The Book of 2 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 5 Part 1

We go on to 2 Cor 5:1-10
 
Death is a subject that is relevant for all human beings. We will all leave this body in one of two ways: either we will die and our soul will go elsewhere, or if we’re a believer, and if we’re alive at the time of our blessed hope (the rapture) this body will be changed and our souls will inhabit a new body, a Kingdom body.

v1: We: Paul is not speaking to the world but is speaking to believers in Messiah about an experience that is only specific to them.
·      Know: Written in the present tense. This means it was known in the past, is known now and will continue to be known into the future. This is something certain. We can be assured of this.
·      If: ‘If’ is correctly used here. Paul is speaking about the possibility of something that will happen, but no one knows necessarily when. 
·      Our earthly house: This is obviously not speaking about our place of residency, but Paul is speaking figuratively about our bodies – where our souls reside. 
·      Tent: Literally: Skin. Tent dwelling (living in an animal skin) was common at one time. Our souls have an earthly tent, human skin. Tents were temporary dwellings.
·      Building: Paul uses a different word here for a dwelling place. This shows a contrast between the earthly house (temporary) and the heavenly dwelling (eternal). A building is larger, greater and more significant than a tent (John 14:1-3). 
·      House: Literally: Home. A place of intimacy, a place of safety and security. 
·      Not made with (human) hands: If something exists in the Scripture that is not made by human hands normally, and rightly so, we assume it to be made by G-d.
·      In the heavens: Also connected to G-d and His Kingdom.
 
v2: In this: ‘This’ is a demonstrative pronoun. Whenever a demonstrative pronoun is used we need to realize that something is being pointed out in a very demonstrative way in regard to the subject (in this case the subject is our earthly bodies)
·      Groan: This is a word that expresses sorrow. It can express pain and discouragement. In this world we can have days when things are going well and then, before too long, something happens to interrupt our joy, our peace, our happiness. When we are in this earthly body we experience discomfort, pain, anxiety, sorrow, pain etc. 
·      Earnestly desire: YearnStrong, passionate, intense desire. We have such a strong desire for this new body as it is far superior, in every way, to the one we have right now. 
·      Clothed with: We are going to be changed, transformed. We are going to exchange this body that we are in for a new Kingdom body. 
 
v3: Naked: ‘Naked’ in the Bible is a term frequently associated with shame. One who has nothing pleasing to G-d is considered ‘naked’ (Those with dirty clothes or filthy garments are seen as unrighteous – not clothed correctly). If we are not naked it means we will not be ashamed before G-d as we are going to be clothed. 
 
v4: We who are in this tent: Referring to our souls/spirit, the very essence of who we are.
·      Tent: Skin
·      Groan: Same word for expressing pain, sorrow, grief, sadness and suffering.
·      Not because we want to be unclothed: As believers we do not just want to die and be done with it. A person who wants to escape life is not someone who has faith. But there should be a desire and a hope within us that this life is not all there is, and that we are waiting for our new bodies, bodies that are connected to G-d’s Kingdom. 
·      Mortality: Death. 
·      Swallowed up by life: Throughout the Scripture there is a consistent relationship between a Kingdom experience and life. We have a very small taste of life now, but when we are in the Kingdom, we will experience the fullness of what life truly is. This is what should excite and motivate us, driving our behaviour in this world.
 
v5: He: There is only One source that gives us this Kingdom life.
·      Prepared us: Working this out for usG-d works out this eternal life for us as we could never do it by ourselves – we are a recipient of what Messiah did for us. 
·      He gives to us: This (the Holy Spirit) is the proof. 
·      Guarantee: A down payment. A deposit. It’s only through a new covenant relationship (a covenant of redemption) that we can receive the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 59:20-21). Not only is G-d working this out for us, but we can be assured that these promises are true – the Holy Spirit working in our lives is evidence of that (eg: When we are tempted the Holy Spirit tells us that this is temptation and is not something we want to do). 
 
v6: Confident: We are confident because our expectations, our hope, is founded on the promises of G-d.
·      At home in the body we are absent from the L-rd: Being present in the body means that we are out of our heavenly home, we are absent from the L-rd. This tells us that we have to be in a new condition in order to be present with the L-rd in His Kingdom. Our souls can be in the Presence of the L-rd without their bodies. However, it is when we are clothed with our new bodies that we are enabled to dwell in the presence of G-d.
Note: There is a difference between the present-day heaven and the Kingdom of G-d. The present-day heaven is not eternal but, like the law, it is passing away – 2 Peter 3:13, Rev 21:1. It is also interesting to note that at the time the present heavens expire is the same time that the law expires (Matt 5:18) When we’re talking about our eternal dwelling place we are talking about the Kingdom of G-d. In order to function in this Kingdom, we need to have a new body – adapted specifically for this Kingdom. There is no indication from Scripture if those who come to faith after the rapture are going to be given a new body. One interpretation is that they might possibly be given one. Another interpretation is that they will continue on in their human bodies, but they will need to eat of the healing leaves in order not to experience decay – Rev 22:2 (they will be like Adam and Eve before the fall)
 
v7: We walk by faith: As long as we are not in our new body, not in the presence of G-d, we walk by faith. This means that we do not see as the world sees or believe as the world believes. Seeing with the eyes of this world lead us into deception. We see things only in one dimension – we do not perceive the spiritual dimension with our human eyes. We do not know what is taking place in the angelic realm, what battles are being fought around us etc. Because we do not see clearly with these eyes. We cannot make decisions solely on what we can see, but we need to base our decisions on truth, we make our decisions by faith. 
 
v8: Confident: Think well. The word used here is the word for thinking in a good way. Having the right perspective. 
·      Well pleased. Preferable. Profitable.
·      Absent: To be away from home.
·      Present: At home. Paul does not place any time period or waiting period between these two conditions. As a believer, if we are not at one place, then we are at the other. 
 
v9: Make it our aim: Having an ambition. Paul had a strong desire, a passion, to be well pleasing to G-d regardless of his circumstances.  
·      Him: Meaning the L-rd.
 
v10: All (of us): Paul is specifically speaking to all believers. Non-believers do not appear before the Judgment seat of Messiah. Non-believers are judged at the White Throne Judgment of G-d (Rev 20:11-15). These two judgments serve completely different purposes. The judgement seat of Messiah is a judgment of rewards. The Great White Throne Judgment is a judgment of condemnation. Everyone who goes to the Great White Throne Judgment will be tossed into the lake burning with fire.
·      Receive the things (payment): Our actions, our deeds, are going to produce a Kingdom result. We are compensated for what we have done. 
·      Whether good or bad: Messiah went to the cross for everything that we have done in the flesh that is displeasing to G-d. We are going to understand the consequences of those actions in this world for eternity (by suffering a loss of rewards), but Messiah has paid the price for them so we are not going to be judged for them. Messiah will get all the praise and honour for anything good that He did through us, and we get rewarded for those things. 
Note: Messiah has a purpose and a plan for our lives, and He also has all the rewards in place so that if we carry out those plans and purposes those rewards are waiting for us. But if we do not do those things G-d has planned for us to do then we lose the rewards that would have accompanied those things…we suffer loss (1 Cor 3:14-15). 
At this judgment, we are going to understand what our lives could have been, and we are also going to realize what faithlessness cost us. 

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