christ both died and rose and live again.”– Paul is not saying that this was the only purpose for Christ’s death, but that it was a main purpose, or the object which He had distinctly in view. This declaration is introduced in order to confirm what Paul had said in the previous verse, that in all circumstances we are the Lord's. This Paul shows by the fact that Jesus died in order that we might be His,

CHRIST…DIED: (Grk.–Christos…apethane)–That He might be Lord of His redeemed     people, whether dead or living, on earth and in heaven.

“died, and rose, and revived,”
Literally: “died and rise and lived again.” He
died, rose, and ascended to glory, where He now lives; and reigns as Head over all things to His church, and will in due time come to judge the world in righteousness.

          It follows that our aim should be His glory, and the edification of His people; not the promotion of our own private ends. Christ is the rightful owner and governor of His redeemed people. All should therefore give Him the homage of their hearts and the obedience of their lives, treat His friends as their friends, and love them heartily for His sake–“As we have therefore the opportunity, let us do good unto all {men}, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).
          The life of the Christian is a new life that springs out of Christ's death (6:4); we die with Him; we rise with Him; hence, since our life comes from Him, and springs from His death and resurrection.  These make Him our Lord, whether we be living or dead.

          HE AROSE:  (Grk.–anestê)–This expression is rejected by most modern critics. It is lacking in most manuscripts, and was probably introduced in the text from some scribal margin notation.

            AND REVIVED: (Grk.–anezêsen)– This refers to His resurrection, and means that He was restored to life in order that He might exercise dominion over the dead and the living.

“that He might be Lord
Literally: “that he might rule over; might Lord it over” 

         LORD:   (Grk.–kurios)–This Greek word implies the idea of Christ being Proprietor or Owner, as well as Ruler. It means, that He might exercise entire dominion over all, as the sovereign Lawgiver and Lord.

         “both of the dead”
         Literally:  “both of the {one} dead”–That is, of those who are deceased, or who have    gone to another state of existence.

         This passage proves that those who die are not annihilated; that they do not cease to be conscious; and that they still are under the dominion of Christ. Though their bodies molder in the grave, yet the spirit lives, and is under His control. And though the body dies and returns to its native dust, yet the Lord Jesus is still its Sovereign, and shall raise it up again.
          It gives an additional sacredness to the grave when we reflect that the tomb is under the watchful care of the Redeemer.   Safe in His hands, the body may sink to its native dust with the assurance that in His own time He will again call it forth, with renovated and immortal powers, to be forever subject to His will. With this view, we can leave our friends with confidence in His hands when they die, and yield our own bodies cheerfully to the dust when He shall call our spirits hence.
          It is not only over the body that His dominion is established. This passage proves that the departed souls of the saints are still subject to Him. (Comp. Matt. 22:32; Mark 12:27). He not only has dominion over those spirits, but He is their Protector and Lord. They are safe under His universal dominion. And it does much to alleviate the pains of separation from faithful, beloved friends, and departed family members to reflect that they depart still to love and serve the same Savior in perfect purity, and no longer bothered by infirmity and sin. Why should we wish to recall them from His perfect love in the heavens to the poor and imperfect service which they would render if in the land of the living?

         “and living”–To the redeemed, while they remain in this life.  He died to purchase them   to Himself, that they might become his obedient subjects; and they are bound to yield obedience by all the sacredness and value of the price which He paid, even His own precious blood. (Comp. I Cor. 6:20), “For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's;” (7:23; Rev. 14:4.  If it be asked how this dominion over the dead and the living is connected with the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, we may reply
1.     That it is secured over Christians from the fact that they are purchased or ransomed by the precious blood of Christ; and that they are bound by this sacred consideration to live to Him. This obligation every Christian feels, (I Pet. 1:18) and its force is continually on him.
  Jesus, by his death and resurrection, established a dominion over the grave.
He destroyed him that had the power of  
death, (Heb. 2:14) and triumphed over him, (Col. 2:15).

3.     This dominion of the Lord Jesus is felt by the spirits on high. They are subject to Him because he redeemed them, (Rev 5:9).
4.     It is often revealed in the Scriptures that dominion was to be given to the Lord Jesus as the reward of His sufferings and death. See John 17:4; 5:26-29; Phil. 2:5-11; Eph. 1:20,21; Heb. 2:9; 12:2.
The grand object of His death was to acquire as His of right this absolute Lordship over His redeemed, both in their living and in their dying.


