2 Corinthians 5

* The apostle's hope and desire of heavenly glory. (1-8) This

excited to diligence. The reasons of his being affected with

zeal for the Corinthians. (9-15) The necessity of regeneration,

and of reconciliation with God through Christ. (16-21)

1-8 The believer not only is well assured by faith that there

is another and a happy life after this is ended, but he has good

hope, through grace, of heaven as a dwelling-place, a

resting-place, a hiding-place. In our Father's house there are

many mansions, whose Builder and Maker is God. The happiness of

the future state is what God has prepared for those that love

him: everlasting habitations, not like the earthly tabernacles,

the poor cottages of clay, in which our souls now dwell; that

are mouldering and decaying, whose foundations are in the dust.

The body of flesh is a heavy burden, the calamities of life are

a heavy load. But believers groan, being burdened with a body of

sin, and because of the many corruptions remaining and raging

within them. Death will strip us of the clothing of flesh, and

all the comforts of life, as well as end all our troubles here

below. But believing souls shall be clothed with garments of

praise, with robes of righteousness and glory. The present

graces and comforts of the Spirit are earnests of everlasting

grace and comfort. And though God is with us here, by his

Spirit, and in his ordinances, yet we are not with him as we

hope to be. Faith is for this world, and sight is for the other

world. It is our duty, and it will be our interest, to walk by

faith, till we live by sight. This shows clearly the happiness

to be enjoyed by the souls of believers when absent from the

body, and where Jesus makes known his glorious presence. We are

related to the body and to the Lord; each claims a part in us.

But how much more powerfully the Lord pleads for having the soul

of the believer closely united with himself! Thou art one of the

souls I have loved and chosen; one of those given to me. What is

death, as an object of fear, compared with being absent from the

Lord!
9-15 The apostle quickens himself and others to acts of duty.

Well-grounded hopes of heaven will not encourage sloth and

sinful security. Let all consider the judgment to come, which is

called, The terror of the Lord. Knowing what terrible vengeance

the Lord would execute upon the workers of iniquity, the apostle

and his brethren used every argument and persuasion, to lead men

to believe in the Lord Jesus, and to act as his disciples. Their

zeal and diligence were for the glory of God and the good of the

church. Christ's love to us will have a like effect upon us, if

duly considered and rightly judged. All were lost and undone,

dead and ruined, slaves to sin, having no power to deliver

themselves, and must have remained thus miserable for ever, if

Christ had not died. We should not make ourselves, but Christ,

the end of our living and actions. A Christian's life should be

devoted to Christ. Alas, how many show the worthlessness of

their professed faith and love, by living to themselves and to

the world!
16-21 The renewed man acts upon new principles, by new rules,

with new ends, and in new company. The believer is created anew;

his heart is not merely set right, but a new heart is given him.

He is the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good

works. Though the same as a man, he is changed in his character

and conduct. These words must and do mean more than an outward

reformation. The man who formerly saw no beauty in the Saviour

that he should desire him, now loves him above all things. The

heart of the unregenerate is filled with enmity against God, and

God is justly offended with him. Yet there may be

reconciliation. Our offended God has reconciled us to himself by

Jesus Christ. By the inspiration of God, the Scriptures were

written, which are the word of reconciliation; showing that

peace has been made by the cross, and how we may be interested

therein. Though God cannot lose by the quarrel, nor gain by the

peace, yet he beseeches sinners to lay aside their enmity, and

accept the salvation he offers. Christ knew no sin. He was made

Sin; not a sinner, but Sin, a Sin-offering, a Sacrifice for sin.

The end and design of all this was, that we might be made the

righteousness of God in him, might be justified freely by the

grace of God through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

Can any lose, labour, or suffer too much for Him, who gave his

beloved Son to be the Sacrifice for their sins, that they might

be made the righteousness of God in him?

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