Life-Study of 2 Corinthiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 2 Corinthians 5 Paul covers a number of important points. Let us briefly enumerate these points and then go on to consider them.
First in this chapter Paul covers the longing to be clothed upon with a transfigured body (5:1-8). This is related to the redemption of the body. Paul desired to be clothed upon with a transfigured body, with a body in resurrection. In verses 1 and 2 he says, “For we know that if our earthly tabernacle house is taken down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens. For indeed in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our dwelling place from heaven.”
The second matter covered by Paul in this chapter is the ambition to please the Lord: “Wherefore also we are ambitious, whether at home or away from home, to be well-pleasing to Him” (v. 9). Here to be ambitious is to be zealous with a strong aim, to strive earnestly to be well-pleasing to the Lord. We all should have the ambition to please the Lord. We should not be ambitious to have some kind of position in the church life, but we should be ambitious to be well-pleasing to the Lord.
The third point is being constrained to live to the Lord. In verses 14 and 15 Paul says, “For the love of Christ constrains us, having judged this, that One died on behalf of all; therefore all died; and He died on behalf of all, that those who live may no longer live to themselves, but to Him Who died for them and has been raised.” In these verses Paul speaks of being constrained to live not for the Lord, but to live to the Lord.
In verses 16 and 17 Paul goes on to mention a fourth matter, the new creation: “So that we, from now on, know no one according to flesh; even if we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we know Him so no longer. So that if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, they have become new.”
Fifth, in verses 18 through 20 Paul speaks regarding the ministry of reconciliation. In verse 18 he says, “But all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” In verse 19 he speaks of “the word of reconciliation,” and in verse 20 he entreats the saints on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God.
Finally, in verse 21 we have the crucial matter of God’s righteousness: “Him Who did not know sin He made sin on our behalf, that we might become God’s righteousness in Him.”
Apparently these six matters are of different categories and are not related to one another. Thus, it is possible to read this chapter without seeing any continuation between one point and another. Actually, there is a continuation, and it is not difficult to see it.
Not only do the important points in chapter five continue one another, but chapter five is itself a continuation of chapter four. This is indicated by the fact that 5:1 begins with the word “for.” “For” indicates that what is to be covered in this chapter is an explanation of what is spoken in 4:13-18.
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