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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Corinthians 5:7

for we walk by faith, not by sight--

Adam Clarke Commentary

For we walk by faith - While we are in the present state faith supplies the place of direct vision. In the future world we shall have sight - the utmost evidence of spiritual and eternal things; as we shall be present with them, and live in them. Here we have the testimony of God, and believe in their reality, because we cannot doubt his word. And to make this more convincing he gives us the earnest of his Spirit, which is a foretaste of glory.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-corinthians-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For we walk - To walk, in the Scriptures often denotes to live, to act, to conduct in a certain way; see the notes on Romans 4:12; Romans 6:4. It has reference to the fact that life is a journey, or a pilgrimage, and that the Christian is traveling to another country. The sense here is, that we conduct ourselves in our course of life with reference to the things which are unseen, and not with reference to the things which are seen.

By faith - In the belief of those things which we do not see. We believe in the existence of objects which are invisible, and we are influenced by them. To walk by faith, is to live in the confident expectation of things that are to come; in the belief of the existence of unseen realities; and suffering them to influence us as if they were seen. The people of this world are influenced by the things that are seen. They live for wealth, honor, splendor, praise, for the objects which this world can furnish, and as if there were nothing which is unseen, or as if they ought not to be influenced by the things which are unseen. The Christian, on the contrary, has a firm conviction of the reality of the glories of heaven; of the fact that the Redeemer is there; of the fact that there is a crown of glory; and he lives, and acts as if that were all real, and as if he saw it all. The simple account of faith, and of living by faith is, that we live and act as if these things were true, and suffer them to make an impression on our mind according to their real nature; see the note on Mark 16:16.

It is contradistinguished from living simply under the influence of things that are seen. God is unseen - but the Christian lives, and thinks, and acts as if there were a God, and as if he saw him. Christ is unseen now by the bodily eye; but the Christian lives and acts as if he were seen, that is, as if his eye were known to be upon us, and as if he was now exalted to heaven and was the only Saviour. The Holy Spirit is unseen; but he lives, and acts as if there were such a Spirit, and as if his influences were needful to renew, and purify the soul. Heaven is unseen; but the Christian lives, and thinks, and acts as if there were a heaven, and as if he now saw its glories. He has confidence in these, and in kindred truths, and he acts as if they were real. Could man see all these; were they visible to the naked eye as they are to the eye of faith, no one would doubt the propriety of living and acting with reference to them.

But if they exist, there is no more impropriety in acting with reference to them than if they were seen. Our seeing or not seeing them does not alter their nature or importance, and the fact that they are not seen does not make it improper to act with reference to them. There are many ways of being convinced of the existence and reality of objects besides seeing them; and it may be as rational to be influenced by the reason, the judgment, or by strong confidence, as it is to be influenced by sight. Besides, all people are influenced by things which they have not seen. They hope for objects that are future. They aspire to happiness which they have not yet beheld. They strive for honor and wealth which are unseen, and which is in the distant future. They live, and act - influenced by strong faith and hope - as if these things were attainable; and they deny themselves, and labor, and cross oceans and deserts, and breathe in pestilential air to obtain those things which they have not seen, and which to them are in the distant future.

And why should not the Christian endure like labor, and be willing to suffer in like manner, to gain the unseen crown which is incorruptible, and to acquire the unseen wealth which the moth does not corrupt? And further still, the people of this world strive for those objects which they have not beheld, without any promise or any assurance that they shall obtain them. No being able to grant them has promised them; no one has assured them that their lives shall be lengthened out to obtain them. In a moment they may be cut off and all their plans frustrated; or they may be utterly disappointed and all their plans fail; or if they gain the object, it may be unsatisfactory, and may furnish no pleasure such as they had anticipated. But not so the Christian. He has:

(1) The promise of life.

(2) he has the assurance that sudden death cannot deprive him of it. It at once removes him to the object of pursuit, not from it.

(3) he has the assurance that when obtained, it shall not disgust, or satiate, or decay, but that it shall meet all the expectations of the soul, and shall be eternal.

