Commentary on "Clothed in Christ"
Day 6: Thursday June 23, 2011 - Our Heavenly Dwelling
Today's lesson focused on 2 Cor. 5:1-4. This passage offers another example of what it means to be "Clothed in Christ." In it we find Paul using two metaphors which describe our mortal and immortal bodies as both a type of clothing and as a dwelling place. Here we find Paul describing our mortal bodies as an earthly tent clothing us, and our immortal bodies as a heavenly dwelling clothing us.
What today's lesson failed to address, is what Paul meant when he said, "...when we are clothed, we will not be found naked" (verse 3).
The use of Paul's two metaphors indicates that SOMETHING dwells within us and is clothed by our bodies, when it becomes unclothed it is described as naked. What exactly is that naked part of man that still exists when he is not wearing his body any longer?
In the context of this passage Paul repeatedly refers to that naked SOMETHING as actually being us, by the use of the word "we."
Verses 5-10 paint a more complete picture of what Paul is teaching. Again notice all the "we" statements in them:
What does it mean when Paul teaches we are away from the Lord while we are at home in these earthly bodies? But with the Lord when we are away from from our earthly bodies?
Paul is teaching us about life after death and what happens to that SOMETHING that dwells with in us when it is no longer clothed by our bodies. Paul is teaching us that this SOMETHING:
It simply doesn't work to say that this SOMETHING is my breath because verse 9 teaches that even when we are away from the body, our goal is to still please God. How can I continue to have a goal to please God if I no longer have a conscious existence after I die, or my spirit is only my breath?
I can only conclude from Paul's message that this SOMETHING is my spirit. An immaterial part of me, that continues on as a living conscious part of my being when I die, otherwise it can't have a goal to please God.
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