A Building of God

2Corinthians 5:1-8 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. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 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. Now he that has wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also has given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 

‘Tabernacle’ [Greek: skenos] tent (5:4). This refers to our body which is compared to a tent in which we dwell.

‘Dissolved’ [Greek: kataluo] dissolve; throw down (Matt. 24:2; Mark 13:2; Luke 21:6); overthrow (Acts 5:39); destroy (Matt. 5:17; 26:61; 27:40; Mark 14:58; 15:29; Acts 6:14; Rom. 14:20; Gal. 2:18); come to nought (Acts 5:38); lodge (Luke 9:12); and be guest (Luke 19:7). When the body dies and goes back to dust again (Gen. 3:19), we have a resurrected house to live in forever. This body must be dissolved before we can get the other body. It is mortal and we, in our present house (5:5) in which we groan, are burdened, greatly desiring the immortal body (5:2-5).

‘Building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.’ This building is our future and eternal immortal house which we get after this body is dissolved (5:1-5; 15:35-54).

‘But clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.’ This refers to putting on immortality, as explained in 1Corinthians 15:35-54. It will take place at the rapture (1Thess. 4:13-16; Php. 3:21).

‘Earnest of the Spirit’ God has given us the earnest or the firstfruit of the Spirit as a guarantee that we will be resurrected and put on immortality.

‘While we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. While we live in the body we are in our temporary home and absent from the eternal home with the Lord.

‘To be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.’ To die and be absent from the body means we go to heaven to be with the Lord (Php. 1:21-24; Heb. 12:23; Jas. 2:26; Rev. 6:9-11). This is proof that the inner man does not go to the grave at death, but to heaven, if one is righteous. If one is wicked he goes to hell awaiting the resurrection of his body (Luke 16:19-31, Rev. 20:11-15).

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