Not by sight - This may mean either that we are not influenced by a sight of these future glories, or that we are not influenced by the things which we see. The main idea is, that we are not influenced and governed by the sight. We are not governed and controlled by the things which we see, and we do not see those things which actually influence and control us. In both it is faith that controls us, and not sight.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-corinthians-5.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

This is only a parenthesis, and yet one of the epic statements of Scripture. In the previous chapter, Paul had just enunciated the principle that it is regard for the "things unseen" which motivates all Christian behavior, and that only those "things invisible" are eternal; and, since faith regards primarily eternal things, it is impossible to walk by sight. Furthermore, in the cosmic dimensions of that super-astronomical theater where is played out the colossal drama of human redemption from sin, faith in God is a far better aid of the understanding than mere knowledge (or sight) could ever be. The simplest facts of eternity, everlasting life, salvation and knowing God are totally beyond the powers of finite exploration. Therefore the word is, "Trust God; for you cannot KNOW!" This does not disparage revelation, but it is intended to stress the truth that the finite cannot fully know the infinite.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-corinthians-5.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For we walk by faith, and not by sight. Faith is a grace which answers many useful purposes; it is the eye of the soul, by which it looks to Christ for righteousness, peace, pardon, life, and salvation; the hand by which it receives him, and the foot by which it goes to him, and walks in him as it has received him; which denotes not a single act of faith, but a continued course of believing; and is expressive, not of a weak, but of a strong steady faith of glory and happiness, and of interest in it: and it is opposed to "sight": by which is meant, not sensible communion, but the celestial vision: there is something of sight in faith; that is a seeing of the Son; and it is an evidence of things not seen, of the invisible glories of the other world; faith looks at, and has a glimpse of things not seen, which are eternal; but it is but seeing as through a glass darkly; it is not that full sight, face to face, which will be had hereafter, when faith is turned into vision.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-corinthians-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

(For we walk by e faith, not by sight:)

(e) Faith, of those things which we hope for, not having God presently in our physical view.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-corinthians-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

we walk — in our Christian course here on earth.

not by sightGreek, “not by appearance.” Our life is governed by faith in our immortal hope; not by the outward specious appearance of present things [Tittmann, Greek Synonyms of the New Testament]. Compare “apparently,” the Septuagint, “by appearance,” Numbers 12:8. Wahl supports English Version. 2 Corinthians 4:18 also confirms it (compare Romans 8:24; 1 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Corinthians 13:13). God has appointed in this life faith for our great duty, and in the next, vision for our reward [South] (1 Peter 1:8).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-corinthians-5.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

By sight (δια ειδουςdia eidous). Rather, by appearance.


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/2-corinthians-5.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

By sight ( διὰ εἴδους )

The correct rendering is appearance. The word is not used actively in the sense of vision. Faith is contrasted with the actual appearance of heavenly things. Hence the marginal reading of the Rev. should go into the text.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/2-corinthians-5.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

For we cannot clearly see him in this life, wherein we walk by faith only: an evidence, indeed, that necessarily implies a kind of "seeing him who is invisible;" yet as far beneath what we shall have in eternity, as it is above that of bare, unassisted reason.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-corinthians-5.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

We walk; that is, we live and act.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/2-corinthians-5.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

7.For we walk by faith (Εἰδος) I have here rendered aspectum , (sight,) because few understood the meaning of the word species , (appearance.) (520) He states the reason, why it is that we are now absent from the Lord — because we do not as yet see him face to face. (1 Corinthians 13:12.) The manner of that absence is this — that God is not openly beheld by us. The reason why he is not seen by us is, that we walk by faith Now it is on good grounds that faith is opposed to sight, because it, perceives those things that are hid from the view of men — because it reaches forth to future things, which do not as yet appear. For such is the condition of believers, that they resemble the dead rather than the living — that they often seem as if they were forsaken by God — that they always have the elements of death shut up within them. Hence they must necessarily hope against hope. (Romans 4:18.) Now the things that are hoped for are hid, as we read in Romans 8:24, and faith is the

manifestation of things which do not appear.
(
Hebrews 11:1.) (521)

It is not to be wondered, then, if the apostle says, that we have not as yet the privilege of sight, so long as we walk by faith For we see, indeed, but it is through a glass, darkly; (1 Corinthians 13:12,) that is, in place of the reality we rest upon the word.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/2-corinthians-5.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Ver. 7. For we walk by faith] Which puts our heads into heaven, sets us on the top of Pisgah with Moses, and therehence descries and describes unto us the promised land, gives us to set one foot aforehand in the porch of Paradise, to see as Stephen did Christ holding out a crown, with this inscription, Vincenti dabo I die conquering.

