Always of Good Courage?

2 Corinthians 5:1-5 ESV

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”

As human beings we live in flesh bodies. We get sick. We ache. We feel pain and suffering. We hurt. We cry. We grieve. We are tempted to sin. Sometimes we may give in to sin (1 Jn 2:1-2), but it should never be our practice, and we should learn from it and not keep repeating the same sins.

Righteousness should be what we practice if we are in Christ by genuine faith in him. We should walk (in conduct, in practice) NOT according to our sinful flesh but according to the Spirit. For we died to sin, so how can we live in it any longer? For, Jesus set us free from our slavery to sin so that we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness.

And those who are slaves of God and of his righteousness have been given the hope of eternal life with God. But this is not earning our salvation. This is living out the salvation we have been given in the power of God’s Spirit living within us and out through us (Phil 2:12-13; Rom 6:16-23).

And what that means for us is that one day we will be able to shed these fleshly bodies and we will no longer be in pain or be tempted to sin. We will no longer cry or grieve. No one will hurt us. No one will do evil against us. We will no longer be despised and rejected, but we will be with our Lord forever in complete peace.

But this promise is not for everyone who professes the name of Jesus. This promise is not for those who have continued to live in sin and who have refused or who have neglected to turn from their sins to follow Jesus Christ with their lives. For, those who live in sin will die in their sins (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10).

And this is critical that we get this, for many are going to come before God one day and they are going to hear God say, “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity. I never knew you!” So, please take this to heart.

2 Corinthians 5:6-10 ESV

“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

We need to always be of good courage, and if we are not, then we need to change that by God’s Spirit. For life can throw some “hand grenades” at us, at times, figuratively speaking. And in our own strength it is impossible to remain courageous. But in God’s strength, we can be courageous!

We definitely have to walk by faith and not by sight because we can’t see everything that is going on around us, and some of what we do see isn’t so great. And people lie to us, and people tell false stories, and so we can’t trust that everything we are hearing is the truth, either.

And we don’t always see God working in our situations, either. Sometimes our situations may look pretty bleak, at times, and so we have to believe that God is not absent, and that he is with us, and that he is working even if we can’t see what he is doing. So, we trust him.

And no matter what we are going through, our goal should always be to please our Lord and not ourselves. Our desire should be to obey him even if it means being hated and persecuted, lied about, falsely accused, and mistreated, or even killed for our faith in Jesus Christ.

And why do we make it our aim to please him? First and foremost, it should be because we love him, and because we love him we want to please him. But it is also true that we are all going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil (cf. Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10).

So, while we still have the breath of life on this earth, we must surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, turn from our sinful lifestyles, and now follow the Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands (New Covenant).

For, Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died, in fact, that we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15).

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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