5 We know that if the life we live here on earth is ever taken down like a tent, we still have a building from God. It is an eternal house in heaven that isn’t made by human hands. 2 In our present tent-like existence we sigh, since we long to put on the house we will have in heaven. 3 After we have put it on,[a] we won’t be naked. 4 While we are in this tent, we sigh. We feel distressed because we don’t want to take off the tent, but we do want to put on the eternal house. Then eternal life will put an end to our mortal existence. 5 God has prepared us for this and has given us his Spirit to guarantee it.
6 So we are always confident. We know that as long as we are living in these bodies, we are living away from the Lord. 7 Indeed, our lives are guided by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident and prefer to live away from this body and to live with the Lord. 9 Whether we live in the body or move out of it, our goal is to be pleasing to him. 10 All of us must appear in front of Christ’s judgment seat. Then all people will receive what they deserve for the good or evil they have done while living in their bodies.
Christ’s Love Guides Us
11 As people who know what it means to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. God already knows what we are, and I hope that you also know what we are. 12 We are not trying to show you our qualifications again, but we are giving you an opportunity to be proud of us. Then you can answer those who are proud of their appearance rather than their character. 13 So if we were crazy, it was for God. If we are sane, it is for you. 14 Clearly, Christ’s love guides us. We are convinced of the fact that one man has died for all people. Therefore, all people have died. 15 He died for all people so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for the man who died and was brought back to life for them.
16 So from now on we don’t think of anyone from a human point of view. If we did think of Christ from a human point of view, we don’t anymore. 17 Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. 18 God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. 19 In other words, God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn’t hold people’s faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others. 20 Therefore, we are Christ’s representatives, and through us God is calling you. We beg you on behalf of Christ to become reunited with God. 21 God had Christ, who was sinless, take our sin so that we might receive God’s approval through him.
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