For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down -- when we die and leave these bodies -- we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.
We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.
For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies.
Our dying bodies make us groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and have no bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by everlasting life.
God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord.
That is why we live by believing and not by seeing.
Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
So our aim is to please him always, whether we are here in this body or away from this body.
For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in our bodies.
It is because we know this solemn fear of the Lord that we work so hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too.
Are we trying to pat ourselves on the back again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart before God.
If it seems that we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.
Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love controls us. a Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. b15
He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them.
So we have stopped evaluating others by what the world thinks about them. Once I mistakenly thought of Christ that way, as though he were merely a human being. How differently I think about him now!
What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!
All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him.
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.
We are Christ's ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, "Be reconciled to God!"
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)