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Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 5

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the BibleBox on Selected Books

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A New Creature In Christ

Second Corinthians Five

Second Corinthians five opens with Paul comparing a believer's body to an earthly tent. This earthly body will die and be dissolved. It is not designed to last forever. Our more important part, the soul, will be rewarded in heaven if we will serve God faithfully. The faithful of God go immediately to a place called "Paradise" when they die. ( Luk_23:43 , 2Co_12:4 , Rev_2:7 ) It is the will of God that we all spend a little time on earth, encased in a physical body. Sometimes this time in the body may be short. If somehow a precious, sweet, beautiful, helpless and innocent baby dies it can only go to one place and that is to heaven.

There are only two options, (1) To live till the Lord comes again, or (2) To die. We will die because sin brought physical death into the world. ( Rom_5:12 ) The wicked die and the righteous also die. "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come." ( Isa_57:1 ) Paul anticipated death because he was looking forward to heaven, and to seeing the Lord! Paul was groaning with sufferings here, yet he earnestly desired his heavenly home. We too should long for heaven because (1) This life has many troubles ( Joh_16:33 ), (2) We have already had a brief taste of heaven the day that we were baptized into Christ ( 2Co_5:17 ), and (3) There is a groaning in the heart of the faithful for heaven. ( Rom_8:23 )

Paul wanted at all times to be found clothed with righteousness, holiness, and grace. He desired to be set apart from the world and constantly cleansed by Jesus' precious blood. It was for the sake of the hope of heaven that Paul labored on through all kinds of difficulties. He knew that while he was at home in the body he was absent from the Lord. It was his desire to be present with the Lord and pleasing to Him. Paul groaned under the attack of Satan. This groaning caused him to long for heaven.

Judgment is coming and it is necessary. All the people that have ever lived will stand before God at judgment. We will be rewarded or punished based on the things done in our bodies. Paul had the love of Christ in him. He had enough of the love of God in him to want to work for the salvation of all people everywhere. As Christians we must not live for ourselves but for others, for their welfare and benefit. Paul recognized that apart from Jesus all are sinners. It does not matter about physical background or even if they had seen Jesus in the flesh. It was whether a man had been redeemed from sin that was most important to Paul, and whether he was living for the one that had bought him back from sin and death. Christ makes you a new creation, gives you hope, regenerates you and reconciles you to God.

Verses 1-5

A house not made with hands 2Co_5:1-5 : Death will come to all because this life is only temporary. However, there will be happiness in eternity for those that will walk with God. Heaven is (1) A building of God, (2) A house not made with hands, (3) An eternal reward, and (4) A place of true life. Our Father's house will be the eternal home of those that are faithful to God. “In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” ( Joh_14:2 .) When our soul leaves this earthly tent it will return unto God who gave it. Those that have walked with God down here will dwell with Him in eternity. This body of flesh that we dwell in causes many burdens. God's faithful servant is willing to die and be with Him in eternity instead of living on earth in the flesh. In the world to come God's people will not be naked; they will be clothed in robes of righteousness. The present indwelling of the Spirit is an "earnest" of the everlasting reward in heaven.

Verses 6-10

A walk with God by faith 2Co_5:6-10 : The state of being in this earthly body means that we are "absent from the Lord." In one sense we are with God but not in the same way we long to be and hope to be with Him. Here we walk by faith; in eternity it will be sight. Our heavenly hope fills our heart with comfort even through the worst of struggles and through death. ( 2Co_5:8 ) Our desire to be present with the Lord makes us labor in a most ambitious way in the Lord's kingdom. The most important thing in this life is to so live that we are acceptable with the Lord. Judgment is coming; we should therefore be faithful to the Almighty. We learn that (1) Judgment is certain (we must appear), (2) Judgment is universal (we must "all" appear), (3) Christ is judge (It is His judgment seat), (4) Judgment will be according to that we have done in our body, and, (5) We will be rewarded according to what we have done (whether good or bad).

Verses 11-15

The Love of Christ constrains us 2Co_5:11-15 : Judgment is pictured as the "terror of the Lord." Certainly coming judgment should cause us to persuade men to repent and to live righteous lives. Paul did not speak of his work to commend himself or to seek the approval of men. Paul was not the villain that some wanted to make him; the fruit of his labor proved that he had been faithful to the word of God. He did not work to his own glory. His goal was to help the church and to glorify God. Christ's sacrificial love, that took us from spiritual death to eternal life, compels us to labor in His kingdom. Now that Christ has died for all we must live for Him. Those that love Christ and consecrate their lives to Him will live in such as manner as to glorify the Lord. “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” ( 2Co_5:14-15 .)

Verses 16-21

A new creature in Christ 2Co_5:16-21 : Regeneration and reconciliation are both necessary if we are to be with God in heaven. Both regeneration and reconciliation are in Christ and by Christ. Regeneration is being made new in Christ. Even the bodily presence of Christ is not as important as the spiritual change of heart brought about by Him. A great change takes place as one becomes a Christian. He becomes a new creature. Old things are passed away. Through Jesus we are not only regenerated we are also reconciled to God. Sin had separated but reconciliation is in Christ. Peace with God is made possible by the blood of Jesus' cross. To go to heaven we must be reconciled to God and we must plead with others to be reconciled to God. This reconciliation is only through Jesus. He took our sins that we might have his righteousness. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” ( 2Co_5:21 .)

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/2-corinthians-5.html. 2014.
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