Reading through the Bible together
From the end of chapter 4 (verse 16 onward) up through the first ten verses of chapter 5 the Apostle Paul contrasts the passing nature of earthly existence with the permanent nature of resurrection existence. While it is apparent that “our bodies are breaking down on the outside” what counts is that “on the inside” we are “being renewed every day” (vs. 16). We focus on the things that can’t be seen because those things are what are eternal (vs. 17).
Everything here on this earth pales in comparison with the glory of heaven. Thus the “tents” or “homes” we live in will eventually be torn down. “We groan while we live in this residence,” the Apostle Paul reminds us (vs. 5:2). We understand this “by faith and not by sight” (vs. 7). It is Jesus who will provide us our heavenly clothes and home.
In the second part of this chapter (verses 11 to 21) we are reminded of the beautiful ministry of reconciliation. Our job is to “persuade people” to come to have a relationship with Jesus Christ (vs. 11). In fact, “If we are crazy, it’s for God’s sake” (vs. 13).
In the highpoint of the chapter, Paul writes “The love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: one died for the sake of all; therefore, all died. He died for the sake of all so that those who are alive should live not for themselves but for the one who died for them and was raised” (vs. 14-15). He isn’t in the business of “counting people’s sins against them” but to tell them the good news of salvation from sin” (vs. 19). Altogether we are “ambassadors” and “Christ’s representatives” sharing in the “ministry of reconciliation.” We have a duty to tell others, “Be reconciled to God!” (vs. 20). “God caused the one who didn’t know sin to be sin for our sake so that through him we could become the righteousness of God” (vs. 21).