Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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      2 Corinthians - Chapter 05 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever.
    2. While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home.
    3. We want to put it on like clothes and not be naked.
    4. These tents we now live in are like a heavy burden, and we groan. But we don't do this just because we want to leave these bodies that will die. It is because we want to change them for bodies that will never die.
    5. God is the one who makes all of this possible. He has given us his Spirit to make us certain that he will do it.
    6. So always be cheerful! As long as we are in these bodies, we are away from the Lord.
    7. But we live by faith, not by what we see.
    8. We should be cheerful, because we would rather leave these bodies and be at home with the Lord.
    9. But whether we are at home with the Lord or away from him, we still try our best to please him.
    10. After all, Christ will judge each of us for the good or the bad that we do while living in these bodies.
    11. We know what it means to respect the Lord, and we encourage everyone to turn to him. God himself knows what we are like, and I hope you also know what kind of people we are.
    12. We are not trying once more to brag about ourselves. But we want you to be proud of us, when you are with those who are not sincere and brag about what others think of them.
    13. If we seem out of our minds, it is between God and us. But if we are in our right minds, it is for your good.
    14. We are ruled by Christ's love for us. We are certain that if one person died for everyone else, then all of us have died.
    15. And Christ did die for all of us. He died so we would no longer live for ourselves, but for the one who died and was raised to life for us.
    16. We are careful not to judge people by what they seem to be, though we once judged Christ in that way.
    17. Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.
    18. God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others.
    19. What we mean is that God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he has given us the work of sharing his message about peace.
    20. We were sent to speak for Christ, and God is begging you to listen to our message. We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God.
    21. Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God.
Reflections

2 Corinthians - Chapter 05

Entered: October 19, 2005
The theme song of chapter 5 might be, "This Earth is Not My Home." Paul talks about our earthly house and our house from heaven and how we long for the house from heaven over the earthly house. Even the gift of the Holy Spirit which is in us is a down payment of what is to come. So, while we are at home in this body, we are away from the Lord. Paul is saying that as Christians our true home is in heaven. Therefore, while on this earth we are not so much citizens as we are ambassadors for Christ who plead on Christ's behalf, "Be reconciled to God."

Entered: November 11, 2011

In verses 1-10 of chapter 5 Paul continued a topic he began in 4:16, focusing on the eternal rather than the temporary. The outer person, the body, is temporary. If we live for pleasing only the outer person we live only for things that are temporary and all of it will perish with the body. But the inner person is eternal. If we place our focus on the inner person we will find that we are "renewed day by day." (4:16) This earthly body is our present dwelling place and is like a tent compared to our heavenly dwelling place which is a building or a house. Paul's desire was to shed the mortality of this body so "mortality may be swallowed up by life." (5:4) Life in this body is not the real thing. Meanwhile, as long as he was in this mortal body, Paul wanted to be pleasing to the Lord, just as he would want to be if he were out of this body and present with the Lord. For it is the Lord who prepared us for the real life that is eternal. As long as we are in this body, though, there is present with us God's Spirit, the Holy Spirit, who serves as "a down payment" of that life in heaven. (5:5) There we will be fully present with Him, but now we have His Spirit with us.

All of this is more than a mental shift, attempting to think differently. For the believer in Christ it is a grasping of his new reality. Not only do we have a mental shift and a new knowledge of God, but we are new creations. Our old life has passed away - it has died with Christ. We are now raised to a new life with Him. Those who have this new life with Christ "should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised." (5:15) The One who "reconciled us to Himself through Christ" has now given us "the ministry of reconciliation." (5:18) We are now to be "ambassadors for Christ" and therefore "we plead with others on Christ's behalf, 'Be reconciled to God.'" (5:20)