Present With The Lord
Last week we learned how we are spiritually renewed on a daily basis. Focusing on heaven helps us to understand that our affliction is light and momentary yet it brings eternal glory. Therefore, we focus on the unseen things of eternity! One of those unseen things that we accept by faith is the idea that we will be with the Lord after we die. Paul presents the Corinthian believers with three results of our belief that we will be with the Lord. The first is the…
The Desire To Be Present With The Lord vv. 1-3
This is a powerful desire that grows as we mature in Christ. This desire is formed because of what we know in v. 1. The earthly house or tent refers to our physical bodies. They are called tents because they are not designed to be permanent. When these bodies are destroyed, we will be given permanent dwellings by God. This knowledge, that our bodies are temporary and eternal ones await, strengthens our desire to be with the Lord!
In addition to what we know, our desire to be with the Lord is strengthened by earthly trials in vv. 2-3. “Groan” is the Greek word στενάζω (stenazō) meaning sigh; groan. To vocally indicate pain, discomfort, or displeasure; almost always inarticulate.
Desire because of what we know v. 1
Groan - στενάζω (stenazō)
This is an expression of pain. Life in our temporary bodies makes us groan with pain! It causes us to desire the clothing of our permanent bodies! Our heavenly bodies will not be subject to pain! They will not be susceptible to the difficulties we face here. Our groaning here on earth makes us long all the more for life in heaven. This clothing with eternal bodies means that we will not be naked. There will never be a time when we are disembodied spirits. God created us and designed us to have bodies. Now we have temporary ones, one day we will have eternal bodies.
Each day our earthly bodies experience more pain, more disability, and more hardship. This leads us to desire our permanent bodies! Paul writes to encourage the believers in Corinth that we will have those bodies! The second result of our belief that we will be with the Lord is…
The Preparation To Be Present With The Lord vv. 4-5
The Preparation To Be Present With The Lord vv. 4-5
We are prepared to be with the Lord in two ways. V. 4 reveals that we are prepared through the burden of this life. We are weighed down with cares, fears, and worries. This doesn’t make us want to leave this life, but to get to our real life. Life with Christ! The word picture here is of our mortality being destroyed by life. In our flesh we are dying, but in Christ we can have everlasting life. Our desire and longing for life apart from mortality grows as we experience more of the burdens of life.
As Paul continues he reveals that we are also prepared to be with the Lord through the coming of the Holy Spirit in v. 5. This word “prepared” is the Greek word κατεργάζομαι (katergazomai) meaning produce; do; bring about. To cultivate someone or something for use; especially by working it (like soil).
The Holy Spirit v. 5
Prepared - κατεργάζομαι (katergazomai)
God has cultivated us for eternal life. How? Through salvation, redemption, and sanctification. This is a very unique thought. We are being prepared for eternity! This life is preparation for eternal life. How can we be sure we will have eternal life? We have the Holy Spirit! He is the guarantee. Literally this is a first installment, deposit, or down payment. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is the guarantee that we will receive glorified, perfected bodies when Christ returns. We are prepared to be with the Lord through the burdens of life and through the Holy Spirit. The third result of our belief that we will be with the Lord is…
The Focus To Be Present With The Lord vv. 6-9
These verses provide us with three areas which we can focus on as we await the Lord’s return. The first is confidence found in v. 6. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives gives us confidence that we will receive new bodies when Christ returns. While we are present in our mortal earthly tents, we are absent from the Lord. However, this absence from the Lord doesn’t shake our confidence! Why not? Because of the second area of focus, faith in v. 7.
We walk by faith, not by sight. The fact that we do not see the glorified bodies, the fact that we have not experienced life after death, these things do not shake our confidence because the Christian life is a life of faith! It is believing what God has said and taking Him at His Word! Our manner of life, how we live, is one of faith. As we live by faith in the promises of God it brings about our third area of focus which is pleasure, revealed in vv . 8-9.
Faith v. 7
While we live by faith we take pleasure in the thought of being with Christ. We also strive to live a life that brings pleasure to God. Both vv. 8 and 9 speak of pleasure. In v. 8 it is our pleasure that is in view. This word speaks of delight. It would be our delight to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. This connects back to v. 6 where Paul stated that while this body is our home, we are absent from Christ. Though that is our present reality, we are confident that when we are absent from this body, we will be present with the Lord. This confidence leads to a desire to be with Christ.
