5:1 For we know that if the earthly house of our tent is dissolved,
we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal,
in the heavens.
5:2 For most assuredly in this we groan, longing to be clothed with
our habitation which is from heaven;
5:3 if so be that being clothed we will not be found naked.
5:4 For indeed we who are in this tent do groan, being burdened;
not that we desire to be unclothed, but that we desire to be
that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
5:5 Now he who made us for this very thing is God,
who also gave to us the down payment of the Spirit.
5:6 Being therefore always of good courage, and knowing that,
while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord;
5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
5:8 We are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be
from the body,
and to be at home with the Lord.
Fear in Ministering In View of God's Judgement
5:9 Therefore also we make it our aim, whether at home or absent, to
well pleasing to him.
5:10 For we must all be revealed before the judgment seat of Christ;
that each one may receive the things in the body,
according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
5:11 Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men,
but we are revealed to God; and I hope that we are revealed also in
5:12 For we are not commending ourselves to you again,
but speak as giving you occasion of boasting on our behalf,
that you may have something to answer those who boast in appearance,
and not in heart.
5:13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God. Or if we are of
sober mind, it is for you.
Compelled to Minister in View of Christ's Death
5:14 For the love of Christ constrains us; because we judge
that one died for all, therefore all died.
5:15 He died for all, that those who live should no longer live to
but to him who for their sakes died and rose again.
5:16 Therefore we know no one after the flesh from now on.
Even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know
so no more.
5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.
5:18 But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through
and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation;
5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to
not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us
the word of reconciliation.
5:20 We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God
were entreating by us.
We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
5:21 For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf;
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
vs 1-8 Do you prefer life or death?
What do you look forwards to after death?
vs 9-10 What kind of judgement do Christians face?
How does this motivate you to be involved in ministering.
vs 11 Is it possible for us to persuade people to believe and
how would you do it?
vs 15 Who were we living for before becoming believers, and
What kind of behavioral changes should you expect of those who come
to faith in Christ?
vs 16 How does the world categorize people?
How does God?
vs 18-19 When introducing someone to Christ, how would you
the concept of reconciliation.
vs 20 What is the role of an ambassador and how do you view
yourself as Christ's ambassador?
What authority and responsibility does this concept impart?
2Cor 5:1-4Now we know that if the earthly
live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal
heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to
be clothed with
dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.
while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we
wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling,
that what is mortal may be swallowed
Notice the similar terminology he uses in chapter 15 "Listen, I tell
you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changedó
flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the
will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be
changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the
and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the
imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying
written will come true: Death has been swallowed up in victory."1Cor 15:51-54 The earthly
he is referring to is the present physical body, and
that which is eternal is the resurrected body, which is eternal.
No one desires their body to decay and die, though it is perhaps the
thing of which we can have the most certainty. We will all most
certainly die. And there is no reincarnation as some false religions
claims. Rather, "man is
to die once, and after that to face judgment"Heb 9:27 But death is just a
for the saints to enter into something far better, a new home,
and has given us the
Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
The saints are guaranteed eternal life. Those who are in Christ have
eternal security, the Spirit being a guarantee of that fact. For "he set his seal of ownership on
and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what
come." 2Cor 1:22
And "you also were included in
you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having
believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy
who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption
those who are Godís possessionó to the praise of his glory." Eph 1:13,14
What was the purpose God made us for? It was for the purpose of
his graciousness in redeeming sinners unto eternal life "into an inheritance that can never
perish, spoil or fadeó kept in heaven for you, who through faith
shielded by Godís power until the coming of the salvation that is
to be revealed in the last time." 1Peter 1:4,5
2Cor 5:6-9Therefore we are always confident
know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from
Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and
would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body
away from it.
To the Philippians Paul writes,
"If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful
me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the
I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but
is more necessary for you that I remain in the body." Php 1:22-24, which also answers
question as to whether upon death one goes to be immediately with
Lord or enters into some unconscious "soul sleep" state for
of years until the resurrection. For if the later were the case then
Paul would not have struggled between these two options. For he saw
options as either.
1. Laboring in the physical body OR
2. dying and being immediately with the Lord
He didn't view the second option as merely entering into some soul
sleep state which he would have viewed as a waste of his time when
could have been doing fruitful labor for the Lord. Thus upon death
Christian enters into the Lord's presence. For to be away from the
is to be at home with the Lord.
2Cor 5:10For we must all appear before the
judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him
the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
While the saints are not subject to condemnation, we are subject to
scrutiny with regards to how we have served the Lord, though any
deeds will be burned up and any good deed rewarded, as it is
written, "No one can lay any
than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man
this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or
his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring
light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the
quality of each manís work. If what he has built survives,
will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss;
himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the
flames."1Cor 3:11-15 And as recorded
Daniel 12:2,3 "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will
awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting
contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the
heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars
ever and ever."
