The Expository Files.

 There Is More To You!

2 Corinthians 5:1-5
 

 The first paragraph in Second Corinthians five continues a discussion that begins back in chapter four. Paul was speaking for himself and his faithful companions in the work. He said, "we do not lose heart." The apostles and evangelists suffered such serious affliction Paul said back in verse 12, "death is working in us." Yet, they did "not lose heart." He said, "even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day." That means that even though their bodies were subjected to punishment and the natural process of aging, inside, in their hearts or their character, they were being renewed day by day. The body was wearing out but the spirit was abounding in renewal and strength. That's what this is about! It says, "even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day."

Paul added this: "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Paul regarded their affliction as "light" and "momentary" but he goes beyond that. He said this affliction we endure "is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory..." Their faithfulness in time of affliction actually helped them concentrate on and fix their hope on the eternal glory of heaven - - the destiny of the inner man! I like the way the NIV translates this: "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

What a marvelous attitude! It says: "We are just not that concerned about the trouble we have on earth. It serves a good purpose if it helps us think about and concentrate on heaven!!" I believe that's what Paul is saying and I believe we all need this same attitude. The trouble and stress and difficulty we endure on earth only serves to help us think about and concentrate on and strive for OUR HEAVENLY REWARD!

Christians believe though the outer man is subject to death and decay, the inner man is eternal, and God has promised a glorious eternity to His people.

Notice the last paragraph in 2 Cor. 4, beginning at verse 16 . . .

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Now move right into chapter five, the first five verses and note the connection, the flow of thought continues . . .

2 Cor. 5:1-5
"For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee."
Paul suffered affliction to the point where he said, "death is working in us," yet he did not lose heart - because he knew something --> "...if our earthy house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Let us learn: This body we occupy may be punished by injustice, illness or age - BUT WE ARE MORE THAN THE BODIES WE OCCUPY.

As expressed in the latter part of chapter four: there is "our outward man" that is perishing, but there is "the inward man" that is being renewed day by day. I believe the "inward man" back in 4:16 is the same as this "building from God," this "house not made with hands," in verse 1 of chap. 5.

Again, there is a part of us that is NOT SUBJECT TO DEATH AND DECAY - a part of us that will live on beyond death. We have this body or this tent, but there is something inside the tent, the inner man; the "building from God." Paul said: we groan; we earnestly desire to be clothed with this other habitation, "that mortality may be swallowed up by life."

I am motivated to obey the gospel and serve the Lord faithfully when I become convinced that THERE IS MORE TO ME THAN JUST A BODY. The physical body is merely the tent, the outer shell; a temporary dwelling place, in which we sojourn till the day comes when it is dissolved and we enter into another realm.

Paul was motivated to faithfulness and endurance, longing to shed the outer tent and enter into another existence to serve and to adore God. Now, Paul did not despise this life but he longed for the better and lasting home. His attitude was - What does it matter of my body-tent is destroyed . . . I have another body, a building from God, and that inner man will enjoy a more glorious existence when mortality is swallowed up by life, and God has guaranteed this!

I am motivated to obey the gospel and serve the Lord faithfully - when I become convinced that THERE IS MORE TO ME THAN JUST A BODY.

By Warren E. Berkley
From Expository Files 4.12; December 1997

 

 

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