Read 2 Cor. 5:1 – Assurance

1. From 2 Cor. 4:17-18, how are our struggles described? Compared to eternity, how long are these struggles endured? For what purpose? The things that are seen are temporary, but how long are the unseen things?

2. In 2 Cor. 5:1 there is another comparison. Paul expresses this with great confidence by the phrase, “For we know”. How should this confidence affect the way we live?

a. How is our body described? What does this description indicate about our bodies?

– Comment on this quote by Chuck Smith: “So Paul realized that the real me is spiritual. I dwell in a body; the body isn’t me. It’s the house in which I live.

b. How is the eternal described in this verse?

– What did Jesus say in John 14:2?

Read 2 Cor. 5:2-4 – Desiring Heaven

1. (vs 2 and 4) Our bodies are prone to fatigue, weakness, illness, and pain. In this we groan. But in our groaning, what are we also desiring?

a. Many Christians are not earnestly desiring heaven. Why is this?

b. Are you earnestly desiring heaven? If not, make it your prayer. In addition to prayer, what practical things can you do to steer your desires?

2. (vs 3) Paul is simply saying that in heaven, we will not be bodiless spirits. For perspective, consider this quote: The Greek philosophers thought that a bodiless spirit was the highest level of existence. They thought of the body as a prison for the soul, and saw no advantage in being resurrected in another body. – Guzik

Food for thought: To God, the body itself is not a negative. The problem isn’t in the body itself but in these sin-corrupted, fallen bodies that we live in. Jesus approved the essential goodness of the body by becoming a man. If there was something inherently evil in the body, Jesus could never have added humanity to His deity. – Guzik Your thoughts?

3. (vs 4) What does this mean? …that mortality may be swallowed up by life. (see also 1 Cor. 15:54)

Read 2 Cor. 5:5-8 – Our Guarantee

1. (vs 5) God has prepared us for this very thing, for heaven. He backs up His promise of heaven by giving us a guarantee or a down payment. What is this guarantee?

– The ancient Greek word translated “guarantee” is arrhabon and describes a pledge. In modern Greek the word arrhabona means “engagement ring”. What does this add to your understanding?

2. (vs 6-7) This guarantee gave Paul confidence. The word “confidence” here means “to be of good cheer” or “to be of courage”. His confidence was not in himself but in God. If you cannot say as Paul that you are “always confident”, ask God for a fresh outpouring of His Holy Spirit!

a. As Christians we have the Spirit of God indwelling us, and we know that God is omnipresent. How then if we are at home in the body can we be absent from the Lord?

b. Relate this to verse 7.

3. Nonetheless, what does Paul say in verse 8?

Read 2 Cor. 5:9-11 – The Christian’s Aim in Life

1. What we do today has eternal consequences. According to verse 9, what should be our goal?

2. When we leave these bodies we will give an account for how we have used our time and our gifts. This is not the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15), but rather the Bema Seat Judgment where our lives in Christ will be evaluated for things done (things done in the body) and for motives (according to what he has done, whether good or bad). How is the judgment seat of Christ different from the Great White Throne Judgment?

3. What do 1 Cor. 3:12-15 and 1 Cor. 13:1-3 add to our understanding?

4. (vs 11) Thankfully, as Christians we have been delivered from the “terror of the Lord”. What is the “terror of the Lord”? (See also Heb. 10:31 and Heb. 12:29)

a. According to 2 Cor. 5:11, what should this cause us to do?

b. Paul worked hard to persuade men, but he knew there was no need to persuade God. Thinking back on our past lessons in 2 Corinthians, why was Paul forced to persuade the Corinthians?