It is also in fulfillment of a number of Jesus' parables, such as
parable of the Talents, the Minas, the Faithful and Wise Servant,
Watchful Porter, and the sheep/goat judgement of Matt 25
"Serve wholeheartedly, as if
were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord
reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or
2Cor 5:11 Since, then, we know what it is to
the Lord, we try to
persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also
to your conscience.
As he said in the previous verse, we are all subject to judgement,
in particular concerning teachers.John
"There is no fear in love. But
perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with
The one who fears is not made perfect in love."1John 4:18 Given that we are are
imperfect, the fact of judgment invokes fear. This is one aspect of
fear of the Lord which motivates Paul. But another is the fact that
Paul fears for the lost. If you're not trying to persuade people for
the kingdom, what would motivate you to do so?
Note also that Paul assumes that men are persuadable - that people
not puppets. People are not "totally depraved" such that they cannot
persuaded by reasoning with them. Of Paul himself it is recorded, "Every Sabbath he reasoned in the
synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks."Acts 18:4 The gospel can
reasonable men. Note for example the end of Peter's first sermon,
"With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them,
yourselves from this corrupt generation."Acts 2:40
There are "men sho speak
against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do
understand by instinct, like
unreasoning animalsó these are the very things
destroy them." Jude 1:10
Among them are many religious people. But the gospel was intended
those who are reasonable, who listen with sincerity, and who can be
persuade by the truth.
2Cor 5:12 We are not trying to commend ourselves
to you again,
but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you
answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is
One thing which reasonable people evaluate is the sincerity of the
messenger. For there are so many people who want to promote their
particular cause by misleading people, that it is naive and gullible
not to scrutinize the messenger. Like, what is the messenger getting
out of it? Does he get paid for this? Not Paul. Instead he gets
persecuted. He was ostracized and threatened with death by his own
people - the Jews - because of his message. He faced hostility
whereever he went. There is nothing in Paul which does not stand up
scrutiny with regards to the sincerity of his convictions. So few
"ministers" today have such credentials.
Paul speaks in this manner because he is dealing with the issue of
celebrity seeking present in Corinth as it is today. I see
throughout much of the history of Christianity to this day following
Christian celebrities like a bunch of mindless drones, unreasonable,
being impressed with the outward appearance. Jesus said of the
religious hypocrites of his day,
"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their
phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they
place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the
synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to
call them ĎRabbi.í"Mt
You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are
greed and self-indulgence." Mt
23:25 and "You
are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside
the inside are full of dead menís bones and everything unclean." Mt 23:27
2Cor 5:13If we are out of our mind, it is
the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.
That is, if others think we are crazy, it is for God's sake we are
reckoned with contempt. For example when Paul preached the gospel to
Festus he said, "I am saying
nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happenó that
Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would
proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles." At this
Festus interrupted Paulís defense. "You are out of your mind,
shouted. "Your great learning is driving you insane." Acts 26:22-24 That's what he
accused of, but he responded,
am not insane, most excellent Festus," Paul replied. "What I am
is true and reasonable".Acts
16:25 So here Paul is not saying that he is insane, but
there are those who view him that way because of his devotion to
In fact Jesus own family said of him, "He is out of His mind."Mark 3:21
So as a Christian, expect to be ridiculed and called crazy and such.
But in fact be reasonable. For just as Paul was perceived as crazy
unbelievers, he was respected as a reasonable man among reasonable
2Cor 5:14For Christís love compels us,
we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
Formerly he spoke of being motivated out of the fear of God. Here he
speaks of being motivated out of Christ's love. He is not speaking
his love for Christ, but rather Christ's love for those for whom he
died. 1John 4:19"We love because he first loved
"the only thing that counts is
faith expressing itself through love."Gal 5:6b Love is a great
Paul speaks of the labors of the Thessalonians as being "prompted by love".1Thes 1:3b
Now since Christ died for all, that implies that all need to be
John writes, "He is
the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also
the sins of the whole world." 1John
Therefore this compels us to reach out and spread the gospel
to the world. But the Calvinistic concept of "limited atonement"
some have been indoctrinated with, doesn't go along with this
reasoning, as also is the case with a number of other concepts in
Calvinism. Consequently the modern mission movement has been partly
result of the decline of Calvinistic dogmatism. Today Christ's love
compels us to share the gospel so to save the lost.
2Cor 5:15And he died for all, that those who
live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for
and was raised again.
In becoming a Christian, understand the person is pledging
to Jesus Christ as Lord with the intention of doing what he said. "Everyone who calls on the name of
Lord will be saved."Rom
to mean? He says,
"Why do you call me, ĎLord, Lord,í and
do not do what I say?"Luke 6:46 To
Jesus "Lord" is to pledge one's intention to doing what he said.
Jesus said, "Not everyone who
to me, ĎLord, Lord,í will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he
does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Mt 7:21 The Christian is to live
service to Jesus Christ. But such in fact should come naturally to
saint as the next verses indicate, but not without discipline. For
in his day Paul characterized the vast majority of Christians
Christian ministry workers) with this phrase, "everyone looks out for his own
interests, not those of Jesus Christ."Php 2:21
What are the implications of this in your life? And if it came down
an either-or evaluation would it be determined that you are living
yourself or for Jesus Christ? And what area can you improve upon?
