The Ernest of the Spirit & Christian Ministry
2 Corinthians 5

When the Vessel is Completely Dissolved (Death) (5:1-8)

For we know that if our earthly tabernacle house be destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this we groan, ardently desiring to have put on our house which is from heaven; 3 if indeed being also clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For indeed we who are in the tabernacle groan, being burdened; while yet we do not wish to be unclothed, but clothed, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now he that has wrought us for this very thing is God, who also has given to us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, and know that while present 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 pleased rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. 

Practical Effect of this On the Apostles’ Ministry (5:9-13)

Before God (5:9-11)

9 Wherefore also we are zealous, whether present or absent, to be agreeable to him. 10 For we must all be manifested before the judgment-seat of the Christ, that each may receive the things done in the body, according to those he has done, whether it be good or evil. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men, but have been manifested to God, and I hope also that we have been manifested in your consciences. 

Before the Corinthians (5:12-13)

12 For we do not again commend ourselves to you, but we are giving to you occasion of boast in our behalf, that ye may have such with those boasting in countenance, and not in heart. 13 For whether we are beside ourselves, it is to God; or are sober, it is for you. 

A New Creation and the Ministry of Reconciliation (5:14-21)

14 For the love of the Christ constrains us, having judged this: that one died for all, then all have died; 15 and he died for all, that they who live should no longer live to themselves, but to him who died for them and has been raised. vv.14-15 Paul’s argument follows like this: if Christ had to die for us all, then we all must have been in a hopeless condition (dead). But in that He died for all, we who live with His life owe our all to Him.

16 So that “we” henceforth know no one according to flesh; but if even we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we know him thus no longer. 17 So if any one be in Christ, there is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold all things have become new: 18 and all things are of the God who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and given to us the ministry of that reconciliation:

Reconciliation comes in two phases. First, the reconciliation of persons (Rom. 5:11, II Cor. 5:18)… an ongoing work through the gospel of God’s grace. Second, the reconciliation of all things (Col. 1:20)… which will occur when the new heavens and earth are formed, and all things in the Eternal State are according to God mind.

19 how that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their offences; and putting in us the word of that reconciliation. 20 We are ambassadors therefore for Christ, God as it were beseeching by us, we entreat for Christ, Be reconciled to God. 21 Him who knew not sin he has made sin for us, that “we” might become God’s righteousness in him. 

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