Tag Archives: 2 Corinthians 5-8

December 4, 2017 Bible Study — Seeking To Put On Our Eternal Bodies

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.

Today, I am reading and commenting on 2 Corinthians 5-8.

    At the end of yesterday’s passage, Paul wrote, “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” In today’s passage he continues that thought with a mixture of two metaphors. He compares our earthly bodies to tents which are temporary dwelling places which provide limited shelter from the elements and then compares our resurrection bodies to buildings which are permanent dwelling places which provide much better shelter from the elements. Just as a building is far superior to a tent as a place to call home, so our resurrection bodies will be far superior to our earthly bodies. Paul then transitions to comparing our earthly and resurrection bodies to clothing. He describes how our faith should lead us to desire death and resurrection, not as a desire to die and leave our earthly bodies but as a desire to enter into our resurrection bodies. Our only reason for desiring the death of our earthly bodies is to put on our resurrection bodies. Paul teaches that we should not seek death, yet we should welcome it when it comes, not just for ourselves but also for our fellow believers.

    A little further on Paul writes that a believer should not team up with an unbeliever. I remember when I was growing up this verse was often used to indicate that a believer should not date, let alone marry, an unbeliever. While that is very true, it is not what Paul is talking about here. This is a much more general instruction. I think that everyone needs to think about how this applies to their own lives, but I can think of examples of bands and business partnerships which foundered because believers partnered with unbelievers. As the band or business started to prosper, the believers and the unbelievers discovered that their priorities were in conflict. Paul continues on by describing how we are a temple to the living God. In light of this Paul tells us that we should cleanse ourselves of all impurity, of anything which could make us unfit to house the Spirit of God. By following Paul’s instruction to act out of our fear of God and work toward complete holiness we can go back and evaluate how Paul’s instruction to not team up with unbelievers applies in our lives.

December 4, 2016 Bible Study — What Does It Mean To Be Christ’s Ambassador?

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.

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Today, I am reading and commenting on 2 Corinthians 5-8.

    Paul tells us that we are Christ’s ambassadors in this world. An ambassador is someone sent on behalf of a sovereign to deliver that sovereign’s message to those who do not currently accept that sovereign’s rule. I want to bring up two important elements of an ambassador’s role. The first is that the ambassador is obligated by his sovereign to always act and speak in ways which bring honor to that sovereign. The second is that the sovereign will view anything said or done to the ambassador as if it was said or done to himself. So, as ambassador’s of Christ we are obligated to carefully consider ALL of our actions and words to determine if they bring honor and glory to Christ. And, when our actions do this, than anything which anyone says or does to us is directed at Christ, not us, and God will respond to it accordingly.

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    While Paul is explaining what it means to be ambassadors for Christ he writes some great lessons for us. We should act to bring glory to God even if that causes people to think we are crazy. Actually, the way I read it, if our actions are bringing glory to God there will be a large number of people who think we are crazy. However, there are times when we need to explain our actions and show people that we are not crazy. We do not do this for our benefit. Rather we do it for those to whom we are speaking. God has reconciled us to Himself. He has given us the task of showing other people how they can be reconciled to God. In order for them to accept this message they must see that we are not crazy. They must see that our actions which appear crazy are the logical consequence of the new people into whom Christ has transformed us. We no longer live for ourselves. Instead we live for Christ and our lives should reflect both the responsibility this entails and the joy that results from doing so..