“But why dost thou judge thy brother?  Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother?  For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”

“why dost thou judge thy brother?”
Literally: “why do you judge your brother?”–The KJV rendering obscures the true emphasis.  A better rendering would read, “But you (the abstaining brother) why do you judge your (liberal) brother?”  

Since we are all subjects and servants, and must all stand at the same tribunal, what right have we to sit in judgment on others? Christian Jew, observing the rites of the Mosaic Law, judge or condemn your brother-the Gentile Christian, who does not think himself bound by this Law?  Christ, the Lord of all, is his Lord. He shall judge him and us alike. We are not the judges, “for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.”

THOU JUDGE:  (Grk.–su krineis)–You who are a Jewish convert, why do you    sit in judgment of your Gentile brother?

THY BROTHER: (Grk.--ton adelphon sou)—Literally:  “your brother.”  God has recognized him as His friend, (v. 3), and he should be regarded by you as a brother in the same family.

“why dost thou set at nought thy brother?”
Literally:  “Or why also do you despise your brother?”–Here Paul is speaking to the strong brother. Christian Gentile, why do you set at nought your Jewish Christian brother, as if he were unworthy of your regard, because he does not yet understand that the Gospel has set him free from the rites and ceremonies of the Law?

          SET AT NOUGHT: (Grk.–exoutheneis)–Literally:  “despise.” (see v. :3) Why do you, a Gentile convert, despise the Jewish disciple as being unnecessarily scrupulous and superstitious?

The Jewish convert is now a brother; and all the contempt which you Gentiles once had for the Jew should cease, from the fact that he is now a Christian and your brother. Nothing will do so much, on the one hand, to prevent a censorious disposition, or to prevent contempt for those who are in a different rank in life, as to remember that they are Christians, bought with the same blood, and going to the same heaven as ourselves.

“for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ”
Literally:  “For all must stand before the judgment seat (BEMA) of God.”–All the most ancient and best manuscripts read here, “the judgment-seat of God

         The present reading doubtless crept in from II Cor. 5:10, where “the judgment-seat of Christ” occurs. But here “the judgment-seat of Godseems to have been used, with reference to the quotation and the inference in verses 11-12.  This is the BEMA seat to which Paul refers in II Cor. 5:10—“For we must all appear before the judgment seat (BEMA) seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  It is not some sort of judgment to determine whether one is good enough to get to heaven, for those being judged are already in heaven. This judging takes place in heaven, after the “rapture” or “translation” of the Church.  It is a judgment for rewards for our conduct and service, and shall be judged at His bar; therefore, let us consider that whatever measure we mete out (measure out), the same shall be measured out to us.
         Here is the reason why should not we not judge and condemn each other.  It is because we all are to be held judged and held accountable to God. Therefore, we will all, (the “strong” and the “weak,”) be tried alike at the same tribunal.   We must all answer for our own conduct, not to our fellow-men, but to God; and it does not become us to sit in judgment on each other.

          JUDGMENT SEAT:  (Grk.–Beama)–Originally this word applied to the place where the judges of the Greek games sat and to which the winners would come to receive their rewards.  But Paul applies this word to the Judgment Seat of God (rendered as the Judgment Seat of Christ in II Cor. 5:10) before which all believers will face Christ and be judged by Him (John 5:22). This will take place in heaven, after the Rapture (transfiguration; taking out) of the Church.  This will be a judgment for our faithfulness and service to Christ.

“For it is written, ‘As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

“It is written”
Literally:  “For it has been written.”  This passage is recorded in Isa 45:23. It is not quoted literally, but the sense is preserved. In Isaiah there can be no doubt that it refers to Jehovah.

The speaker expressly calls Himself as His of rightYHWH (JEHOVAH), the Name which is appropriate to God alone, and which is never applied to a creature, (Isa. 45:18, 21; 45:24-25).  In the place before us, the words are applied by Paul expressly to Christ (comp. v 10). This mode of quotation is a strong incidental proof that the Paul regarded the Lord Jesus as Divine.  What is said by Isaiah of Jehovah, Paul here applies to Christ, and thus shows that He is Jehovah, God the Judge of all. On no other principle could he have made these quotations. The passage quoted declares that the whole world will yet make humble acknowledgment of the sovereignty of Jehovah.      

“as I live, saith the Lord”
Literally:  “{As} I live says {the} Lord.” —The Hebrew is, “I have sworn by Myself.”  One expression is equivalent to the other. An oath of God is often expressed by the phrase “as I live,” (Num. 14:21; Isa. 49:18; Ezek. 5:11; 14:16, etc.).

