We know that when the earthly tent we live in is dismantled, we will still have a home with God, an eternal house in heaven that wasn’t not built by human hands.
Meanwhile, here on earth we groan, longing for the replacement of our earthly bodies by new heavenly bodies. For we will put on heavenly bodies – we won’t just be spirits without bodies. But while we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, not with any desire to be merely naked spirits, but we wish to be reclothed, as it were, with heavenly bodies, so what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now he who has fitted us for this very purpose is God, who has given us his Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing that which is to come.
Because of this we are full of confidence, knowing that while we still live in these bodies we are not yet at home with the Lord. For we live by faith and not by sight. We are full of confidence, I repeat, and would prefer to leave these earthly bodies in order to be with the Lord. However, we make it our aim to please him, whether we are here in this earthly body or away from it. For we must all stand before the judgement seat of Christ, and then we’ll each receive whatever we deserve for things we’ve done in our bodies, whether they were good or bad.
Because we recognise our responsibility before the Lord, we try to persuade others. God understands that we’re sincere, and I hope that you do, too. We’re not trying to commend ourselves to you again. Instead we’re giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so you have an answer for those who take pride in what is seen rather than what is in the heart. If we are out of our minds, as some people say, it is for God. But if we are in our right minds, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, since we are convinced that one died for all – and therefore all died. Yes, he died for all, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but him who died for them and was raised again.
So, we no longer look at people from a worldly point of view. We once looked at Christ in this way, but we don’t do that any more. Because anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old things are gone now. Look! Everything’s new!
All this comes from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. For God was, in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors – it is as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. For God made him who know no sin to be sin for us, so that in Christ we might become the righteousness of God.