For whether we live - As long as we live.
We live unto the Lord - We live to do his will, and to promote his glory. This is the grand purpose of the life of the Christian. Other people live to gratify themselves; the Christian to do those things which the Lord requires. By “the Lord” here the apostle evidently intends the Lord Jesus, as it is evident from Romans 14:9; and the truth taught here is, that it is the leading and grand purpose of the Christian to do honor to the Saviour. It is this which constitutes his special character, and which distinguishes him from other people.
Whether we die - In the dying state, or in the state of the dead; in the future world. We are “no where” our own. In all conditions we are “his,” and bound to do his will. The connection of this declaration with the argument is this: Since we belong to another in every state, and are bound to do his will, we have no right to assume the prerogative of sitting in judgment on another. “We” are subjects, and are bound to do the will of Christ. All other Christians are subjects in like manner, and are answerable, not to us, but directly to the Lord Jesus, and should have the same liberty of conscience that we have. The passage proves also that the soul does not cease to be conscious at death. We are still the Lord‘s; his even when the body is in the grave; and his in all the future world: see Romans 14:9.