Not by sight] Sense corrects imagination, reason sense, but faith corrects both, thrusting Hagar out of doors, when haughty and haunty grown. But as Nabash, so the devil labours to put out the right eye of faith, and to leave us only the left eye of reason.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-corinthians-5.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

2 Corinthians 5:7

I. We walk by faith, in the conviction that what is right must end in peace, and what is wrong must end in misery. This assumes that there is a living and true God; that there is a real kingdom on earth—a government over men so constituted that right must come right, and wrong must come wrong; that by no possibility—by no combination of circumstances, by no power of men or devils—can wheat bring forth tares, or tares wheat; that never can there be separated the consequences from evil so long as evil continues; nor can anything but good and peace come from welldoing.

II. We walk by faith in reference to the agencies which God employs for the regeneration and salvation of man. (1) First and chief of these is the gospel of Christ. It is not that the gospel saves, but Jesus Christ of whom the gospel speaks, by reconciling the sinner to God, through faith in His atoning blood, and by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Sight is opposed to this. To lose faith in the gospel, to have faith in anything else accomplishing the things the gospel proposes, is to lose faith in Christ Himself, in His power, in His mercy, and in His will. (2) The Church of Christ is another agency the power or efficacy of which demands faith. Very often the agency is very poor—intellectually as well as spiritually. But walking by faith and not by sight, I perceive that the Church is the very best and purest society on the face of the earth. With all its dross it has the most gold. With all its darkness it has the most light. With all its earthly elements it is the best representative of heaven upon earth. Two thoughts of practical weight suggest themselves here. (1) One is this—encouragement in our duty. The great Captain of our salvation has tolerated us, borne with us, and not cast us off. He who sent such messages to the Seven Churches, recognising their standing and calling, and their glorious privileges, whilst revealing to them their sins, the same Lord who walks amongst the candlesticks does not put out our light. (2) Another thought is one of shame and confusion when we think how weak our faith is, and how slow, how unconstant our walk accordingly is as members of the Christian Church in fulfilling our Lord's calling.

N. Macleod, Penny Pulpit, new series, No. 12.

Walking by Faith.

In St. Paul's hand these words were the key to what the heathen, who had no thoughts or desires beyond the present world, must have regarded as an enigma: note, not the resignation only, but the cheerfulness with which he and his fellow-Christians suffered wrong, though despised and obscure; the spoiling of their goods; how they sought death rather than shunned it, and rushed in the face of the King of Terrors, and gathered crowds as they went to the scaffold or stake, singing, rejoicing, radiant as a bride to the arms of her bridegroom. Paul speaks of scourging, stoning, prisonings, exiles, death itself, with a sort of Divine contempt. He calls them light afflictions: "Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." And the reason why is given in our text: "We walk by faith, not by sight."

I. The believer walks by faith in the work and cross of Christ. By faith Noah, by faith Abraham, by faith David, and by faith many other Old Testament saints won themselves a place in the cloud of witnesses. The truth is that the faith of the humblest believers nowadays is, in some senses, a higher attainment than theirs, and there is no flight of human genius I ever saw like the faith of the poorest, weakest, humblest Christian.

II. The believer walks by faith in the providence of God. "Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night teacheth knowledge of Him;" and this in every tongue savage or civilised. The whole world is vocal with His praise; nor is there any ear so deaf as may not hear that, as well in the songs of the happy birds as in the voice of the tempest and the peals of thunder. Though that may be true of the general providence of God, what may be called His special providence, at least so far as regards His own, is very often with them much more a thing of faith than it is a thing of sight.

