Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 2 Corinthians
Book: 2 Corinthians
Chapter: 5

The Apostle's Hope and desire of heavenly Glory. (1-8) This
excited to diligence. The reasons of his being affected with
zeal for the Corinthians. (9-15) The necessity of Regeneration,
and of reconciliation with God through Christ. (16-21)

1-8 The believer not only is Well assured By Faith that there
is another and a happy Life after this is ended, but he has good
Hope, through Grace, of Heaven as a dwelling-place, a
resting-place, a hiding-place. In our Father's House there are
many mansions, whose Builder and Maker is God. The happiness of
the future state is what God has prepared for those that Love
him: Everlasting habitations, not like the earthly Tabernacles,
the Poor cottages of Clay, in which our souls now Dwell; that
are moulding and decaying, whose foundations are in the Dust.
The body of Flesh is a heavy Burden, the calamities of Life are
a heavy load. But believers groan, being burdened with a body of
Sin, and because of the many corruptions remaining and raging
within them. Death will strip us of the clothing of Flesh, and
all the comforts of Life, as Well as End all our troubles here
below. But believing souls shall be clothed with garments of
praise, with robes of Righteousness and Glory. The present
graces and comforts of the Spirit are earnests of Everlasting
Grace and comfort. And though God is with us here, By his
Spirit, and in his ordinances, yet we are not with him as we
Hope to be. Faith is for this world, and sight is for the other
world. It is our duty, and it will be our interest, to walk By
Faith, till we live By sight. This shows clearly the happiness
to be enjoyed By the souls of believers when absent from the
body, and where Jesus makes known his glorious presence. We are
related to the body and to the Lord; each claims a part in us.
But how much more powerfully the Lord pleads for having the soul
of the believer closely united with himself! Thou art one of the
souls I have loved and Chosen; one of those given to me. What is
Death, as an object of fear, compared with being absent from the

9-15 The Apostle quickens himself and others to Acts of duty.
Well-grounded hopes of Heaven will not encourage sloth and
sinful security. Let all consider the Judgment to come, which is
called, The terror of the Lord. Knowing what terrible vengeance
the Lord would execute upon the workers of iniquity, the Apostle
and his brethren used every argument and persuasion, to lead men
to believe in the Lord Jesus, and to act as his disciples. Their
zeal and diligence were for the Glory of God and the good of the
Church. Christ's Love to us will have a like effect upon us, if
duly considered and rightly judged. All were lost and undone,
dead and ruined, slaves to Sin, having No power to deliver
themselves, and must have remained thus miserable for ever, if
Christ had not died. We should not make ourselves, but Christ,
the End of our living and actions. A Christian's Life should be
devoted to Christ. Alas, how many show the worthlessness of
their professed Faith and Love, By living to themselves and to
the world!

16-21 The renewed Man Acts upon new principles, By new rules,
with new ends, and in new company. The believer is created anew;
his Heart is not merely set right, but a new Heart is given him.
He is the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good
Works. Though the same as a Man, he is changed in his character
and conduct. These words must and do mean more than an outward
reformation. The Man who formerly saw No beauty in the Saviour
that he should desire him, now loves him above all things. The
Heart of the unregenerate is filled with Enmity against God, and
God is justly offended with him. Yet there may be
reconciliation. Our offended God has reconciled us to himself By
Jesus Christ. By the Inspiration of God, the Scriptures were
written, which are the Word of reconciliation; showing that
peace has been made By the Cross, and how we may be interested
therein. Though God cannot lose By the quarrel, nor gain By the
peace, yet he beseeches sinners to lay aside their Enmity, and
accept the Salvation he offers. Christ knew No Sin. He was made
Sin; not a sinner, but Sin, a Sin-Offering, a Sacrifice for Sin.
The End and design of all this was, that we might be made the
Righteousness of God in him, might be justified freely By the
Grace of God through the Redemption which is in Christ Jesus.
Can any lose, labour, or suffer too much for Him, who gave his
beloved Son to be the Sacrifice for their sins, that they might
be made the Righteousness of God in him?

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5:1 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.

5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

5:3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

5:4 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.

5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

5:12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.

5:13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

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Authorized King James Version:2 Corinthians

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