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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's SECOND letter to the Corinthians

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 FRAMEWORKS: 2 Corinthians 5

In this ‘Framework' we use our usual text PLUS comment style to enable you, as simply as possible, to catch the sense of his writing.


FRAMEWORKS: 2 Corinthians 5: Perspectives from Heaven


v.1-10 Living with an Earthly Body
v.11-17 How we View Others
v.18-21 The Ministry of Reconciliation


[Chapter Synopsis: All the talk in chapter 4 of the ministry they have of bringing the gospel in weakness, impinges on how they think about themselves and the result of the ministry itself. They know that they have a new body awaiting them in heaven and they sometimes groan in anticipation of casting off this present body and receiving a new eternal one. God has given us His Spirit as a hint of what is yet to come but for now we can't see Him or that future so we have to walk by faith. This perspective changes how we view others who we see in the same light and the purpose of bringing the gospel is to reconcile others to God so they too may have this eternal perspective.]



v.1-10 Living with an Earthly Body


v.1 (if our body dies we have another in heaven) For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

v.2,3 (meanwhile we groan with this body, almost looking forward to the new body) Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.

v.4 (our groaning is not only over our physical state but also because we sense the possibility of the new body and long to be clothed with it) For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

v.5 (God who made us physical beings has now also given us His Spirit as a glimmer of what is to come) Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

v.6 (while we're living in this body we're reminded God is ‘up there' where we are to go one day) Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.

v.7 (meanwhile we live by faith, not by seeing him) For we live by faith, not by sight.

v.8 (in many ways we would prefer to move on to receive the new body and be with the Lord) We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

v.9 (so we seek to please him in whatever state he has given us at the present time) So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.

v.10 (and we know we'll have to tell him one day what we did while in this body) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.


[Passage Synopsis: A remarkable awareness comes through from Paul as to the reality of living in a human body which is only temporary while we wait for a new body in heaven. Indeed the sense of that new body to come sometimes makes him groan in eagerness to receive it, but in the meantime he will seek to be faithful how he uses this present body, knowing he will one day have to tell what he did with it.]



v.11-17 How we View Others


v.11 (because this awareness is so strong, it creates a holy awe in him as they try to persuade others with the gospel, because God sees both us and them) Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.

v.12 (we aren't trying to impress you with this but simply helping you feel confident about us so you can help others who aren't so sure about us) We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.

v.13 (if we're over the top for Christ it is for your sake) If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.

v.14 (…for his love energizes us, knowing he has died for us all) For Christ's love compels us because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.

v.15 (and he did that so in turn we could live for him who has been raised) And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

v.16 (so we no longer look at people from a purely human standpoint) So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.

v.17 (.. but we see those ‘in Christ' as new creations) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!


[Passage Synopsis: The awareness of the eternal future body helps Paul preach the gospel and he is saying these things to encourage the Corinthians in the way they view them so they feel they can trust Paul and the others (? and their message). It's a new way of looking at people, seeing their potential in eternity.]



v.18-21 The Ministry of Reconciliation


v.18,19 (all we've been saying is about how God reconciles us to Himself through Christ; that's the gospel) All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

v.20 (if you have never come, be reconciled to God) We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

v.21 (God made Jesus take our sins so we might receive His righteousness ) God made him who had no sin to be sin [Or be a sin offering] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

[Passage Synopsis: The result of all this is that we can be reconciled to God through Christ, and this is the message of the gospel we bring.]


Chapter Brief Summary/Recap:

Ch. 5: Perspectives from Heaven

•  the strains on the body from their ministry turns Paul's thoughts to the new heavenly body he will one day receive

•  once he thinks like that, he views others from that perspective

•  the pathway to that is the ministry of reconciliation, us to God



Continue to Chapter 6