Romans 14:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 14:8, NIV: If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8, ESV: For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

Romans 14:8, KJV: 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 the Lord's.

Romans 14:8, NASB: 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.

Romans 14:8, NLT: If we live, it's to honor the Lord. And if we die, it's to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:8, CSB: If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

What does Romans 14:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous verse declared that nobody who is in Christ lives and dies to him or herself. Born-again, saved Christians no longer exist to serve our own agenda. We cannot claim the right to follow our own path to our own goals. Rather, Christ redeemed us, meaning that He paid for us. We have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). Or, as Paul puts it here, we live to the Lord and, eventually, we die to the Lord. Whether living or dead, the Lord owns us.

The fact that we live to the Lord means that our choices must be made for His honor and in service of His agenda. In the context of Romans 14, that includes our choices about whether to eat meat or observe special days. More than that, it should include all the choices we make in this life.

We also die to the Lord. This likely means not only that we die in God's perfect timing, but also that we will continue to belong to the Lord after we die and enter eternity. We will ever and always belong to the Lord. Understanding that should impact how we view every choice we make.

Paul's teaching in this chapter strongly commands those who have tighter convictions on certain issues not to judge those who disagree (Romans 14:3). However, he is just as clear that the concept of "Christian liberty" is not a license to do whatever we want, however we want. Our choices and freedom should still be guided by submission to God.