2Cor 5:16,17 So from now on we regard no one
worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way,
do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Jesus once asked, "Who is my
mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he
"Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of
Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." Mt 12:48-50 This is how
Christians view the issue as to who is really their family. While
are responsibilities one has to the family of his flesh. (If anyone does not know how to
his own family, how can he take care of Godís church?)1Tim 3:5 Yet priority goes to
family of God, which is eternal.
"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people,
especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Gal 6:10"What I mean, brothers, is that the
time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if
had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are
happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were
theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not
engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing
7:29-31 What about secular status, ethnic background? "Here there is no Greek or Jew,
circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free,
Christ is all, and is in all." Col
This is not simply a matter of status. There is an actual change
takes place when a person is born of God such that they are no
the mere mortals which they used to be. Remember in chapter 3 Paul
rebukes the Corinthians for, "being human" as we say. "For since there is jealousy and
quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like
men? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow
Apollos," are you not mere men?" 1Cor 3:3,4 There is an expectation
that believers behavior not as mere mortals. "It's just human nature" is no
excuse for the saint, for those born of God are no longer mere
but have become new creatures. What does the Bible say of those who
"have escaped the corruption of
world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again
entangled in it and overcome"2Peter
2:20? It says, "Of
the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow
is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."2Peter 2:22 For such people show
they haven't become new creatures, but were simply false Christians.
And "what counts is a new
creation." Gal 6:15b
2Cor 5:18-20All this is from God, who
to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of
reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to
Christ, not counting menís sins against them. And he has committed
us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christís
ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We
implore you on Christís behalf: Be reconciled to God.
The central theme of the gospel is that God is reconciling sinners
himself through faith in Jesus Christ. God does not, nor will he
count such men's sins against them. One of the tenets of the New
Covenant, which is mentioned in Hebrews chapter 8, is God pledging:
"I will forgive their
will remember their sins no more."Heb
8:12 If a person's life is a book, it is as if the pages in
which they have committed sin are torn out, burned up and discarded,
and what is left over they will be rewarded for. "Once you were alienated from God
were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now
has reconciled you by Christís physical body through death to
you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation"Col 1:21,22
God has ordained that people be reconciled to him through the
of the gospel by Christians. Thus though God sent an angel to
in Acts 10,11 commending him of his good works, he instructed him to
send for Peter who "will bring
you a message through which you and all your household will be
saved."Acts 11:14 Salvation is by
faith, but "faith comes from
hearing the message"Rom 10:17b And
message is to be on the lips of the believers. For we are acting
ambassadors for Christ.
Now the phrase, "We
implore you on Christís behalf: Be reconciled to God."
seem strange to those of a reformed theology in which in person has
control over such matters, but rather that God has preordained who
would come to faith and who would not, a person's own will having no
say in the matter. But in fact reformed theology is wrong on this
matter (and many others). People are not mere puppets. They can be
influenced as implied here and elsewhere where we see the gospel
preached. For what relevance does "imploring" have if in fact their
destiny was predetermined? People can be influenced, and that
can affect their destiny. Note the end of Peter's first sermon. "With many other words he warned
and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt
Pleading, imploring, reasoning are all part of the rhetoric we find
when the gospel is preached in the Bible. It's part of what
being an ambassador for Christ. So in your communication of the
consider not only content, but also the manner, the rhetoric and
attitude in which you communicate it. Consider pleading and
people into the faith.
2Cor 5:21God made him who had no sin to be
for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Both I take to be referring to one's public reputation. Are we
the actual righteousness of God? No, but having obtained a righteous
standing with God in that our sins have been forgiven on the basis of
Christ's shed blood, we are now a public display of God's righteousness.
Not a righteousness attained through compliance to law, but that
attained through faith, For "now a righteousness
from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the
Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in
Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have
sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by
his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Rom 3:21-24 Thus we have become ambassadors for Christ, bearing witness in ourselves of His righteousness.
But there are those who misread this verse to portray God as unjust.
They portray God as imputing sin to the innocent, condemning the
innocent. Yet it says, "Acquitting the guilty and condemning the
innocentó the LORD detests them both." Pr 17:15 If people are acquitted
of guilt without atonement, that is unjust. And if the innocent are
condemned, that is unjust. People who say that God does such things
portray Him as unjust.
But God orchestrated events such that Jesus' public reputation was
marred. He was publicly condemned as a sinner, though he was innocent.
And as God justly compensates victims of unjustified suffering, which
justice demands, God compensated Christ. It was through Christ's shed
blood that Christ paid for the sins of the world. In this way he had to
become "sin" (that is to be unjustly condemned as a sinner) on our
behalf that we may in the end become objects of God's righteousness. Is 53:4mentions,"we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted."While it's obvious from the context that Isaiah is saying, "wefalselyconsidered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.", Calvinists actually consider Christ, the innocent lamb of God, to have been cursed of God. Beware of Calvinism.