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The Fourth Sunday After Pentecost
Series B

OPTION #1:  "Always Confident"
2 Corinthians 5:1-10

Rev. Wayne Dobratz, M.Div.

I. Because this earth is not our final home–text, vv.1-4; 1 Pet. 1:6-9; 1 Cor. 15:53-54

II. Because we have the Holy Spirit as a down payment on the future--text--vv. 5-8; Rom. 8:23ff.; 2 Cor. 1:22-24; 4:17-18; Eph. 1:13-14; 1 John 3:24. III. Because our Savior will be our Judge–text, vv.9-10; 1 Cor. 4:5; Gal. 6:7ff.; Eph. 6:7-8; Rev. 22:12-13

Key Words & Phrases–Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament:

2 Corinthians 5:2 To be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven (to oike˘te˘rion he˘mo˘n to ex ouranou ependusasthai). First aorist middle infinitive of late verb ependuo˘, double compound (ep, en) to put upon oneself. Cf. ependute˘s for a fisherman’s linen blouse or upper garment (John 21:7). Oike˘te˘rion is old word used here of the spiritual body as the abode of the spirit. It is a mixed metaphor (putting on as garment the dwelling-place).

5:4 That what is mortal may be swallowed up of life (hina katapothe˘i to thne˘ton hupo te˘s zo˘e˘s). "Only what is mortal perishes; the personality, consisting of soul and body, survives," (Plummer). See note on 1:22 for "the earnest of the spirit."

5:8 We are of good courage (tharroumen). Good word for cheer and same root as tharseo˘ (Matthew 9:2, 22). Cheer up.

Are willing rather (eudokoumen). Rather, "We are well-pleased, we prefer" if left to ourselves. Cf. Philippians 1:21f. Same eudokeo˘ used in Luke 3:22.

To be at home with the Lord (ende˘me˘sai pros ton Kurion). First aorist (ingressive) active infinitive, to attain that goal is bliss for Paul.

5:9 We make it our aim (philotimoumetha). Old and common verb, present middle, from philotimos (philos, time˘, fond of honour), to act from love of honour, to be ambitious in the good sense (1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Romans 15:20). The Latin ambitio has a bad sense from ambire, to go both ways to gain one’s point.

To be well-pleasing to him (euarestoi auto˘i einai). Late adjective that shows Paul’s loyalty to Christ, his Captain. Found in several inscriptions in the KoinÚ‚ period (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 214; Moulton and Milligan’s Vocabulary).

5:10 Before the judgment-seat of Christ (emprosthen tou be˘matos tou Christou). Old word be˘ma, a step (from baino˘), a platform, the seat of the judge (Matthew 27:19). Christ is Saviour, Lord, and Judge of us all (tous pantas, the all).

That each may receive (hina komise˘tai hekastos). Receive as his due, komizo˘ means, old verb. 

Bad (phaulon). Old word, akin to German faul, worthless, of no account, base, wicked.

For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ... Martin Luther explains: "None other will hold court on that day than he who gave himself for us. He will certainly not deny himself but will declare that he gave himself for your sins, as you believe. What, then, will sin do when the Judge declares that He has taken it all away? Who will accuse you? Who will judge the Judge? Who will overcome Him? He himself would have to be condemned before sin could condemn him for whom He gave Himself. Oh, here is great, sure security. It only depends on the strength and firmness of our faith. Christ will not waver; He is firm enough. Therefore, we should diligently cultivate our faith and exercise it. Then it becomes firm and strong."

                                                         +++   +++   +++


I want to tell you this morning about an old friend of mine. My friend was a Lutheran Teacher and school Principal for a long time. His Father was a Pastor, 2 of his brothers are Attorneys and his sister is a Secretary. It’s his sister that I want to tell you about.

His sister knows a lot of people in high places. She worked for a man who was a Congressman from Michigan, then Vice President. When his boss resigned from being President, her boss became President of the United States.

My friend and his whole family went to the White House for a tour his sister arranged. My friend would not have seen the White House like this without the help he received from his sister.

In the last verse of today’s 2nd reading, Paul tells us something like that about Jesus. He said: We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

This is the best good news I’ve ever heard. It would be great to know someone who could put in a good word for you with the President, but that’s nothing compared to what Paul is telling us here. He says that the Judge on the Last Day is our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us so much that he died on the cross for our sins.

And here is what he says about our sins: "I will forgive their sins and I will remember them no more" (Jer. 31:34). I am very good at forgetting things and I'm guessing you have that problem when you have to take a test. God never forgets the way we do. When he forgets, it is because he wants to forget. And he wants to forget our sins because the blood of Jesus has covered them. Even God can’t see them any more.

So remember this: Just as my friend got into the White House because of his sister being the President’s Secretary, our sins are forgiven and forgotten because Jesus is our Friend. He took care of them once and for all. And now all God remembers are the good things that His Holy Spirit helped us do in this life. He forgets our sins but remembers our good works and will reward us forever for them.

What a great friend we have in Jesus! 

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Option #2: “How To Be A Joyful Camper”
II Corinthians 5:1-10
Thomas F. Fischer


Introduction: A Camping Story…

When my grandson, Billy, and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects.  Still a few fireflies followed us in.  Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, "It's no use, Grandpa. The mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights."