III. The believer walks by faith in and to another world. It is no easy thing to walk by faith, not by sight; amid the things seen to love the unseen; to be in this world, and not of it; but we have the blessed promise, "As thy days, so shall thy strength be."

T. Guthrie, Penny Pulpit, new series, No. 571.

The principle of walking by faith, not by sight, is reasonable and right,—

I. Because the principle of faith is more excellent in its object.

II. Because the principle of faith is more excellent in its effect upon the character and heart.

III. Because to walk by faith produces happiness.

J. N. Norton, Golden Truths, p. 377.


References: 2 Corinthians 5:7.—Church Sermons, vol. ii., p. 289; Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 73; vol. vii., p. 65; F. E. Paget, Sermons for Special Occasions, p. 1; Bishop Westcott, The Historic Faith, p. 173; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xii., No. 677; J. L. Davies, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxxv., p. 244. 2 Corinthians 5:8.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vii., No. 413; G. Bainton, Christian World Pulpit, vol. x.,p. 205; H. W. Beecher, Ibid., vol. xxiii., p. 266; G. Brooks, Five Hundred Outlines, p. 113. 2 Corinthians 5:8, 2 Corinthians 5:9.—S. G. Green, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xx., p. 177. 2 Corinthians 5:9.—Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times," vol. ii., p. 160.


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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/2-corinthians-5.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Corinthians 5:7. For we walk by faith, &c.— "We now walk and conduct ourselves in the whole course of our life, by the faith of objects as yet unseen, and not by the sight of those glories, or by a regard to those things which we can see." Comp. Galatians 3:11. Hebrews 10:38.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-corinthians-5.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

That is, our condition here in this world is such, that we cannot see God face to face, but by faith only; whilst we are in the body, we do not see and enjoy, but believe and expect. Faith is the thing in expectation: sight is the thing in fruition; faith is a cloudy discovery of things at a distance; sight is a clear view and apprehension of things that are present.

Learn, 1. That faith is for earth, and sight is for heaven.

2. That till we have sight, it is a great advantage that we have faith.

3. That if we now have faith, we may be well assured that ere long we shall have sight.


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

Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/2-corinthians-5.html. 1700-1703.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 2018

THE CHRISTIAN WALKING BY FAITH

2 Corinthians 5:7. We walk by faith, not by sight.

IF we behold any wonderful effects, we naturally inquire after the cause that has produced them. Now in the preceding context we behold as extraordinary a phenomenon as can be conceived: a sinner, like ourselves, not only divested of all fear of death, but longing after it as the consummation of all his hopes, and the completion of all his desires. This is a frame of mind totally unknown to man by nature, and incapable of being produced by any natural means. How then was it produced in the Apostle Paul? He tells us, “He that hath wrought us to the self-same thing, is God.” But how did God work it? for it is certain that he works by means. I answer, By forming in his soul a principle of faith, and making that the great moving cause of all his actions. This is the account which St. Paul himself gives us in the words before us: “We are willing to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight [Note: Compare the text with the preceding and following verses.].” It was by faith that he attained this blessed state: and if, like him, we cultivate that heavenly principle, and take it as the spring and source of all our conduct, we shall find it productive of similar blessedness in our souls. It is, in truth, this principle, which above all others distinguishes the true Christian from every other person under heaven.

To explain and vindicate his conduct in reference to this matter, we will shew,

I. The principle by which the Christian is actuated—

He fixes his eye, not on things visible and temporal, but on things invisible and eternal—

[This is declared at the close of the preceding chapter [Note: 2 Corinthians 4:18.]; and the same contrast is marked in our text. Faith is opposed to sight, and has respect entirely to things which are beyond the reach of mortal eyes. It looks upon an unseen God; even as Moses did, who feared not the wrath of Pharaoh, because “he saw him that is invisible [Note: Hebrews 11:27.].” This great and adorable Being it beholds, and contemplates all his glorious perfections. It sees all his mind and will in the book of revelation: it recognises his superintending providence in all events: it regards him as inspecting continually the most hidden recesses of our souls, and noting every thing in the book of his remembrance in order to a future judgment.

