Summary: Look at Paul’s focus on the future.
OUR FUTURE HOPE
INTRODUCTION: Every Christian needs to understand what God says about the future, especially as it pertains to death and the life hereafter. Many people don’t like to talk about death but Paul talked about death as naturally as he talked about life. Look at Paul’s focus on the future.
I. Look at His Claim (v.1)
Reflect on 4:1 – “This ministry”, 4:7 – “This treasure”, 4:13 – “This same spirit of faith” and 5:1 – “This building”. What’s he talking about? O, this and that!
Note in v.1 what Paul said, “We know”. We know what? Paul knew something about:
A. The occupied body: “Earthly house” = physical body. “Tabernacle or tent” = temporary structure. “Dissolved” = to be taken down, to loosened and take down. This is the picture of dismantling a tent. What was Paul’s occupation? A tentmaker! He draws an analogy from his own occupation. It is our physical body that houses our eternal spirit.
B. The glorified body: “Building from God” = Glorified body. It is in the present tense. Not that we already have it, but it is a future acquisition already assured. God has another building provided. This is a body suited for heaven. “Building” = house. See Paul’s play on words – tent – vs. – house. The tent is temporary while the building is eternal. The building is stable, secure and superior.
How do we know this? By the word of God! When a Christian dies the body goes to the grave, the spirit goes to be with Christ. When Jesus returns He will raise the dead bodies and the body and the spirit will be joined together for all eternity. Will we recognize our loved ones in Heaven? Jesus was recognized after his resurrection!
II. Listen to His Cry (v.2-5)
A. The sigh (2-4): “Groan” = he was not groaning because he was in a human body. He didn’t despise his body. He was groaning to see Jesus and have a glorified body.
Note how Paul changes his figure of speech from a shelter to a garment. This garment would keep us from being naked. How can we be sure of this glorified body?
B. The spirit (5): The “spirit” is a gift or deposit that guarantees what is to come. Earnest (KJV) = a pledge or down payment. See II Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13-14.
III. Learn from His Confidence (v.6-8)
Paul’s confidence gave him:
A. A courageous attitude (6): Because our future is secure we can face today’s difficulties with courage.
B. A confident heart (7): We walk by faith not by sight.
C. A conquering spirit (8): Paul was willing to lose his life for the sake of Christ. Heaven was more than a destination, it was a motivation.
CONCLUSION: Camping out in a tent is fun for a while, but it’s always good to get home!