5:1 For 1 we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
(1) Taking occasion by the former comparison, he
compares this miserable body as it is in this life, to a frail and brittle
tabernacle. And contrasts this with the heavenly tabernacle, which he calls
that sure and everlasting condition of this same body glorified in heaven. And
this is so, he says, in that we are addicted to this tabernacle, but also with
sobs and sighs desire rather that tabernacle. And so this place concerning the
glory to come is put within the treatise of the dignity of the ministry, just
as it also was in the beginning of the second chapter.
5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be a
clothed upon with our house which is from b
(a) He calls the glory of immortality, which we
will be as it were clothed with, a garment.
(b) Heavenly, not that the substance of it is
heavenly, but rather the glory of it.
5:3 2 If
so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
(2) An exposition of the former saying: we do not
without reason desire to be clad with the heavenly house, that is, with that
everlasting and immortal glory, as with a garment. For when we depart from
here we will not remain naked, having cast off the covering of this body, but
we will take our bodies again, which will put on as it were another garment
besides. And therefore we do not sigh because of the weariness of this life,
but because of the desire of a better life. Neither is this desire in vain,
for we are made to that life, the pledge of which we have, even the Spirit of
5:5 Now he that hath c
wrought us for the selfsame thing [is] God, who also hath given unto us the
earnest of the Spirit.
(c) He means that first creation, to show us that
our bodies were made to this end, that they should be clothed with heavenly
Therefore [we are] always d confident,
knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
(3) He concludes something here from verse four,
and states it in the following way: "Therefore, seeing that we know by
the Spirit that we are strangers so long as we are here, we patiently suffer
this delay (for we are now so with God, that we behold him only by faith, and
are therefore now absent from him) but so that we aspire and have a longing
always to him. Therefore also we behave ourselves in such a way that we may be
acceptable to him, both while we live here, and when we go from here to
him." (2 Corinthians
(d) He calls them "confident" who are
always resolved with a quiet and settled mind to suffer any danger at all, not
doubting at all that their end will be happy.
5:7 (For we walk by e
faith, not by sight:)
(e) Faith, of those things which we hope for, not
having God presently in our physical view.
5:8 We are f
confident, [I say], and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be
present with the Lord.
(f) And yet we are in such a manner confident and
do so pass on our pilgrimage with a valiant and peaceful mind, that yet
nonetheless we had rather depart from here to the Lord.
5:9 Wherefore we g
labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
(g) And seeing that it is so, we strive to live
so, that both in this our pilgrimage here we may please him, and that at
length we may be received home to him.
For we must all h appear before the
judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his]
body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.
(4) That no man might think that what he spoke of
that heavenly glory pertains to all, he adds that every one will first render
an account of his pilgrimage, after he has departed from here.
(h) We must all appear personally, and enquiry
will be made of us, that all may see how we have lived.
Knowing therefore the i terror of the
Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are
made manifest in your consciences.
(5) Now he moves on, and taking occasion of the
former sentence returns to (2 Corinthians
4:16), confirming his own and his associates sincerity.
(i) That terrible judgment.
5:12 6 For
we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our
behalf, that ye may have somewhat to [answer] them which glory in k
appearance, and not in heart.
(6) He removes all suspicion of pride by a new
reason, because it is a responsibility, not for his part but for theirs, that
his apostleship be considered sincere compared to the vain display of a few
(k) In outward disguising, and that pretentious
show of man's wisdom and eloquence, and not in true godliness, which is
sealed in the heart.
For whether we be beside ourselves, [it is] to God: or whether we be sober, [it
is] for your cause.
(7) The meaning is: even when I am mad (as some
men think of me), while I seem as a fool to boast about myself, I do it for
your profit, to the same extent that I do when I preach only the Gospel to
For the love of Christ l constraineth
us; because we thus judge, that if m one
died for all, then were all dead:
(8) He continues dismissing all suspicion of
desire of estimation and boasting. For the love of Christ, he says, compels us
to this, that seeing he died for us all, who were dead when as we lived to
ourselves (that is, while we were yet given to these earthly affections) we in
like sort should consecrate our whole life which we have received from him, to
him. That is, being endued with the Holy Spirit to this end and purpose, that
we should meditate upon nothing but that which is heavenly.
(l) Wholly possesses us.
(m) He speaks here of sanctification, by which it
comes to pass that Christ lives in us.
5:15 And [that] he died for all, that they
which live should not henceforth n live
unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
(n) See Romans
Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: 10
yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we
[him] no more.
(9) He shows what it is not to live to ourselves
but to Christ, that is, to know no man according to the flesh. That is to say,
to be conversant among men and yet not to care for those worldly and carnal
things, as those do who have regard for a man's family, his country, form,
glory, riches, and such like, in which men commonly dote and weary themselves.
(10) An amplification: "This is", he
says, "so true, that we do not now think carnally of Christ himself, who
has now left the world, and therefore he must be thought of spiritually by
Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a o
new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
(11) An exhortation for every man who is renewed
with the Spirit of Christ to meditate on heavenly things, and not earthly.
(o) As a thing made new by God, for though a man
is not newly created when God gives him the spirit of regeneration, but only
his qualities are changed, yet nonetheless it pleased the Holy Spirit to speak
so, to teach us that we must attribute all things to the glory of God. Not
that we are as rocks or stones, but because God creates in us both the will to
will well, and the power to do well.
And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
(12) He commends the excellency of the ministry
of the Gospel, both by the authority of God himself, who is the author of that
ministry, and also by the excellency of the doctrine of it. For it announces
atonement with God by free forgiveness of our sins, and justification offered
to us in Christ, and that so lovingly and freely, that God himself does in a
way beseech men by the mouth of his ministers to have consideration of
themselves, and not to despise so great a benefit. And when he says so, he
plainly reprehends those who falsely attribute to themselves the name of
"pastor", as this calling can only come from God.
5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ,
reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and
hath p committed unto us the word of
(p) Used our labour and travail.
5:21 For he hath made
him [to be] q sin for us, who r
knew no sin; that we might be made the s
righteousness of God in him.
(q) A sinner, not in himself, but by imputation
of the guilt of all our sins to him.
(r) Who was completely void of sin.
(s) Righteous before God, and that with
righteousness which is not fundamental in us, but being fundamental in Christ,
God imputes it to us through faith.