Celebration of Life for Kathy Grey - Romans 13:7-9
The bible says that the day of mourning is better than the day of a festival. At a party there are very few who consider eternity, life and death. But on the day of mourning these things come to the surface and we begin to contemplate the really important things. On the day of mourning we consider life, death, and we reflect upon what gives us true and lasting hope.
I have chosen to take this opportunity to reflect upon Romans 13:7-9. From this text I will draw out four observations.
Romans 13:7-9, “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 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. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and the living.”
I would like you to notice that this promise concerns every Christian. Paul says, ‘For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord.’.
A believer may feel alone, but they are never alone. Paul said, “All abandoned me, but the LORD stood by my side!”
For Paul, it was inconceivable, unbelievable and impossible that a believer would spend one day, or one hour, or one minute, or even one second apart from Christ in this life.
Paul believed the same was true of death as well.
Paul said, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD.”
Paul said, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
In fact, Paul believed that believed that death was even better than life! Paul said, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Kathy has never been more alive.
She has never been more present with the LORD that she is right now.
Life has never been so good for her as it is right now.
She has never been so free and so alive.
A poor Christian dies a pauper but lives in eternity with great riches. For a believer, in heaven riches will abound in every way.
The Lord Jesus promises to be preparing a place for that person in heaven.
The Lord is preparing a banquet for that man.
However, a rich man who does not know Christ dies and in eternity he will never have been so poor. He will have no riches, no wealth, no bounty and no provision physically, spiritually, or emotionally.
Secondly, notice that extent of the promise. This promise is applied to both the life and the death of a believer. Paul says, “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord.”
If God takes ownership of you in life, He will take ownership of you in death.
If God is with you in life, He will be with you in death.
If God has been faithful to you throughout this life, He will prove to be faithful to you in death.
If God has given you spiritual life now, He will give you physical life at the resurrection.
Or let me put it another way,
There is no Christian who has received grace in this life who won’t possess more grace in death.
There is no believer who hopes in Christ now who will be disappointed in the day of his death.
There is no saint who has been called out of this world who will not be called into the presence of the LORD on the day of their death.
Thirdly, notice the comfort of this promise. Paul says, “So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”
A believer is wholly, truly, fully, completely, the LORD’s.
God does not mostly own us but not completely.
We are not on some sort of layaway program to see if He really wants us as His own.
No, a believer is the LORD’s in life and in death.
We are so much His that no one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand. We are so much His that nothing can snatch us out of the Son’s hand. He holds on to those that are His securely in life and in death.
Fourthly, notice the assurance of this promise. Paul says, “So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” Paul could say the same thing by saying, “We are the Lord’s whether we live or whether we die.”
On a difficult day a believer ought to say to himself, “I am the LORD’s”
On a discouraging day a believer ought to say to herself, “I am the LORD’s”
On a disappointing day a believer ought to make it a habit to say, “I am the LORD’s”
On a dark day of the soul a believer ought to say, “I am the LORD’s”
On the day of doubting a believer ought to say, “I am the LORD’s”
On the day of departure from this life the believer ought to say, “I am the LORD’s”
At the moment of death a believer ought to say, “I am the LORD’s”
At the moment when you die you will surely be found with the LORD saying, “I am the LORD’s”
The assurance of this hope is not in ourselves but in the life and death of Jesus. Paul says, “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and the living.” Our assurance rests upon the promise of God and upon real historical facts. Jesus lived, died and rose from the dead.
Everything that Christ needed to do to save sinners and give them assurance has been done. Paul says, “To this end Christ died and lived again…”.
Notice the titles that Christ holds in these things: He is Christ and He is the LORD.
Jesus is the Christ. He is the only one who could fulfill the promise made by God to send someone who could save, redeem, justify, sanctify and glorify sinners.
And Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Exalted above all things. Jesus rules over life and death. Jesus is master. Jesus is the sovereign Lord over everything.
We have looked at four things in this text:
Every person who has repented and trusted in Christ is given a great promise.
This promise is extended over life and death.
This promise is personal. “We are the LORD’s”
The assurance of this promise rests upon Jesus Christ who is LORD over life and death.
My friends, please take this opportunity tonight to solemnly, carefully, and wisely reflect upon whether or not you have received this promise.
Is Jesus Christ personal to you?
Have you put your trust and confidence in Him alone?
Can the fruit of the fruit of this salvation be seen in your life?