I Ever Been Camping?

A. It’s a common “Fourth of July” or summer experience (Winter experience for those down-under!)

            1. Set up the tent

            2. Seems it’s almost always good while it lasts

                        3. Perhaps every camper has a good camping story…


B. There are many types of ‘campers”: happy campers, sad campers, avid campers, reluctant campers, wilderness campers, daring campers, domesticated campers.


C. Paul, in II Corinthians 5, describes another kind of camper: the “Joyful Camper.”


II The Joyful Camper—according to Paul (II Cor 5:1ff)

            A. We live in an “earthly tent”

            1. One problem with camping: It’s never permanent, not a final destination

2. Like any tent, our earthly tent is vulnerable, temporary and uncertain.

3. While in our earthly tent, we can have some remarkable—and fearful—“camping experiences”

                        4. When the storms come, we want to get out of the tents and get to some place safe…and permanent.


B. The joyful camper knows we’re not just camping--We groan for someplace better to live!!!

            1. Often children or others can’t wait to get back home and out of the tent. All the while they groan, “When are we going back home?”

            2. Joyful Campers, Paul urges,have the same sense of home-boundedness. They can't wait to be with God and enjoy His grace permanently.


III Be A Joyful Christian Camper! Joyful Campers…

            A. Know God’s purpose is to give you something better than camping

                        1. Though we groan, we know camping is temporary

                        2. Though we groan, we know God’s guarantee of a better home.

                        3. Don’t let the tent distract you from the reality of God’s plan for you.


B. Walk by faith, not by sight.

1. Martin Luther wrote, “God our Father has made all things depend on faith so that whoever has faith will have everything, and whoever does not have faith will have nothing.”

2. The greatest faith is based on the greatest sight: Jesus Christ on the cross. The one who died and saved us by grace is the same one who gave the best advice for campers: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29)


            C. Know they are camping now…but not for long!

1. We await God’s plan for all of us in His eternal dwelling.

2. In the meantime, enjoy the camping experience!



Textual Musings:


This text lends itself well to the American “Fourth of July” Holiday and to those who enjoy camping. Everything about camping is temporary. Temporary dwelling, temporary beds (usually cots and sleeping bags), temporary lighting, temporary stoves, temporary refrigerators, even a temporary camping site.


Paul, in using the camping metaphor, directs all Christians to one of the key principles of Christian spirituality. Don’t put your faith in things of this world. After all, we’re only camping here. The more clearly we recognize that this life is merely a camping trip, the more inclined  we are to see the real destination God has for us, our “eternal house in heaven.”


The Greek word for “tent”, “skene” provides an interesting connection between our lives and Jesus’ life on earth. This word actually refers to the tent of meeting, the “tabernacle”. Thus, as Jesus “tabernacled” among us (John 1:14), so we also “tabernacle” in this world, too. As the site of worship and the seat of God’s earthly presence, we are assured that as long as we are His tabernacles, God dwells with us…and us in Him.



Possible Illustrations:


1) Illustrations of the preferred lifestyle of not camping can range from Cuban refugees “camping” on temporary rafts as they flee Cuba and aspire to freedom in Florida. Camping stories of various kinds may also be referred to…such as those when storms may have flooded and ruined camps. Perhaps some parishioners have found themselves unprotected and “naked” in the face of severe storms while camping.


2) Re: “Faith”

* “Faith for my deliverance is not faith in God. Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love. There are some things only learned in a fiery furnace.”      Oswald Chambers in Run Today's Race.

* “Faith is a voluntary anticipation.” Clement of Alexandria.

* “Faith is not merely your holding on to God--it is God holding on to you. He will not let you go!” E. Stanley Jones.

3) Re: “Groaning”

“David, a 2-year old with leukemia, was taken by his mother, Deborah, to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, to see Dr. John Truman who specializes in treating children with cancer and various blood diseases. Dr. Truman's prognosis was devastating: "He has a 50-50 chance." The countless clinic visits, the blood tests, the intravenous drugs, the fear and pain--the mother's ordeal can be almost as bad as the child's because she must stand by, unable to bear the pain herself. David never cried in the waiting room, and although his friends in the clinic had to hurt him and stick needles in him, he hustled in ahead of his mother with a smile, sure of the welcome he always got. When he was three, David had to have a spinal tap--a painful procedure at any age. It was explained to him that, because he was sick, Dr. Truman had to do something to make him better. "If it hurts, remember it's because he loves you," Deborah said. The procedure was horrendous. It took three nurses to hold David still, while he yelled and sobbed and struggled. When it was almost over, the tiny boy, soaked in sweat and tears, looked up at the doctor and gasped, "Thank you, Dr. Tooman, for my hurting." Monica Dickens, Miracles of Courage, 1985.

4) Re: “By Faith, not sight”

“One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, "Jump! I'll catch you." He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: "Jump! I will catch you." But the boy protested, "Daddy, I can't see you." The father replied, "But I can see you and that's all that matters."

5) re: freedom from our earthly tent

“The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall. Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the flimsy enclosures of life that only fear allows to entrap us.”    John Emmons.

Thomas F. Fischer

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