Faith also views an unseen Saviour as the supreme object of his people’s love, and the only foundation of all their hopes [Note: 1 Peter 1:8.]. It beholds him dying for their sins, and rising again for their justification: yea, it sees him interceding for them at the right hand of God, and preserving for them that peace which by their sins and infirmities they would soon forfeit. It enters into the whole of the Saviour’s work and offices, surveying them in all their extent and variety; and particularly regards him as the fountain of life to all his people; as having in himself all fulness of spiritual blessings treasured up for them, and imparting to them continually out of that fulness according to their several necessities.

Faith views an unseen heaven also. It soars and penetrates into the very paradise of God, and surveys the crowns and kingdoms which God has there prepared for all that love him. There it beholds that glorious tabernacle which the soul shall inhabit as soon as this earthly house shall be dissolved: and in the promises recorded in the written word, it sees the possession of that glory assured to every believing soul, assured by an everlasting covenant, and by the oath of a “God that cannot lie.”

Such are the objects of faith! and such the objects on which the Christian’s eye is continually fixed!]

By these he regulates the whole of his life and conversation—

[These are the things which draw forth his regards; and in comparison of these all earthly things are but as dung and dross. For these he sighs, and groans, and weeps, and strives: to obtain an interest in them is more to him than ten thousand worlds. Whatever will endanger the loss of these, he flees from, as from the face of a serpent: and whatever has a tendency to secure his interest in them, he labours incessantly to perform. In these all his affections centre: his hopes and fears, his joys and sorrows, all terminate in these: and, in exact proportion as he is enabled by faith to realize and apprehend these, he is happy. In a word, “he walks by faith:” and every step he takes is under the influence of that principle. Faith is to the Christian what the compass is to the mariner in the trackless ocean: under all circumstances he consults its testimony, and follows its directions: and, in so doing, he fears not but that in due time he shall arrive at his destined haven.

This was the character of the Apostle Paul: and it is the character of every true Christian under heaven: “the life which he now lives in the flesh, he lives by the faith of the Son of God, who loved him, and gave himself for him [Note: Galatians 2:20.]?”]

But as to those who understand not his views he appears to act absurdly, we will proceed to mark—

II. The reasonableness of his conduct in this respect—

Doubtless the people who are strangers to this principle must “gaze strangely at” the Christian, and account him almost mad. The overlooking with comparative contempt all that he has ever seen, and following with all possible ardour things which no mortal eye ever did see, must appear the height of folly and enthusiasm; and we wonder not if many should say to him, “Thou art beside thyself; much thoughtfulness hath made thee mad.” But we reply, that there is no comparison between the wisdom of walking by faith or of being actuated by sight.

The principle of faith is,

1. More exalted in its objects—

[The objects of sense are all poor, and mean, and worthless. Take all that eye ever saw, or ear heard, or heart conceived; and it would not weigh against one glimpse of the Saviour’s glory, or one taste of his love. Besides, it is all transient and of very short duration. But think of Almighty God and his covenant of grace; think of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all the wonders of redeeming love; think of heaven, and all its glory and blessedness; and then say, which are most deserving of our regard? In attaching ourselves to the one, we degrade ourselves to the state of unenlightened heathens, I had almost said, of the brute beasts; but by living wholly with a reference to the latter, we emulate, as it were, the glorified saints and angels. The one is as high above the other, as the heavens are above the earth.]

2. More certain in its testimony—

[Earthly things may dazzle us with their glare and glitter: but they are all a lie, a cheat, a shadow, a delusion: there is no substance in them. With whatever confidence we press forward for the attainment of them, the more they disappoint our endeavours: and, when we think we have secured thee prize, we no sooner stretch out our hands to lay hold on it, than it eludes our grasp: or, if we apprehend the object of our desires, it proves to us no better than vanity and vexation of spirit. But was ever any one deceived in apprehending the realities of the eternal world? Did ever any one who sought them by faith, fail in the pursuit of them, or find them, when attained, below his expectation? No truly: it is justly said by the Lord Jesus Christ under the character of wisdom, “I cause them that love me to inherit substance [Note: Proverbs 8:17.]:” and every promise that makes over these things to the believing soul, is as immutable as God himself.]