AS I LIVE:  (Grk.–zô egô)–Literally:  “I live.” The LXX (Septuagint) here (Isa 45:23) has,  “I swear by myself.”

             SAITH THE LORD: (Grk.–legei Kurios)–These words are not in the Hebrew Isaiah text, but are added by Paul to show that the passage quoted was spoken by the Lord, the Messiah. (Comp. Isa 45:18, 22).

“Every knee shall bow to Me”
Literally: “To Me every knee will bow.”– To bow the knee is an act expressing homage, submission, or adoration.

It means, that every person shall acknowledge him as God, and admit His right to universal dominion. The passage in Isaiah refers particularly to the homage which His own people should give to Him. The original reference was not to all men, but only to those who should be saved, (Isa 45:17, 21-22, 24)It is in this sense that Paul uses it; not as denoting that all men should confess to God, but that all Christians, whether Jewish or Gentile converts, should alike give account to God. They should all bow before their common God, and acknowledge his dominion over them. The passage originally did not refer particularly to the Day of Judgment, but expressed the truth that all believers should acknowledge His dominion. However, it is as applicable to the judgment, as to any other act of homage which His people will render.

“every tongue shall confess to God.”
Literally:  “Every tongue will confess to God.”  In the Hebrew, “Every tongue shall swear.”

 Not swear by God, but to Him; that is, pay our vows to Him; or answer to Him on oath for our conduct; and this is the same as confessing to Him, or acknowledging Him as our Judge.   Consequently, shall bow to the award of God upon their character and actions.

SHALL CONFESS: (Grk.–exomologesetai)–“to confess, acknowledge, profess.”  This is a form of an oath, proper to God alone, for He and none but He lives, and has His being of Himself.  

“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
This verse serves as a summary of the previous paragraph.

 “So then every of us”
 Literally:  “So then each one of us.”– Each of us must answer for himself.

SO THEN: (Grk.–ara oun)-“Therefore;” or “according to the doctrine of the O.T.”

         EVERY ONE:  (Grk.–hekastos)–Better rendered as, “each.” That is, every Christian; all of us alike; for the connection requires us to understand the argument only of Christians. At the same time it is a truth abundantly revealed elsewhere, that all men shall give account of their conduct to God, (II Cor. 5:10; Matt. 25:1-46; Eccl. 12:14)

“Give account of himself to God”
Literally:  “Concerning himself will give account to God.”–Every believer will be judged concerning his own case; not concerning others.

          GIVE AN ACCOUNT:  (Grk.–logon dôsei)—The Greek word here rendered as, “account,” (dôsei)—really refers to an account in a ledger which a bookkeeper enters.  

          That is, an account of our character and conduct; our words and actions; our plans and purposes. In the fearful arraignment of that day, every work and purpose shall be brought forth, and tried by the unerring standard of justice. As we shall be called to so fearful an account with God; we should not be engaged in condemning our brethren, but should examine whether we are prepared to give up our account with joy, and not with grief.
           This judgment will be conducted by the Lord Jesus, (Matt. 25:31-46; Acts 17:31). All judgment is committed to the Son, (John 5:22, 27). Still we may be said to give account to God,
1.         Because He appointed the Messiah to be the Judge, (Acts 17:31) and,
2.      Because the Judge Himself is Divine. The Lord Jesus being God as well as man, the account will be rendered directly to the Creator as well as the Redeemer of the world.  In this passage there are two incidental proofs of the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
          a.     The fact that Paul applies to Christ language which in the prophecy is expressly spoken by Jehovah; and,
          b.      The fact that Jesus is declared to be the Judge of all. 

No being that is not omniscient can be qualified to judge the secrets of all men. None who has not seen human purposes at all times, and in all places; who has not been a witness of the conduct by day and by night; who has not been present with all the race at all times; and who, in that great day, cannot discern the true character of the soul, can be qualified to conduct the general judgment. Yet none can possess these qualifications but God. The Lord Jesus, “the Judge of quick and dead,”  (II Tim. 4:1,) is therefore Divine.
         God's universal sovereignty gives Him the right to call every mortal to account. Hence, we should leave judgment to God. We shall not, at the bar of God, be obliged to account for the conduct of each other; but each shall give account of himself: and let him take heed that he be prepared to give up his accounts with joy.