2 Corinthians 5

God has prepared a new body for us

1 Our bodies are like a tent that we live in here on earth. One day, that home will come to an end. But we know that God will give us a new home. It is not a house that a human builder has built. God has built it for us in heaven and we will live there for ever. 2 Now, while we are in our body here on earth, we cry inside ourselves. We want to go and live in our house that is in heaven. 3 That will be like new clothes that we put on. When we go to live there, we will not be without clothes and ashamed.

4 While we still live in our bodies here on earth, we cry inside ourselves. Many difficult things happen to us. We do not really want to take off our old body. But we do want to put on our new body, like new clothes. When that happens, we will no longer need our old body which had to die. Instead we will have a new body that will live for ever. 5 God is the one who has prepared us to have a new life in heaven one day. He has given his Spirit to be with us now. Because of that, we know that we will receive all God's good things one day.

6 Because God's Spirit is with us, we continue to be brave. While we still live here on earth, we know that we are not yet at home with the Lord. 7 As we live here, we have to trust God. We do not yet see the things that belong to heaven. 8 We are brave because we trust God. We would like to go away from our body here on earth. Then we would go to be at home with the Lord. And that would be better! 9 But all the time we want to please the Lord. We want to do that while we are still at home in our body here on earth. We also want to please him when we go away from these bodies. 10 Because all of us must go and stand in front of Christ as our judge. He will decide about the things that we have done during our lives here on earth. Whether we have done good things or bad things, we will receive what is right for us.

God makes us new people in Christ

11 We know that the Lord will judge us, so we are careful to obey him. Because of that, we tell God's message to people. We want them to believe in God. And God himself knows that we try to do what is right. I hope that you know that also, when you think about it.

12 We are not trying again to make you think that our work is good. But we do want to give you the chance to be proud of us. Then you will be able to show the false teachers that they are wrong. They are proud about what they look like on the outside. They do not think about what they are really like inside themselves. 13 To some people, we may seem to be crazy. That is because we want to serve God. But if we seem to be wise, that is to help you.

14 Whatever we do, we do it because Christ loves us. We know that one man, Christ, died on behalf of all people. So we also know that all of us died with him. 15 He died on behalf of all people. So, while we live, we no longer live to please ourselves. Instead, we live to please Christ. He is the one that died on our behalf. He is the one that God raised up, to live again.

16 So that changes how we think about people. We no longer use human ideas to think what they are like. At one time, we thought about Christ as humans think. But now we think about him very differently! 17 When anyone belongs to Christ, they become a new person. Their old way of life has gone. Their new life has begun!

18 All this is what God does for us. Because of what Christ has done, God has brought us back to himself, as his friends. Now he wants us to bring other people to be his friends too. That is the job that he has given to us. 19 God's message is this: By Christ's death, God was bringing people of the world back to himself, as his friends. He would no longer keep their sins in his thoughts. This is the message that God wants us to tell people.

20 So we speak to people on behalf of Christ. It is like this: When we speak, God himself is speaking to you. On behalf of Christ, we say to you, ‘Please come back to God, as his friends!’ 21 Christ never did any wrong thing, but God punished him as if he had. He died as punishment for our sins. As a result, we become right with God when we belong to Christ. We become right, because he is right.