Pleasure vv . 8-9
The reality of our life with Christ also gives us a desire to live for God's pleasure in v. 9. It is our aim to please God. “Aim” is the Greek word φιλοτιμέομαι (philotimeomai) meaning have as one’s ambition. To aspire, to have a cherished desire or a lofty goal.
Aim - φιλοτιμέομαι (philotimeomai)
Our desire and goal is to bring God pleasure! To please, satisfy, and be acceptable to Him is the aim of our lives! Our pleasure is to be with Him, yet His pleasure is found as we live obediently to His Word in this life. We want His approval here an earth, and His “well done” when we get to glory.
The trials of life give us a desire to be with the Lord. The Holy Spirit is at work preparing us to be with the Lord. With God’s pleasure as our focus we walk in faith and confidence until we are with the Lord.
God’s pleasure v. 9
CHALLENGE: Desire, prepare, and focus on being with the Lord. This will change how we live.
Know - οἶδα (oida) know. To know (reflectively) v. — to know or have knowledge about (someone or something); normally as acquired through reflection or thinking. Finite verb, perfect, active, indicative, first person, plural.
Tent - σκῆνος (skēnos) tent. Body ⇔ tent n. — the human body understood as a tent; perhaps conveying the temporary nature of the present physical body. Noun, qualitative genitive, singular, neuter.
Destroyed - καταλύομαι (katalyomai) destroy; throw down; demolish. to be leveled (destroyed) v. — to be or become torn down so as to become flat with the ground. Finite verb, aorist, passive, subjunctive, third person, singular.
Not made with hands - ἀχειροποίητος (acheiropoiētos) not made by (human) hand. not man made adj. — denoting something created by the infinite and eternal God as opposed to finite and temporal humanity. Predicate adjective, accusative, singular, feminine.
Groan - στενάζω (stenazō) sigh; groan. To groan v. — to vocally indicate pain, discomfort, or displeasure; almost always inarticulate. Finite verb, present, active, indicative, first person, plural.
Earnestly desiring - ἐπιποθέω (epipotheō) long for; desire. To long v. — to desire strongly or persistently. Verb, present, active, circumstantial participle, plural, nominative, masculine.
Verb, aorist, middle, substantival infinitive.
Burdened - βαρέω (bareō) burden; weigh down. To be burdened v. — to be or become characterized by bearing a physically heavy weight or load. Verb, present, passive, circumstantial participle, plural, nominative.
Swallowed up - καταπίνω (katapinō) swallow up. To be destroyed ⇔ be swallowed v. — to be destroyed, conceived of as being swallowed or consumed. Finite verb, aorist, passive, subjunctive, third person, singular.
Prepared - κατεργάζομαι (katergazomai) produce; do; bring about. To cultivate (prepare) v. — to prepare someone or something for use; especially by working it (like soil). Verb, aorist, middle, attributive participle, singular, nominative.
Guarantee - ἀρραβών (arrabōn) first installment. Deposit n. — a partial payment made at the time of purchase (with the balance to be paid later). Noun (direct object), accusative, singular, masculine.
Walk - περιπατέω (peripateō) walk; live. To walk (behavior) v. — to live or behave in a specified manner. Finite verb, present, active, indicative, first person, plural.
Confident - θαρρέω (tharreō) be courageous; be confident. To be confident v. — to have or be marked by confidence or assurance. Finite verb, present, active, indicative, first person, plural.
Pleased - εὐδοκέω (eudokeō) take delight; be well pleased. To delight (take) v. — to take a high degree of pleasure or mental satisfaction in. Finite verb, present, active, indicative, first person, plural.
Aim - φιλοτιμέομαι (philotimeomai) have as one’s ambition. To aspire v. — to have a cherished desire or a lofty goal. Finite verb, present, either middle or passive, indicative, first person, plural.
Well pleasing - εὐάρεστος (euarestos) pleasing; acceptable. Well pleasing adj. — giving pleasure and satisfaction; perhaps in a greater degree than usual. Predicate adjective, nominative, plural, masculine.