Living by faith rather than sight enables you to see far more than otherwise possible.
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2 Corinthians 5 (ESV)
1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed,
a building from God,
not made with hands,
eternal in the heavens.
2 For in this tent we groan,
longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,
3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.
4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan,
being burdened—not that we would be unclothed,
but that we would be further clothed,
so that what is mortal
may be swallowed up by life.
5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God,
who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6 So we are always of good courage.
that while we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord,
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
8 Yes, we are of good courage,
and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
whether we are at home or away,
we make it our aim to please him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,
so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.
But what we are
is known to God,
and I hope it is known also to your conscience.
12 We are not commending ourselves to you again
but giving you cause to boast about us,
so that you may be able to answer those who boast
about outward appearance
and not about what is in the heart.
if we are beside ourselves, it is for God;
if we are in our right mind, it is for you.
14 For the love of Christ controls us,
because we have concluded this:
that one has died for all,
therefore all have died;
15 and he died for all, that those who live
might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake
and was raised.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh.
we once regarded Christ according to the flesh,
we regard him thus no longer.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away;
behold, the new has come.
18 All this is from God,
who through Christ reconciled us to himself
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 that is,
in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself,
not counting their trespasses against them,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
we are ambassadors for Christ,
God making his appeal through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
21 For our sake
he made him to be sin
who knew no sin,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5 Summary
Meanwhile we groan (v2)
It may not sound very uplifting or inspiring, but it actually is. We have life pretty good here in SW Minnesota (or wherever you're tuning in from), so good that most of us are not very well accustomed to suffering, or groaning as Paul puts it here. The things we see (and touch, taste and smell for that matter... ok, maybe not always smell) are all so good. These good things are God's blessings for sure, but in the midst of our plenty we need to remember that this world and it's small pleasures is not our home. Instead, we must live a life in which we groan for Christ to come back and make all things new. In other words, we must live by faith, not by sight (v7).
Remind yourself to groan often.
You've likely heard the proverb that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. That same truth is conveyed in a much deeper way in v16:
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh.
We often make snap judgments about people based on very limited information, and too often we see people who've wandered so far from God's truth and into sinful lifestyles, so we assume that there's no hope for their salvation.
But don't fall into that trap. Verse 17 contains an amazing promise:
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
Once a person has been claimed by the Holy Spirit, their old nature passes away. It doesn't matter how wicked their deeds have been, the Spirit is able to regenerate them; that is, make them brand new again.
That's why the it's so important to implore all people to be reconciled to God.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Your Father God who has reconciled you to Himself through Christ (v18)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for making you a new creation and that He has entrusted you with the ministry of reconciliation (v19)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: