2 Corinthians Jewish New Testament and comments of David H. Stern
1. We know that when the tent which houses us here on earth is torn down, we have a permanent building from God, a building not made by human hands, to house us in heaven.
2. For in this tent, our earthly body, we groan with desire to have around us the home from heaven that will be ours.
3. With this around us we will not be found naked.
4. Yes, while we are in this body, we groan with the sense of being oppressed: it is not so much that we want to take something off, but rather to put something on over it; so that what must die may be swallowed up by the Life.
5. Moreover, it is God who has prepared us for this very thing, and as a pledge he has given us his Spirit.
6. So we are always confident — we know that so long as we are at home in the body, we are away from our home with the Lord;
7. for we live by trust, not by what we see.
v. 4:13-5:7 Compare MJ 11:1,7. 10, 13,27.
8. We are confident, then, and would much prefer to leave our home in the body and come to our home with the Lord.
v. 4:13-5:8 In addition to God's power through the Spirit for bearing up under adversity, the Spirit enables us to trust (v. 13), and a major object of that trust is that we will be resurrected. This hope is not seen now but will last forever (v. 18). Three passages that contain similar ideas are 1С 15:35-52, Ro 8:17b-28 and Pp l:18b-30.
9. Therefore, whether at home or away from home, we try our utmost to please him;
10. for we must all appear before the Messiah’s court of judgment, where everyone will receive the good or bad consequences of what he did while he was in the body.
See 1C 3:8-15&N.
11. So it is with the fear of the Lord before us that we try to persuade people. Moreover, God knows us as we really are; and I hope that in your consciences you too know us as we really are.
12. We are not recommending ourselves to you again but giving you a reason to be proud of us, so that you will be able to answer those who boast about a person’s appearance rather than his inner qualities.
Sha'ul arms the people who are faithful to him so that they can answer those who elevate false emissaries because they judge by a person's appearance rather than "what is not seen" (4:18), his inner qualities (compare Yn 7:24).
13. If we are insane, it is for God’s sake; and if we are sane, it is for your sake.
If we are insane. Apparently some thought Sha'ul and his companions were, or he wouldn't have brought up the subject. As at Ac 26:24—29&NN he responds with a light touch: it is for God's sake; the implication is that he doesn't care all that much how people regard him (as at 6:8-10). Compare how Yeshua was regarded at Mk 3:20-21, Yn 10:20&N.
14. For the Messiah’s love has hold of us, because we are convinced that one man died on behalf of all mankind (which implies that all mankind was already dead),
15. and that he died on behalf of all in order that those who live should not live any longer for themselves but for the one who on their behalf died and was raised.
16. So from now on, we do not look at anyone from a worldly viewpoint. Even if we once regarded the Messiah from a worldly viewpoint, we do so no longer.
17. Therefore, if anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation — the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new!
If anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation. This verse is sometimes adduced to show that Jewish believers are no longer Jewish — because the old has passed. But Sha'ul is not talking about whether Messianic Jews are Jewish. He is talking about the fact that believers are now reconciled with God. Their old, unreconciled, sinful lives have passed into history. But they remain human beings with human characteristics and associations; they do not become abstract entities, divorced from their past. For evidence see Ro 11:13&N, Ga 2:13&N; also Ac 13:9N, Ga 3:28&N.
18. And it is all from God, who through the Messiah has reconciled us to himself and has given us the work of that reconciliation,
19. which is that God in the Messiah was reconciling mankind to himself, not counting their sins against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
20. Therefore we are ambassadors of the Messiah; in effect, God is making his appeal through us. What we do is appeal on behalf of the Messiah, “Be reconciled to God!
21. God made this sinless man be a sin offering on our behalf, so that in union with him we might fully share in God’s righteousness.”
v. 5:14-6:1 Sha'ul elaborates the ideas of this passage at Ro 3:24-26, 5:8-21, 7:24-8:13; 1С 15:22,56. All mankind was already dead (v. 14) spiritually and under sentence of physical and eternal death because of sin. Yeshua's death cancelled the sentence and turned spiritual death into spiritual life, through a new creation (v. 17). And all this has a purpose stated in v. 15. God... through the Messiah has reconciled us to himself, made an at-one-ment and, in keeping with v. 15, given us the work of making known that reconciliation (v. 18), explained in v. 19 and in the appeal of vv, 2ОЫ-21. Reconciliation is the work of diplomats, so it is appropriate that the proclaimers of the Good News are called ambassadors of the Messiah. This high office is given a still more exalted title in 6:1, God's fellow-workers.
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