2 Corinthians 5
In chapter 3, Paul explains how the Spirit transforms believers so they are conformed to the image of Jesus. He now clarifies that this change means believers embody Jesus’ death through suffering and participate in His present, risen life. This life is ultimately experienced through the resurrection of the body in the future, but it also consists of an inward renewal in the midst of the challenges and troubles of daily existence. Our hope is, therefore, not a release from our bodies but a resurrection of our bodies so that the life inside us now will show outside as well. While we still suffer, this hope of bodily resurrection is a matter of faith.
5 We know that if our earthly house—a mere tent that can easily be taken down—is destroyed, we will then live in an eternal home in the heavens, a building crafted by divine—not human—hands. 2 Currently, in this tent of a house, we continue to groan and ache with a deep desire to be sheltered in our permanent home 3 because then we will be truly clothed and comfortable, protected by a covering for our current nakedness. 4 The fact is that in this tent we anxiously moan, fearing the naked truth of our reality. What we crave above all is to be clothed so that what is temporary and mortal can be wrapped completely in life. 5 The One who has worked and tailored us for this is God Himself, who has gifted His Spirit to us as a pledge toward our permanent home.
6 In light of this, we live with a daring passion and know that our time spent in this body is also time we are not present with the Lord. 7 The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes. 8 There is no doubt that we live with a daring passion, but in the end we prefer to be gone from this body so that we can be at home with the Lord. 9 Ultimately it does not matter whether we are here or gone; our purpose stays fixed, and that is to please Him. 10 In time we will all stand in judgment before the throne of the Anointed, the Liberating King, to receive what is just for our conduct (whether it be good or bad) while we lived in this temporary body.
11 So because we stand in awe of the one true Lord, we make it our aim to convince all people of the truth of the gospel; God sees who we really are, and I hope in some way that you’ll look deeply into your consciences to see us as well. 12 But we hope you understand that we are not trying to prove ourselves to you or pull together a résumé that will impress you. We are simply hoping that you will find a sense of joy in connecting with us. And when you are approached by others (who may value appearances more than the heart) asking questions about us, you will be able to offer an answer for them. 13 If we seem out of control or act like fanatics, it is for God. But if we act in a coherent and reasonable way, it is for you. 14 You see, the controlling force in our lives is the love of the Anointed One. And our confession is this: One died for all; therefore, all have died. 15 He died for us so that we will all live, not for ourselves, but for Him who died and rose from the dead. 16 Because of all that God has done, we now have a new perspective. We used to show regard for people based on worldly standards and interests. No longer. We used to think of the Anointed the same way. No longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone—and see—a new life has begun! 18 All of this is a gift from our Creator God, who has pursued us and brought us into a restored and healthy relationship with Him through the Anointed. And He has given us the same mission, the ministry of reconciliation, to bring others back to Him. 19 It is central to our good news that God was in the Anointed making things right between Himself and the world. This means He does not hold their sins against them. But it also means He charges us to proclaim the message that heals and restores our broken relationships with God and each other.
20 So we are now representatives of the Anointed One, the Liberating King; God has given us a charge to carry through our lives—urging all people on behalf of the Anointed to become reconciled to the Creator God. 21 He orchestrated this: the Anointed One, who had never experienced sin, became sin for us so that in Him we might embody the very righteousness of God.