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For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

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2Co 5:1-21. The Hope (2Co 4:17, 18) OF Eternal Glory in the Resurrection Body.

Hence arises his ambition to be accepted at the Lord's coming judgment. Hence, too, his endeavor to deal openly with men, as with God, in preaching; thus giving the Corinthians whereof to boast concerning him against his adversaries. His constraining motive is the transforming love of Christ, by whom God has wrought reconciliation between Himself and men, and has committed to the apostle the ministry of reconciliation.

1. For—Assigning the reason for the statement (2Co 4:17), that affliction leads to exceeding glory.

we know—assuredly (2Co 4:14; Job 19:25).

if—For all shall not die; many shall be "changed" without "dissolution" (1Co 15:51-53). If this daily delivering unto death (2Co 3:11) should end in actual death.

earthly—not the same as earthy (1Co 15:47). It stands in contrast to "in the heavens."

house of this tabernacle—rather, "house of the tabernacle." "House" expresses more permanency than belongs to the body; therefore the qualification, "of the tabernacle" (implying that it is shifting, not stationary), is added (compare Job 4:19; 2Pe 1:13, 14). It thus answers to the tabernacle in the wilderness. Its wooden frame and curtains wore out in course of time when Israel dwelt in Canaan, and a fixed temple was substituted for it. The temple and the tabernacle in all essentials were one; there was the same ark, the same cloud of glory. Such is the relation between the "earthly" body and the resurrection body. The Holy Spirit is enshrined in the believer's body as in a sanctuary (1Co 3:16). As the ark went first in taking down the wilderness tabernacle, so the soul (which like the ark is sprinkled with blood of atonement, and is the sacred deposit in the inmost shrine, 2Ti 1:12) in the dissolution of the body; next the coverings were removed, answering to the flesh; lastly, the framework and boards, answering to the bones, which are last to give way (Nu 4:1-49). Paul, as a tent-maker, uses an image taken from his trade (Ac 18:3).

dissolved—a mild word for death, in the case of believers.

we have—in assured prospect of possession, as certain as if it were in our hands, laid up "in the heavens" for us. The tense is present (compare Joh 3:36; 6:47, "hath").

a building of God—rather "from God." A solid building, not a temporary tabernacle or tent. "Our" body stands in contrast to "from God." For though our present body be also from God, yet it is not fresh and perfect from His hands, as our resurrection body shall be.

not made with hands—contrasted with houses erected by man's hands (1Co 15:44-49). So Christ's body is designated, as contrasted with the tabernacle reared by Moses (Mr 14:58; Heb 9:11). This "house" can only be the resurrection body, in contrast to the "earthly house of the tabernacle," our present body. The intermediate state is not directly taken into account. A comma should separate "eternal," and "in the heavens."