I had just heard a pastor say, “It all goes downhill at age 27.” He was speaking about the breakdown of our physical bodies; but at age 29, I doubted him. That was, until I propped a thick wooden board perpendicular on the side of the truck. As I unloaded materials, the board slid down the side, and its edge crashed into my hip. While painful, I shrugged it off. I figured the aching and bruising would go away in a day or two, like usual. It took two weeks! It was then that I realized I was getting older.
- Where do you seek comfort when faced with the process of aging and its imminent outcome?
READ THE WORD: 2 CORINTHIANS 5:1-10 (ESV)
5:1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 1-5.)
- What did Paul and Timothy know about the destruction of their physical bodies (vs. 1)?
- In verse 2, what was the reason for their groaning?
- What was the result of their groaning in this life (vs. 4)?
- In verse 5, what is “this very thing,” for which God has prepared believers?
- What steps will you take to find comfort in God’s assurance of life after death for those who trust in Christ?
RESPOND TO GOD
While suffering and death are guaranteed in this life, comfort can be found. It’s trusting that an aging body will be replaced by a better one. It’s remembering God’s promise of a future with him. It’s the reassurance of the Spirit’s presence in our lives. It’s realizing that we are not yet home. God has prepared us for mortality now and for immortality next. That is guaranteed.
- Ask the Father to remind you of the Spirit’s presence in your life today.
- Thank him for preparing you for this life and providing a better one for you in the next.
NOW: While suffering and death are guaranteed in this life, we can find comfort in God’s assurance for a better life after death.
ALWAYS: While suffering and death are present in this life, God’s people live with their future guaranteed by the Spirit.
THEN: The reason for Paul’s contrast, continuing from 4:18, between the future eternal body given by God and the physical body, from which they groaned within and would eventually die, was to provide assurance from death with the Spirit as their guarantee.
- The conditional effect from the dismantling of their physical bodies, as was evidenced by the Paul and Timothy, was that God would give them an eternal body. (v1)
- The cause for the eternal body was that their physical body was dismantled.
- The effect from the dismantling of their physical bodies was an eternal body given by God.
- The conditional reason they groaned in their physical body in which a heavenly body would prevent resurrection without a body was because they desired to be with God in heaven. (v2-3)
- The place that they groaned was in their physical body.
- The reason they groaned was because they desired to be with God in heaven. (v2)
- The emphatic cause of resurrection without a body was to put on the heavenly house.
- The effect of putting on the heavenly house was to be resurrected with a body. (v3)
- The purpose for being clothed, in which being unclothed resulted in groaning, was that temporary would eventually die. (v4)
- The conditional duration for their groaning was while they were in their physical body.
- The result for their groaning was that they were weighed down.
- The reason they groaned was due to the contrast of being clothed versus unclothed.
- The purpose for being clothed was that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
- The divine being who prepared them for that very purpose and gave the Spirit as a down payment was God. (v5)
- The divine being who prepared them for that very purpose was the one true God.
- The down payment given by the one true God was the Spirit.