3. More excellent in its operations—

[The tendency of visible things is to sensualize and debase the soul: but the effect of heavenly things is to purify and exalt it. The more we contemplate the Divine Being, the more shall we be transformed into his blessed image. The more we exercise faith on the Lord Jesus Christ, the more will grace, and mercy, and peace be multiplied unto us. The more we breathe the atmosphere of heaven, the more shall we be fitted for the everlasting enjoyment of it. “Every man that has such hopes in him, purifieth. himself even as God is pure [Note: 1 John 3:3.]:” and the very promises by which he apprehends them, lead him to “cleanse himself from all filthiness both of flesh and spirit, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God [Note: 2 Corinthians 7:1.].” Truly “by these he becomes a partaker of the divine nature [Note: 2 Peter 1:4.],” and is progressively “changed into the divine image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of our God [Note: 2 Corinthians 3:18.].”]

4. More conducive to our true happiness—

[What does he possess who has the whole world at his command? A mere phantom: and, if he look for any solid happiness from it, he will find, that he has only “filled his belly with the east wind.” But who can describe the happiness of him, who, by faith, has already in his soul “the substance of things hoped for, as well as the evidence of things not seen [Note: Hebrews 11:1.]?” Who can declare the blessedness of him, who has God for his Father, Christ for his Saviour, the Holy Spirit for his Comforter, and heaven for his home? This man lives on “angels’ food.” He has grapes of Eshcol already by the way: he stands on Pisgah’s top, surveying in all its length and breadth the land of promise: he has already an earnest and foretaste of the heavenly bliss: and, when he goes hence, he will change neither his company nor his employment: he is already dwelling in, and with, his God; and tuning his harp ready to join the choirs above, as soon as ever his attendant angels shall have received their commission to bear him hence.]

Address—

1. Those who are walking by sight—

[You are reputed wise by the men of this world; but are worse than fools in the estimation of your God. What has the world ever yet done for you? Has it ever yet afforded you any solid satisfaction? Possess what ye may, will not a pain, a loss, a disappointment, be sufficient to rob you of all your enjoyment? And what can it do for you in a dying hour? Will it prolong your life, or assuage your anguish, or pacify your conscience, or take away the sting of death? But, above all, what will it do for you at the bar of judgment? Will it bribe your Judge, or avert the wrath of an offended God, or mitigate your torments in the world of woe? You think the Christian unwise in having respect to things which his eye has never seen. But who will be found the wise man in that great and awful day? Not he that neglected God and his own soul; not he that trampled under foot his dying Saviour, and poured contempt on all the glory and blessedness of heaven; but he who lived as a pilgrim and a sojourner here, and “looked for a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” O, that you “may be wise, and consider, ere it be too late, your latter end!”]

2. Those who profess to walk by faith—

[We thank our God that there are a goodly number of you who have learned to estimate things by their relation to eternity. O beg of God to “turn off your eyes from beholding vanity, and to quicken your souls in his way.” Pray to him to “increase your faith,” that your discernment of unseen things may be more clear, your enjoyment of them more rich, your improvement of them more uniform and abiding. Pray that your faith may be more and more influential on the whole of your life and conversation: and strive, in dependence on the Spirit of God, to walk more and more “worthy of your high calling.” St. Paul, in his most assured prospects of glory, “laboured, that, whether present in the body, or absent from it, he might be accepted of the Lord [Note: ver. 9.].” Do ye in this respect follow his example: “not setting your affections on any thing here below,” but “having your conversation altogether in heaven, from whence you look for the Lord Jesus Christ” “to come and take you to himself,” that you may “be with him, and like him “for ever [Note: 1 John 3:2.].]


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Bibliography
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/2-corinthians-5.html. 1832.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

2 Corinthians 5:7. Reason assigned for the ἐνδημοῦντεςκυρίου. For through faith we walk, etc.; faith is the sphere through which we walk, i.e. faith is the element through which our earthly life moves. If we walked διὰ εἴδους, seeing that this presupposes the being together with Christ, we should not be ἐκδημοῦντες ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου. The object of faith we must from the whole connection conceive to be the Lord in His glory, whose real form ( τὸ εἶδος) we shall only have before us when we are with Him. Comp. Romans 8:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; John 17:24; 1 Peter 1:8, al.

