2 Corinthians 5

Paul's Motive

Paul Elaborates on the Resurrection (1-5)

In keeping with the theme of resurrection, Paul elaborates on transitory condition of the Corinthians' present bodies and the body they all long for, “to put on their heavenly dwelling,” their resurrected bodies (1). Paul is clear; there is a body to come not made with any human help and that body to come is exactly what they were presently longing for (2-3). Death was not the Corinthians’ waiting to be bodiless but being clothed with an immortal body. Paul wanted them to know they were beginning to put that body on already as they passed through trials and even death by enduring faith (4). The Holy Spirit transforming the Corinthian followers into faith-enduring people was their guarantee the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit had already been given to them (5).  

[The inability to faith endure was evidence in Paul's mind of the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit not abiding in some one. Those without the Holy Spirit and thus a sense of the resurrection had to have everything now because there was no real faith concerning their future.]

Paul Defines the Eternal Objective of Christ's Followers (6-10)

Paul then inspires the Corinthians to courage and confidence. Being home here means they were away from the Lord (6). So if they were away from the Lord, they needed to grow accustomed to walking by faith and not by what their eyes were telling them (7). While every Corinthian would hopefully rather already be living in their resurrected bodies, their actual objective would be to do what they would do either place, please the Lord (8-9). Two issues certain for Paul: all would die and all would appear before the judgment seat to receive what they had sown in this life, so based on this confidence he encouraged them to live to please the Lord (10).

Paul's Review of God's Judgment (11-17)

Paul makes a quick review of his concept of God's judgment. Because he feared the Lord, revered Him, and believed God was good to His Word, Paul gave his life to persuading others to know Christ. Paul then told the Corinthians his true motive of revering God were actually known to God, and he hoped those true motives were clear to their conscience as well (11).  

Paul was clear; he was not seeking to defend his ministry as he had been doing in the earlier part of the letter. Instead, Paul was trying to help them discern the difference in motives between those who sought to impress them with their outward show of gift and concern with his own apostolic company who were genuinely on their side out of reverence for God (12).  

Paul put it all in perspective; if he seemed overly serious or out of his mind (13) he wanted the Corinthians to know it was love controlling his actions.

Paul came to some huge conclusions based on the gospel of Christ:

a) One had died, Jesus; therefore all had died (14).
b) One had died, Jesus; so none would need live any longer for themselves.
c) One had died, Jesus; so all who weren't living for themselves could live for Him (15).
d) One had died, Jesus; so from then on, no one could be purely known by their flesh life, not even Jesus (16).
e) One had died, Jesus; so all who were in Him were a new creation—the old person who they once were was passing away (17).

Paul's Controlling Motive (18-21)

Paul's controlling motive, “love," was not only the controlling motive but the basis of Paul’s ministry and message (18). He viewed all he did as seeking to reconcile people to who they were in Christ (19). He saw reconciling as an act of not making people pay for their sins but being reconciled to God (20). Paul heralded the message that Jesus Who knew no sin was made to be sin so those who believed could be inwardly transformed by Jesus and become the righteous persons we were created to be (21).