In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The Creation of Heaven and Earth. In the beginning—a period of remote and unknown antiquity, hid in the depths of eternal ages; and so the phrase is used in Pr , This first verse is a general introduction to the inspired volume, declaring the great and important truth that all things had a beginning; that nothing throughout the wide extent of nature existed from eternity, originated by chance, or from the skill of any inferior agent; but that the whole universe was produced by the creative power of God Ac ; Ro
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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. Hence, too, his endeavor to deal openly with men, as with God, in preaching; thus giving the Corinthians whereof to boast concerning him against his adversaries. His constraining motive is the transforming love of Christ, by whom God has wrought reconciliation between Himself and men, and has committed to the apostle the ministry of reconciliation.
For—Assigning the reason for the statement 2Co , that affliction leads to exceeding glory. If this daily delivering unto death 2Co should end in actual death. It stands in contrast to "in the heavens.
It thus answers to the tabernacle in the wilderness. Its wooden frame and curtains wore out in course of time when Israel dwelt in Canaan, and a fixed temple was substituted for it. The temple and the tabernacle in all essentials were one; there was the same ark, the same cloud of glory.
Such is the relation between the "earthly" body and the resurrection body. As the ark went first in taking down the wilderness tabernacle, so the soul which like the ark is sprinkled with blood of atonement, and is the sacred deposit in the inmost shrine, 2Ti in the dissolution of the body; next the coverings were removed, answering to the flesh; lastly, the framework and boards, answering to the bones, which are last to give way Nu Paul, as a tent-maker, uses an image taken from his trade Ac The tense is present compare Joh ; , "hath".
This "house" can only be the resurrection body, in contrast to the "earthly house of the tabernacle," our present body. The intermediate state is not directly taken into account. A comma should separate "eternal," and "in the heavens.
For in this—Greek, "For also in this"; "herein" 2Co Alford takes it, "in this" tabernacle. But the parallelism is sufficiently exact by making "in this we groan" refer generally to what was just said 2Co , namely, that we cannot obtain our "house in the heavens" except our "earthly tabernacle" be first dissolved by death. The groans of the saints prove the existence of the longing desire for the heavenly glory, a desire which cannot be planted by God within us in vain, as doomed to disappointment.
Therefore this "habitation" or "domicile" is not heaven itself. Translate, "If so be that having ourselves clothed with our natural body, compare 2Co we shall not be found naked stripped of our present body. For—resuming 2Co Faith does not divest us of all natural feeling, but subordinates it to higher feeling.
Scripture gives no sanction to the contempt for the body expressed by philosophers. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. It is the Spirit as "the first-fruits" who creates in us the groaning desire for our coming deliverance and glory Ro He had intended to have made the verb to this nominative, "we are willing" rather, "well content" , but digressing on the word "confident" 2Co , 7 , he resumes the word in a different form, namely, as an assertion: "We are confident and well content.
Bengel makes the contrast between "always confident" and "confident" especially at the prospect of being "absent from the body. For we walk by faith, not by sight: 7. Compare "apparently," the Septuagint, "by appearance," Nu Wahl supports English Version. God has appointed in this life faith for our great duty, and in the next, vision for our reward [South] 1Pe But feeling, as we do, the sojourn in the body to be a separation from our true home "with the Lord," we prefer even dissolution by death, so that in the intermediate disembodied state we may go to be "with the Lord" Php So "appear," Greek, "be manifested" Col ; compare 1Co Though salvation be of grace purely, independent of works, the saved may have a greater or less reward, according as he lives to, and labors for, Christ more or less.
Hence there is scope for the holy "ambition" see on 2Co ; Heb This verse guards against the Corinthians supposing that all share in the house "from heaven" 2Co , 2. There shall be a searching judgment which shall sever the bad from the good, according to their respective,deeds, the motive of the deeds being taken into account, not the mere external act; faith and love to God are the sole motives recognized by God as sound and good Mt , 37; , done in his body—The Greek may be, "by the instrumentality of the body"; but English Version is legitimate compare Greek, Ro A proof of the essential identity of the natural and the resurrection body.
Bengel, Estius, and Alford explain: "Persuade men" by our whole lives, 2Co , namely, of our integrity as ministers. But this would have been expressed after "persuade," had it been the sense. The connection seems as follows: He had been accused of seeking to please and win men, he therefore says compare Ga , "It is as knowing the terror or fear of the Lord that we persuade men; but whether men who hear our preaching recognize our sincerity or not we are made manifest unto God as acting on such motives 2Co ; and I trust also in your consciences.
