Explanation & Application of Coming Glorious Realities.

Paul had unescapable recurring threats to his physical life. How did he not become distracted? 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 gives an explanation and application of why he so looked forward to coming glory. There are several glorious realities that await us.

New Body: Explanation

The new body we will receive is both spiritual and physical. This passage is the only use of the word “tent” in the New Testament. It refers to a temporary dwelling place, one that is uncertain and unsafe in storms. It also hearkens back to the nation of Israel’s time wandering in the wilderness and to the Tabernacle as the temporary earthly dwelling place of God.

“We know” indicates that Paul’s audience was familiar with the information he is about to write. Indeed, it is inevitable that our bodies will be “torn down.” These Christians also lived under the constant threat of physical persecution. At the same time, we live in the constant hope of seeing our Lord’s return. We live within the balance of both realities.

Paul does not want to exist in a disembodied state (verses 3-4). He was always focused on Gospel purpose. He also realized there is a sacred aspect to the physicality of humanity.

As soon as we are done with the “tent” of our earthly body, our heavenly dwelling is ready, imminently waiting for us. Our new body will be eternal and permanent like Christ’s resurrection body. (See 1 Corinthians 15:42-49 for a comparison of the two bodies.)

The word “longing” in verse 2 expresses a strong desire. It often describes lust, but here shows a good desire. There is an innate physical aspect to the image of God in humanity. As the second person of the Trinity, Christ took on flesh even when he was pre-Incarnate.

This body God has “prepared” for us is the result of an omnipotent determination. The Holy Spirit is our pledge of the future fulfillment of this promise.

New Body: Application

Our response to this promise is to walk by faith, not by sight. Our future is already a reality, although we can’t see it. So we can live encouraged!

Our ambition to please God is expressed by pursuing holy living. Paul reminds the Corinthians that they will have their Christian life judged by their Savior. The point of this is not fear but encouragement at the prospect of future reward.

Application Points

  • How often do you meditate on the future glory that God has in store for you?

  • How do you live in light of our future glory? Are you encouraged? How do you live by faith instead of sight?

  • When you stand alone before the judgement seat of your Savior, how do you want Him to evaluate your life? Does your holy living now give you the hope of eternal reward?

Cross References to Explore
  • Mark 14:58, John 2:21-22, Mark 7:34, Acts 7:34, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 – Our bodies will break down unless we see Christ’s return.

  • Romans 8:18-25 – Future glory in Creation.