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Bible Commentaries

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

2 Corinthians 5

Verse 7

2Co 5:7

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2Co 5:7

The nature of faith is to trust in the dark, when all appearances are against it; to trust that a calm will come, though the storm be overhead; to trust that God will appear, though nothing but evil be felt. It is tender, child-like, and therefore is an implicit confidence, a yielding submission, a looking unto the Lord. There is something filial in this; something heavenly and spiritual; not the bold presumption of the daring, nor the despairing fears of the desponding; but something beyond both the one and the other—equally remote from the rashness of presumption, and from the horror of despair. There is a mingling of holy affection connected with this trust, springing out of a reception of past favors, insuring favors to come; and all linked with a simple hanging and depending of the soul upon the Lord, because He is what He is. There is a looking to, and relying upon the Lord, because we have felt him to be the Lord; and because we have no other refuge.

And why have we no other refuge? Because poverty has driven us out of false refuges. It is a safe spot, though not a comfortable one, to be where David was, "Refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul" (Ps 142:4). And until refuge fails us in man, in self, in the world, in the church, there is no looking to Christ as a divine refuge. But when we come to this spot, "You are my refuge and my portion in the land of the living" (Ps 142:5)—"if I perish I will perish at your feet—my faith centers in you—all I have and all I expect to have, flows from your bounty, I have nothing but what you freely give to me, the vilest of the vile"—this is trust. And where this trust is, there will be a whole army of desires at times pouring themselves into the bosom of the Lord; there will be a whole array of pantings and longings venting themselves into the bosom of "Immanuel, God with us."

Verse 21

2Co 5:21

"For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." — 2Co 5:21

Our blessed Lord offered himself for sin; that is, that he might put away sin by the sacrifice of himself—"Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree" (1Pe 2:24). It was absolutely necessary either that the sinner should suffer in his own person, or in that of a substitute. Jesus became this substitute; he stood virtually in the sinner’s place, and endured in his holy body and soul the punishment due to him; for he "was numbered with the transgressors." He thus, by the shedding of his most precious blood, opened in his sacred body a fountain for all sin and all uncleanness (Zec 13:1).

The cross was the place on which this sacrifice was offered; for as the blood of the slain lamb was poured out at the foot of the altar, sprinkled upon its horns, and burned in its ever-enduring fire, so our blessed Lord shed his blood upon the cross. He there endured the wrath of God to the uttermost; he there put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; he there offered his holy soul and body, the whole of his pure and sacred humanity, in union with his eternal Deity, as an expiation for the sins of his people.

Thus all their sin was atoned for, expiated, put away, blotted out, and will never more be imputed to them. This is the grand mystery of redeeming love and atoning blood. Here the cross shines forth in all its splendor; here God and man meet at the sacrifice of the God-man; and here, amid the sufferings and sorrows, the groans and tears, the blood and obedience of God’s dear Son in our nature, grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life.

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Bibliographical Information
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jcp/2-corinthians-5.html.