For—the reason why he leaves the manifestation of his sincerity in preaching to their consciences 2Co , namely, his not wishing to "commend" himself again. The false teachers gloried in their outward appearance, and in external recommendations 2Co their learning, eloquence, wisdom, riches, not in vital religion in their heart. Their conscience does not attest their inward sincerity, as mine does 2Co The holy enthusiasm with which he spake of what God effected by His apostolic ministry, seemed to many to be boasting madness.
The abasing of himself was in adaptation to their infirmity, to gain them to Christ 1Co For—Accounting for his being "beside himself" with enthusiasm: the love of Christ towards us in His death for us, the highest proof of it, Ro , producing in turn love in us to Him, and not mere "terror" 2Co The Greek implies to compress forcibly the energies into one channel.
Love is jealous of any rival object engrossing the soul 2Co But the oldest manuscripts omit "if. He died in their stead, He arose again for their good, "for the effecting of their justification" Ro , and that He might be their Lord Ro 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. He says "Christ," not Jesus: for he had not known personally Jesus in the days of His flesh, but he had looked for Christ or the Messiah.
When once he was converted he no longer "conferred with flesh and blood" Ga He had this advantage over the Twelve, that as one born out of due time he had never known Christ save in His heavenly life. To the Twelve it was "expedient that Christ should go away" that the Comforter should come, and so they might know Christ in the higher spiritual aspect and in His new life-giving power, and not merely "after the flesh," in the carnal aspect of Him Ro ; 1Co ; 1Pe ; , 2.
Doubtless Judaizing Christians at Corinth prided themselves on the mere fleshly 2Co advantage of their belonging to Israel, the nation of Christ, or on their having seen Him in the flesh, and thence claimed superiority over others as having a nearer connection with Him 2Co ; 2Co Paul here shows the true aim should be to know Him spiritually as new creatures 2Co , 17 , and that outward relations towards Him profit nothing Lu ; Joh , 22; Php This is at variance with both Romish Mariolatry and transubstantiation.
Two distinct Greek verbs are used here for "know"; the first "know we no man" means "to be personally acquainted with"; the latter "known Christ … know … more" is to recognize, or estimate. Therefore—connected with the words in 2Co , "We know Christ no more after the flesh. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; The Greek "reconcile" is reciprocally used as in the Hebrew Hithpahel conjugation, appease, obtain the favor of.
Mt , "Be reconciled to thy brother"; that is, take measures that he be reconciled to thee, as well as thou to him, as the context proves. Diallagethi, however Mt , implying mutual reconciliation, is distinct from Katallagethi here, the latter referring to the change of status wrought in one of the two parties. The manner of God reconciling the world to Himself is implied 2Co , namely, by His "not imputing their trespasses to them.
The reconciling of men to God by their laying aside their enmity is the consequence of God laying aside His just enmity against their sin, and follows at 2Co Was reconciling" implies the time when the act of reconciliation was being carried into effect 2Co , namely, when "God made Jesus, who knew no sin, to be sin for us. The Greek Katallasson implies "changing" or altering the judicial status from one of condemnation to one of justification.
The atonement at-one-ment , or reconciliation, is the removal of the bar to peace and acceptance with a holy God, which His righteousness interposed against our sin. The change therefore now to be effected must be on the part of offending man, God the offended One being already reconciled. It is man, not God, who now needs to be reconciled, and to lay aside his enmity against God Ro , Compare Ro , The manner of the reconciling is by His "not imputing to men their trespasses," but imputing them to Christ the Sin-bearer.
There is no incongruity that a father should be offended with that son whom he loveth, and at that time offended with him when he loveth him. Be reconciled to God, that is, let God reconcile you to Himself 2Co , For—omitted in the oldest manuscripts. The grand reason why they should be reconciled to God, namely, the great atonement in Christ provided by God, is stated without the "for" as being part of the message of reconciliation 2Co The sin of the world is one, therefore the singular, not the plural, is used; though its manifestations are manifold Joh At His death on the cross the sin-bearing for us was consummated.
Heb ; 1Pe ; 1Jo The innocent was punished voluntarily as if guilty, that the guilty might be gratuitously rewarded as if innocent 1Pe Fausset and David Brown .
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. Hence, too, his endeavor to deal openly with men, as with God, in preaching; thus giving the Corinthians whereof to boast concerning him against his adversaries. His constraining motive is the transforming love of Christ, by whom God has wrought reconciliation between Himself and men, and has committed to the apostle the ministry of reconciliation. For—Assigning the reason for the statement 2Co , that affliction leads to exceeding glory. If this daily delivering unto death 2Co should end in actual death.
Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
Judge not, that ye be not judged. Mt Miscellaneous Supplementary Counsels. That these verses are entirely supplementary is the simplest and most natural view of them. All attempts to make out any evident connection with the immediately preceding context are, in our judgment, forced.