"So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord."
2 Corinthians 5:6-8
2 Corinthians 5:6-8
History and Context:Corinth was a city on the main trade route between Asia and western Europe, and Paul had spent two years there establishing the church. Paul wrote the first letter to the Corinthians in order to address division and immorality in the church. After that letter he had an opportunity to visit the church. Apparently the visit was a difficult one for both Paul and the members of the church and afterwards Paul talks about writing a letter in "much anguish" (ch 2). Though this letter is only the second letter to the Corinthians which we have, it seems that Paul wrote at least four separate letters and that this is the fourth. This is his follow up after the difficult visit and the letter of 'tears'.
I was raised in a "faith church" so verse seven was a verse often quoted while I was growing up. "We walk by faith, not by sight." Usually this was quoted in reference to a situation where money seemed too short or where we were feeling sick but were standing in faith for our healing. We walk by faith that we are healed despite the fact that we can see the signs and symptoms of sickness. Although these are legitimate times where faith is needed and where we have to ignore what are senses are telling us, it is interesting to see what this verse is actually talking about. When we read this chapter we see that Paul is reminding the Corinthians of their 'heavenly' home. He is reminding them that if our earthly bodies, or "tents", are destroyed then we have a home with Christ in heaven already prepared. Then, as we see in the above passage, he says that as long as we are at home in our bodies we are absent from the Lord, but we walk by faith knowing that when we become absent from our body we will be home with Christ. In other words this scripture is not referring to having faith for our temporary earthly state of being but is referring to having an eternal mindset, recognizing that this earth is a temporary stopping place.
Walk in faith with your eternal mindset. Recognize that what happens to your earthly body is insignificant compared to the home that Christ has prepared for you in heaven. Learn to make your daily decisions and choices based on this heavenly mindset.
Lord, we pray remind us daily of our home in heaven with you. Help us to keep an eternal mindset and make choices which will affect eternity. In Jesus' name, Amen!