II Corinthians 5

The servant of God who has the earnest of the Spirit to give everlasting grace and comfort, with a promise of a glorious resurrection body and the eternal fellowship of the Lord Jesus Himself, cannot but despise the brief sufferings and persecutions of this life, and be constrained by the love of Christ, manifested in the great instance of His dying for us, to persevere in testifying as ambassadors of heaven, to lost men.

1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

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

8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.

13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 – ​Longing to Be “Present with the Lord”

   This mortal life is a pilgrimage, and our body is a tent, so slight, so transitory, so easily taken down; but what does it matter, since there is awaiting us a mansion prepared by God? Often in this veil of flesh we groan. It cages us, anchors us down to earth, hampers us with its needs, obstructs our vision, and becomes the medium of temptation. How good it would be if our physical body could be suddenly transmuted into the glorified ethereal body which should be like the resurrection body of our Lord! It would be sweet to escape the wrench of death. But if not, then through death we shall carry with us the germ of the glorified body. That which shall be quickened will first die, but God will give it a body as it shall please Him.
   The gate of death may look gloomy on this side, but on the other it is of burnished gold, and opens directly into the presence-chamber of Jesus. We long to see Him and to be with Him; and such desires are the work of the Holy Spirit and the first fruits of heaven. But remember that just inside the door there is Christ’s judgment seat, where He will adjudge our life and apportion our reward. Prepare, my soul, to give an account of thy talents! —Through the Bible Day by Day

2 Corinthians 5:11-19 – ​Constrained by the Love of Christ

   It was of small importance in Paul’s eyes what his critics thought of him. He desired only to please his supreme Lord, whether he lived or died, was considered cold and staid or hot and impassioned. He was overmastered by his love of Christ. This may have been the sense of Christ’s love to his unworthy self, or the emotion that burned in his soul toward Christ, or the very love of Christ received into his heart, as a tiny creek on the shore receives the pulse of the ocean tide.
   The Apostle had arrived at the deliberate conclusion and judgment that the “all” who realized what Christ had done for them (and he among them) must live with as much devotion toward Him as others toward themselves. A new world had been opened by Christ’s resurrection. All things had become new. Let us live in daily touch with that world of faith and glory, refusing to be judged by the old standards. It is clear that the reconciliation of the world is as complete as God can make it, but it is for us to urge men to fall in with and accept God’s proposals. —Through the Bible Day by Day

II Corinthians 5:18—All things are of God.

​   Of here is equivalent to out of. All the precious contents of the Gospel have emanated from the heart of God; so that we may say with the psalmist, “All my springs are in thee” (Psalm 87:7).
   That we have a building, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, to which to go when the earthly house of this tabernacle is broken up; that it is possible for the mortal to be swallowed up in the descending glory of the Second Advent; that we have received the Spirit as earnest of our future glory; that we shall be one day at home with the Lord; that One died for all that the dominion of the self-life should be destroyed, and that they should henceforth live, not to themselves, but to Him; that it is possible to become a new creation in Christ; that God is already reconciled to the world of men, and is only waiting for them to be reconciled to Him; that He hath committed to men the ministry of reconciliation, and commissioned them to be his ambassadors; that it is possible for us to be the righteousness of God in Jesus—all these things have issued from his heart of love.
   Oh for a soul as wide as the utmost circle of the highest heaven that containeth all, to contain his love! Oh, world’s wonder! Oh, what a sight to be up in heaven, in “the fair orchard of Paradise!” But the very greatness of his provisions will make our doom the greater, if we refuse or ignore them. The men who made light of the king’s invitation had their city burnt. This is the terror of the Lord; and our duty is to beseech men not to put away the reconciliation which God offers. Let the “all things” of your life be of God’s direction, impulse, and inspiration. —Our Daily Homily

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 – ​Ambassadors for Christ

   On God’s side the work of reconciliation is complete. Everything has been done and is in readiness to make forgiveness and justifying righteousness possible as soon as a penitent soul asks for them. He only waits for us to make application for our share in the atonement of Calvary. Many as our trespasses have been, they are not reckoned to us, because they were reckoned to Christ. God wants this known, and so from age to age sends out ambassadors to announce these terms and urge men to accept them. —Through the Bible Day by Day