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1: Our earthly house - Which is only a tabernacle, or tent,
not designed for a lasting habitation.
2: Desiring to be clothed upon - This body, which is now
covered with flesh and blood, with the glorious house which
is from heaven. Instead of flesh and blood, which cannot
enter heaven, the rising body will be clothed or covered with
what is analogous thereto, but incorruptible and immortal.
Macarius speaks largely of this.
3: If being clothed - That is, with the image of God,
while we are in the body. We shall not be found naked - Of
the wedding garment.
4: We groan being burdened - The apostle speaks with
exact propriety. A burden naturally expresses groans.
And we are here burdened with numberless afflictions,
infirmities, temptations. Not that we would be unclothed - Not
that we desire to remain without a body. Faith does not
understand that philosophical contempt of what the wise
Creator has given. But clothed upon - With the glorious,
immortal, incorruptible, spiritual body. That what is mortal
- This present mortal body. May be swallowed up of life - Covered
with that which lives for ever.
5: Now he that hath wrought us to this very thing - This
longing for immortality. Is God - For none but God, none less
than the Almighty, could have wrought this in us.
6: Therefore we behave undauntedly - But most of all when
we have death in view; knowing that our greatest happiness
lies beyond the grave.
7: For we cannot clearly see him in this life, wherein
we walk by faith only: an evidence, indeed, that necessarily
implies a kind of "seeing him who is invisible;" yet as far
beneath what we shall have in eternity, as it is above that
of bare, unassisted reason.
8: Present with the Lord - This demonstrates that the
happiness of the saints is not deferred till the resurrection.
9: Therefore we are ambitious - The only ambition which
has place in a Christian. Whether present - In the body.
Or absent - From it.
10: For we all - Apostles as well as other men, whether
now present in the body, or absent from it. Must appear - Openly,
without covering, where all hidden things will be revealed;
probably the sins, even of the faithful, which were forgiven
long before. For many of their good works, as their repentance,
their revenge against sin, cannot other wise appear. But this
will be done at their own desire, without grief, and without
shame. According to what he hath done in the body, whether
good or evil - In the body he did either good or evil; in the
body he is recompensed accordingly.
11: Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we the
more earnestly persuade men to seek his favour; and as God
knoweth this, so, I trust, ye know it in your own consciences.
12: We do not say this, as if we thought there was any
need of again recommending ourselves to you, but to give you
an occasion of rejoicing and praising God, and to furnish you
with an answer to those false apostles who glory in appearance,
but not in heart, being condemned by their own conscience.
13: For if we are transported beyond ourselves - Or at
least, appear so to others, treated of, (2Co 5:15-21), speaking
or writing with uncommon vehemence. It is to God - He understands
(if men do not) the emotion which himself inspires. If we be
sober - Treated of,(2Co 6:1-10). If I proceed in a more calm, sedate manner.
It is for your sakes - Even good men bear this, rather than the
other method, in their teachers. But these must obey God, whoever
is offended by it.
14: For the love of Christ - To us, and our love to him.
Constraineth us - Both to the one and the other; beareth us on
with such a strong, steady, prevailing influence, as winds and
tides exert when they waft the vessel to its destined harbour.
While we thus judge, that if Christ died for all, then are all,
even the best of men, naturally dead - In a state of spiritual
death, and liable to death eternal. For had any man been
otherwise, Christ had not needed to have died for him.
15: And that he died for all - That all might be saved.
That they who live - That all who live upon the earth. Should
not henceforth - From the moment they know him. Live unto
themselves - Seek their own honour, profit, pleasure. But
unto him - In all righteousness and true holiness.
16: So that we from this time - That we knew the love of
Christ. Know no one - Neither ourselves, nor you, neither the
rest of the apostles, (Ga 2:6), nor any other person.
After the flesh - According to his former state, country, descent,
nobility, riches, power, wisdom. We fear not the great. We
regard not the rich or wise. We account not the least less
than ourselves. We consider all, only in order to save all.
Who is he that thus knows no one after the flesh? ln what land
do these Christians live? Yea, if we have known even Christ
after the flesh - So as to love him barely with a natural love,
so as to glory in having conversed with him on earth, so as
to expect only temporal benefits from him.
17: Therefore if any one be in Christ - A true believer in
him. There is a new creation - Only the power that makes a world
can make a Christian. And when he is so created, the old things
are passed away - Of their own accord, even as snow in spring.
Behold - The present, visible, undeniable change! All things are
become new - He has new life, new senses, new faculties, new
affections, new appetites, new ideas and conceptions. His
whole tenor of action and conversation is new, and he lives,
as it were, in a new world. God, men, the whole creation,
heaven, earth, and all therein, appear in a new light, and
stand related to him in a new manner, since he was created
anew in Christ Jesus.
18: And all these new things are from God, considered
under this very notion, as reconciling us - The world,(2Co 5:19),
19: Namely - The sum of which is, God - The whole Godhead,
but more eminently God the Father. Was in Christ, reconciling
the world - Which was before at enmity with God. To himself - So
taking away that enmity, which could no otherwise be removed
than by the blood of the Son of God.
20: Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ - we beseech
you in Christ's stead - Herein the apostle might appear to some
"transported beyond himself." In general he uses a more calm,
sedate kind of exhortation, as in the beginning of the next
chapter. What unparalleled condescension and divinely tender
mercies are displayed in this verse! Did the judge ever
beseech a condemned criminal to accept of pardon? Does the
creditor ever beseech a ruined debtor to receive an
acquittance in full? Yet our almighty Lord, and our eternal
Judge, not only vouchsafes to offer these blessings, but
invites us, entreats us, and, with the most tender importunity,
solicits us, not to reject them.
21: He made him a sin offering, who knew no sin - A
commendation peculiar to Christ. For us - Who knew no
righteousness, who were inwardly and outwardly nothing but sin;
who must have been consumed by the divine justice, had not this
atonement been made for our sins. That we might be made the
righteousness of God through him - Might through him be invested
wi th that righteousness, first imputed to us, then implanted
in us, which is in every sense the righteousness of God.