Summary: Jesus not only died for our sins, but rose again to be the Lord in our lives. We can serve Him as the Lord by submitting to one another.
"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. 9 Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead. 10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God." Romans 14:8-10
All the founders of the major religions, each of which was formed by a founder rather than a set of ideas, Buddha of Buddhism – though he was cremated and his most frequently preserved Buddha's body parts are tooth and bone, Mohamed of Islam, Abraham of Judaism, and Confucius if you consider Confucianism a religion, have their tombs. For all the major religions, minor religions for that matter, except Christianity, it won’t matter if their founder is alive or not as long as they could follow its founder’s teaching. But, unlike any other religions, Christianity can’t stand by itself without the founder, the living one, namely, Christ. You have to accept the resurrected Christ to be a Christian and to acknowledge the living Lord to follow Him: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 (NLT)
Why is it necessary for us to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead to be saved and to be Christian? If Christ has not been raised, then Christ Himself proves He is liar since He claimed to be the life and the resurrection and it would result a baseless assumption that Jesus died for our sins.
Verse 9 tells us yet another reason why Jesus had to be raised from the dead: “Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.”
Jesus not only died for our sins, but rose again to be the Lord in our lives. And the Bible tells us a lot ways of how we can serve Him as the Lord, one of the most important of which is found in the next verse: “So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God." Romans 14:10
Paul says here, a believer doesn’t have a right to condemn nor look down fellow believer.
Though you might know all the secrets and knowledge of the Bible and speak in the tongues of men or of angels and have the gift of prophecy and have a faith that can move mountains, if you condemn and despise your brother, you are proving yourself to be a carnal Christian, a miserable failure.
Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. God will judge us depending on how we would deal with other brothers and sisters in the Lord. Whether we condemn and despise other brothers or not, does not end here and will carry on to be exposed before the judgment seat of God. Even Jesus Himself warned saying “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” And “if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthews 7:1; 6:15)
It’s our tendency to honor ourselves above others. And we tend to find fault in others than in ourselves. At last Good Friday service, we had a time to reflect and mediate on Jesus’ suffering and death. More often than not, when meditating on the meaning of His suffering and death, we try to feel the glimpse of what Jesus went through. Yet, I believe, the right kind of meditation would be to focus more on how sinful and self-centered we are, and our stubbornness to refuse to be transformed to be more like Jesus in spite of all the suffering Jesus went through and all that He has done and the work of the Holy Spirit . This, in fact, was what Jesus said to the women who mourned and wailed for him on his way to the place called the Skull to be crucified: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. (Luke 23:28) Weep for yourselves, would say Jesus to us as well.
Our Lord expects us to live totally opposite way of “condemning and despising other brothers and sisters.” He wants us willingly to give even our lives for others. When Jesus said, “love each other as I loved you,” it would mean for us to offer extreme kindness, respect, patience, forgiveness, tolerance, and sacrifice, etc. to other brothers and sisters in the Lord.
I know we all desire to spend our lives more meaningfully and wisely than we used. I often wonder what if after having been together as church family for so many years in the future, it would turn out we don’t see any spiritual growth, maturity, and any harvest, but only regret and wishful thinking.