Devotional Readings

2 Corinthians 5 – Is this Good News?

I’ll step out on a limb here. And argue that the best way to interpret scripture is to use scripture.
Reading this chapter it seems to be perfect for helping to understand some of the text we saw earlier in Matthew 16. More specifically the aspects of Judgment, works and what it means to take up our cross, which we read in that chapter also.         

2Co 5:1  For 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.

2Co 5:2  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

2Co 5:3  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

2Co 5:4  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

2Co 5:5  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

2Co 5:6  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

2Co 5:7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

2Co 5:8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

2Co 5:9  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

2Co 5:10  For we must all 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.

2Co 5:11  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

2Co 5:12  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 appearance, and not in heart.

2Co 5:13  For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

2Co 5:14  For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

2Co 5:15  And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

2Co 5:16  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

2Co 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2Co 5:18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

2Co 5:19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

2Co 5:20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

2Co 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.



Since works are always a point of contention, let’s note that Paul encourages us towards being new creatures, having a ministry of reconciliation, and a word of reconciliation, or more specifically being ambassadors for Christ.


 Old John Gill writes about our works:


BTW, If this ever gets into WikiLeaks we are doomed, the CIA, NSA and the Russian’s are a drop in the bucket compared to this intelligence gathering. Oh, if only we believed it!

2 Corinthians 5:10

For we must all appear,…. This is a reason why the saints are so diligent and laborious, so earnest and intent upon it, to be accepted of the Lord, because they must stand

before the judgment seat of Christ; who is appointed Judge of the whole earth, who is every way qualified for it, being God omnipotent and omniscient; and when he comes a second time will sit upon his great white throne, a symbol of purity and integrity, and will enter on this work, and finish it with the strictest justice and equity: and before him “we must all appear”; all the saints as well as others, ministers and people, persons of all ranks and conditions, of every nation, age, and sex; there will be no avoiding this judgment, all “must appear”, or “be made manifest”; they will be set in open view, before angels and men; their persons, characters, and actions, even the most secret will be:

that everyone may receive the things done in his body; which he has performed by the members of the body as instruments thereof, or whatsoever he has done whilst in the body; and so this not only reaches to words and actions, but includes all the secret thoughts of the mind, and counsels of the heart, which will be made manifest: and when it is said, that “everyone shall receive” these; the meaning is, that he shall receive the reward of them,

according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad; the reward of good works will be of grace, and not of merit: good works will be considered at the last judgment, not as causes of eternal life and happiness, to which the saints will be adjudged; but will be produced in open court as fruits of grace, and as evidences of the truth of faith, which will justify the Judge in proceeding according to what he himself, as a Saviour, has said,

he that believeth shall be saved, he that believeth not shall be damned. The reward of bad works will be in strict and just proportion, according to the nature and demerit of them. The Jews say (f), that

“all the works which a man does in this world, בגופא, “in the body”, and spirit, he must give an account of in body and spirit before he goes out of the world.”

And again (g), all the works of men are written in a book, הן ביש הן טוב, “whether good or evil”, and for them all they must give account.

(f) Zohar in Gen. fol. 57. 3. (g) Midrash Hanneelim in Zohar in Gen. fol. 75. 4.


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