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Bible Commentaries

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament
2 Corinthians 5



Verse 1

Our earthly house of this tabernacle; our body, considered as a tent in which the soul sojourns. Compare 2 Peter 1:13-14.

A building of God, a house not made with hands; namely, the resurrection-body. The apostle here passes over the intermediate disembodied state without noticing it. But in verses 2 Corinthians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 5:8, he distinctly mentions it.

Verse 2

In this; in this our earthly body.

Clothed upon; with our glorified heavenly body.

Verse 3

Naked; destitute of a glorified body.

Verse 4

Unclothed; it is not the unclothing of our soul by death that we desire, but the clothing of it with the glorified body. If it might be the will of God, we should be glad to have mortality swallowed up of life without death, as will be the case with those who are alive at Christ’s coming.

Verse 5

Wrought us; prepared us for, and led us to expect these heavenly glories.

Earnest of the Spirit; the joys which he imparts as foretastes of heaven. Every thing good in believers comes from God, and is the fruit of his Spirit. In their greatest trials he is with them, and often gives them joys which are foretastes of heaven.

Verse 6

Absent from the Lord; from the place of his special abode in heaven.

Verse 7

Walk by faith; are controlled, not by what we see, but by what we believe.

Verse 8

Absent from the body; as are the disembodied spirits of the just who rest with Jesus.

Verse 10

An abiding conviction that each individual will stand at the judgment-seat of Christ, and receive according to the deeds done in the body, is adapted to make men circumspect, and lead them most earnestly to desire and diligently to labor that they may be accepted of him.

Verse 11

The terror of the Lord; what terrible punishments he will inflict on the wicked.

We persuade men; to flee from the wrath to come.

Manifest unto God; he sees our sincerity.

Are made manifest in your consciences; commend ourselves to your consciences as sincere.

Verse 12

Commend not ourselves; Paul means that he did not say this to gain their applause.

Occasion to glory on our behalf; just ground of commending us as true and faithful servants of Christ.

In appearance, and not in heart; in the outward show of virtues which had no place in their hearts. These were the vain-glorious boasters who opposed and slandered Paul.

Verse 13

Be beside ourselves; go, as some think, beyond all reasonable bounds in our efforts.

Whether we be sober; go, as some maintain, to the extreme of caution and prudence.

For your cause; for the sake of doing you good.

Verse 14

The love of Christ; his love to sinners constraineth us to love him, and thus labor to induce our fellow-men to love him.

All dead; in trespasses and sins-dead to all desire to honor God or live to his glory, and dead to all possibility of salvation by their own works, or in any way except through faith in Christ.

Verse 15

They which live; in consequence of Christ’s dying for them.

Live-unto him which died for them; seek to honor him, and to induce all others to do the same. As Jesus Christ by dying for all has proved that all are spiritually dead, and as his object in this was, that those who are made spiritually alive should live not unto themselves, but unto him, a disposition to do this is essential to true religion.

Verse 16

Know we no man; we do not regard men’s outward condition or connections.

We have known Christ; as a Jew belonging to our nation, and expected great temporal favors from him. But now we regard him as a spiritual Saviour, and labor to induce as many as possible to believe in him.

Verse 17

In Christ; united to him by faith.

A new creature; created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10.

Old things are passed away; former views and feelings with regard to spiritual things are changed.

Become new; he seeks new ends; has a new rule of action and pursues a new course of conduct; has new joys and new sorrows, new hopes and new fears, new relations and new prospects.

Verse 18

All things are of God; he is the author of this change and all its blessings.

Ministry of reconciliation; the treasure spoken of in chap 2 Corinthians 4:7, to be used for the benefit of lost men.

Verse 19

Not imputing their trespasses; not punishing, but forgiving them.

The word of reconciliation; the gospel, making known the way, and inviting men to be reconciled to God.

Verse 20

Ambassadors for Christ; persons appointed to act in his stead.

Verse 21

To be sin; suffer to make atonement for it.

Be made the righteousness of God; for Christ’s sake accepted, and treated as righteous, through faith in him. In giving his Son to die for his enemies, and in coming by the gospel through his ministers, and beseeching men to be reconciled to him, God has shown that he is exceedingly desirous of their salvation; and that if any are lost, it will be because they refuse to be reconciled to him.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:4". "Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, October 23rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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