διὰ πίστεως] quite in accordance with the Greek phrase διὰ δικαιοσύνης ἰέναι. Comp. περιπατεῖν διὰ τοῦ φῶτος, Revelation 21:24, and the classical expressions πορεύεσθαι διὰ τῶν ἡδονῶν and the like; see, in general, Valckenaer, ad Phoeniss. 402; Heindorf, ad Protag. p. 323 A Hermann, ad Oed. Col. 905; Bernhardy, p. 235.

οὐ διὰ εἴδους] i.e. not so, that we are surrounded by the appearance, not so, that we have before us Christ, the Exalted One, in His real appearance and form, i.e. in His visible δόξα, and that this glorious εἶδος shines round us in our walk. Comp. John 17:24, and the πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον, 1 Corinthians 13:12. εἶδος never means, as it is mostly explained, vision (not even in Numbers 12:8), but always species. The Vulgate renders rightly: per speciem. See Luke 3:22; Luke 9:29; John 5:37; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Duncan, Lex., ed. Rost, p. 333; Ast, Lex. Plat. I. p. 607 f.; Tittmann, Synon. p. 119, who, however, with the assent of Lipsius (Rechtfertigungsl. p. 100), wrongly takes it: externa rerum specie captum vivere, so that the meaning would be: “Vita nostra immortali ilia spe, non harum rerum vana specie regitur.” According to this view, different objects would quite arbitrarily be assumed for πίστις and εἶδος; and further, where Paul specifies with περιπατεῖν that by which it is defined, he uses as a prepositional expression not διά, but κατά (Romans 8:4; Romans 14:15, al.), or renders palpable the manner of the walking by ἐν (2 Corinthians 4:2; Romans 6:4, al.), or characterizes it by the dative, as 2 Corinthians 12:18; Galatians 5:16. These reasons tell also in opposition to Hofmann, who explains διά of the walk, which has its quality from faith, etc., and εἶδος of an outward form of the walker himself, in which the latter presents himself as visible.

Regarding the relation of the διὰ πίστεως to the διὰ εἴδους, observe that in the temporal life we have the πίστις, and not the εἶδος, while in the future world through the Parousia there is added to the πίστις also the εἶδος, but the former does not thereby cease, it rather remains eternal (1 Corinthians 13:13).


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/2-corinthians-5.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

2 Corinthians 5:7. διὰ πίστεως, by faith) Not to see, is nearly the same as being separated.— γὰρ, for) This refers to ἀπὸ, from [2 Corinthians 5:6, absent from the Lord].— περιπατοῦμεν, we walk) in the world. So πορεύεσθαι, Luke 13:33.— οὐ διὰ εἴδους, not by what appears to the eye [Engl. V. sight]) The LXX. translate מראה, εἶδος, vision, aspect, appearance.(26) See especially Numbers 12:8 : ἐν εἴδει, καὶ οὐ διʼ αἰνιγ΄άτων, apparently and not in dark speeches; likewise Exodus 24:17. Faith and sight are opposed to one another. Faith has its termination at death in this passage, therefore sight then begins.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/2-corinthians-5.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

That is, we live, and order our conversations, not by sight, or any evidence of sense, but by faith, which is described by the apostle, Hebrews 11:1, to be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We see nothing here by the eye of sense but mortality, corruption, and misery; but by faith we see another more excellent and glorious state, and we order our life according to our faith, and sight of things that are invisible: or sight here may be taken more strictly for the beatific vision prepared in heaven for the saints.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-corinthians-5.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

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


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/2-corinthians-5.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

