Table of Contents
In this chapter, the apostle expresses his hope and desire for heavenly glory. He emphasizes the believer’s assurance of a blissful life beyond this earthly existence. Let’s delve into the reasons behind his zeal for the Corinthians and the significance of regeneration and reconciliation with God through Christ.
The Believer’s Hope and Rest
The believer’s faith not only assures them of an eternal life after death but also fills them with a hopeful anticipation of dwelling in heaven. It is a place of rest, a haven, and a dwelling place prepared by God Himself. Unlike the transient earthly tabernacles that decay and crumble, the heavenly mansions are everlasting. Our earthly bodies burden us, and the trials of life weigh us down. But believers, burdened by their sinful nature and the corruption within, long for the day that death will strip away their earthly clothing and they will be clothed with garments of praise, righteousness, and glory. The present graces and comforts of the Holy Spirit serve as a foretaste of the everlasting grace and comfort that awaits them.
Walking by Faith and Living by Sight
While God is with us in this world through His Spirit and His ordinances, our true hope lies in the future—when we will be fully united with Him. Faith guides us in this world, but sight will be our reality in the next. This understanding illuminates the indescribable joy that believers will experience when they are absent from the body and present with the Lord. We are connected to our earthly bodies, but the Lord passionately pleads for our souls to be closely united with Him. He proclaims, “You are one of the souls I have loved and chosen, one of those given to me.” In light of this, what is the fear of death compared to being absent from the Lord?
The Urgency of Acts of Duty
The apostle urges himself and others to act diligently, reminding them that having a firm hope of heaven should not lead to laziness or complacency. He emphasizes the impending judgment—the terror of the Lord— that will befall those who persist in sin. It is with this knowledge that the apostle and his brethren passionately encourage people to believe in and follow the Lord Jesus. Their zeal and diligence stem from their desire to bring glory to God and promote the well-being of the church. Christ’s love for us should have a similar effect on our lives if we truly ponder and comprehend it. We were all lost and helpless, slaves to sin, with no power to save ourselves. We would have remained miserable forever if Christ had not intervened. Therefore, our lives should be dedicated to Christ, rather than to ourselves and the world.
The Renewed Man and Reconciliation with God
When a person is renewed in Christ, their thoughts, actions, and motivations change. They are no longer the same. They receive a new heart and become the handiwork of God, created for good works in Christ Jesus. This transformation goes beyond mere outward reformation. The regenerated soul, formerly blind to the beauty of the Savior, now passionately loves Him above all else. Prior to regeneration, the unregenerate heart is filled with enmity towards God, justly provoking His wrath. Yet, reconciliation is possible. Through Jesus Christ, God has reconciled us to Himself. The Scriptures, inspired by God, serve as the word of reconciliation, revealing that peace has been made through the cross and providing guidance on how we can partake in it. Though God has nothing to lose in the conflict, nor anything to gain in the peace, He earnestly beseeches sinners to lay aside their enmity and accept the salvation offered through Christ. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin—a sin offering, a sacrifice for our sins. The ultimate purpose of this sacrificial act was to make us the righteousness of God in Him, so that we could be justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption found in Christ Jesus. Can anyone ever lose, labor, or suffer too much for the One who gave His beloved Son as a sacrifice for our sins, so that we may be made righteous in God’s eyes?
To learn more about the 5 WS approach, click here. Let us hold on to our hope of heavenly glory, diligently living out our faith and embracing the reconciling love of Christ.