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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Parnell

Life Means No Longer Living for Ourselves (Romans 14:7-8 [9])

[For] none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. ⁸For 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. [⁹For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.]—Romans 14:7-8 [9]

What does it mean that being called to life means no longer living for ourselves?

There is glory—much glory—in being called into something bigger than who we are. We are people with souls, and souls are big. We were made for eternity. A sure sign of our depravity is how we become so turned in on ourselves. So turned in, in fact, that we exchange the glory of God for images that resemble us (Romans 1:23). Parochialism is against everything that we were created to be—there is no question why Jesus saves us from it.

What Jesus offers us in the gospel is the forgiveness of sins and right standing before God. That is a crucial, necessary, beautiful part. It the glorious means to an even more glorious reality—that we would be His, that we be welcomed into His fellowship, that we be brought into His mission for the universe.

We’re not all about ourselves anymore, not even about our own sanctification in a way that ignores others. We began to see that even the transformation of our own selves is part of that great work which will encompass the entire cosmos (Romans 8:19–22).

We don’t live for ourselves anymore, but for Him. All the nitty-gritty, day-to-day, hour-to-hour stuff of life becomes absorbed into the great drama of God conceived in His mind before the world was created—a people of worshipers from everywhere inhabiting a new world in the fellowship of His presence forever.

We don’t live to ourselves, and we don’t die to ourselves. Not anymore. We are the Lord’s.


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