Romans 14:9: Lord of the living and the dead


We all know the famous question 1 of the WFC, but fewer know the more pastoral and comforting first question of the Heidelberg Catechism.  Q. What is thy only comfort in life and death?  A. That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without that will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.’ This is the wonderful truth that Paul is pursuing in addressing the Romans now in Romans 14.  The situation Paul is addressing is very particular but the truth that he draws on to solve the problem is the same, it is the Lordship of Jesus in the life and death of His people.  14:9, ‘For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.’