7. διὰ πίστεωςδιὰ εἴδους. Perhaps διά has not quite the same shade of meaning in both cases. In each place it may indicate either the means by which, or the element through which, the motion takes place. The latter meaning easily passes into the condition in which a thing takes place. In Revelation 21:24 διὰ τοῦ φωτὸς περιπατεῖν may mean ‘walk in the light’ (A.V.), or, ‘amidst the light’ (R.V.), or, ‘by the light’ (R.V. margin). Here διὰ εἴδους cannot mean ‘by sight’ in the sense of ‘by our eyesight’: it means ‘by that which is seen’ (Luke 3:22; Luke 9:29); ‘we have no pillar of cloud or of fire to guide us.’ Comp. στόμα κατὰ στόμα λαλήσω αὑτῷ, ἐν εἴδει καὶ οὐ διʼ αἰνιγμάτων (Numbers 12:8), which S. Paul has also in mind in 1 Corinthians 13:12. We live here under a condition of believing in Christ, not under the condition of His visible presence.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/2-corinthians-5.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7. For—Reason why we realize the superiority of our Christ-home; our eye of faith sees what our eye of body does not.

We walk—The Christian’s progress through the world. By—Rather, through, the preposition of instrumentality, faith; being the candle through whose light we are thus able to walk aright.

By sight—Rather, according to appearance; that is, to the bodily eye. Faith enables us to walk in disregard of material and worldly interests.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-corinthians-5.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

2 Corinthians 5:7. διὰ πίστεως γὰρ κ. τ. λ.: for we walk by faith (cf. John 20:29, and chap. 2 Corinthians 4:18), i.e., in a state of faith (see note on διά with the gen. of attendant circumstances 2 Corinthians 2:4), not by appearance ( εἶδος, as the reff. show, must be thus translated = quod aspicitur; but nevertheless the rendering of A.V. and R.V. “not by sight,” though verbally inexact, conveys the sense. cf. Hebrews 11:1, ἔστιν δὲ πίστιςπραγμάτων ἔλεγχος οὐ βλεπομένων, and 1 Corinthians 13:12). The verse is parenthetical and explanatory of the sense in which we are “absent from the Lord”.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/2-corinthians-5.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

is only by faith we now walk in this foreign land towards God; we do not as yet feast on Him by any clear view. (Bible de Vence)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-corinthians-5.html. 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Verse 7 Faith is the assurance that we will have that new body in the heavens. We can not see it, but know it by faith (Hebrews 11:1).


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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/2-corinthians-5.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

by. Greek dia. App-104. 2 Corinthians 5:1.

faith, App-150.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-corinthians-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

We walk - in our Christian course on earth.

By faith , [ dia (Greek #1223) pisteoos (Greek #4102)] - in a medium or state of faith.

Not by sight , [ dia (Greek #1223) eidous (Greek #1491)] - 'not by appearance.' Our life is pervaded by faith in our immortal hope: not by the specious appearance of present things (Tittmann) (cf. Septuagint, Numbers 12:8). 2 Corinthians 4:18 confirms the English version (cf. Romans 8:24; 1 Corinthians 13:12-13). God has appointed in this life faith for our great duty; and in the next, vision for our reward (South) (1 Peter 1:8).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-corinthians-5.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

Not sight. "In our life here on earth, we do not see the heavenly things we long for! So our lives are based on faith, not sight."


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/2-corinthians-5.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) For we walk by faith, not by sight—Better, and not by what we see (or, by appearance). It seems almost sad to alter the wording of a familiar and favourite text, but it must be admitted that the word translated “sight” never means the faculty of seeing, but always the form and fashion of the thing seen. (Comp. Luke 3:22; Luke 9:29; John 5:37.) The fact is taken for granted; and it comes as the proof that as we are, we are absent from the Lord. Now we believe in Him without seeing Him; hereafter we shall see Him face to face. Our life and conduct and our “walk” in this world rest on our belief in the Unseen.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-corinthians-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
1:24; 4:18; Deuteronomy 12:9; Romans 8:24,25; 1 Corinthians 13:12; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 10:38; Hebrews 11:1-26,27; 1 Peter 1:8; 5:9

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-corinthians-5.html.

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

2 Corinthians 5:7

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 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" ( Psalm 142:4). And until refuge fails us in Prayer of Manasseh , 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" ( Psalm 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 Isaiah , 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."


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Bibliography
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jcp/2-corinthians-5.html.

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Thursday, July 16th, 2020
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