We know that when this earthlytent* we live in is taken down, we have a house prepared by God, not made by human hands. It is eternal and is in heaven. We sigh with longing for this, wanting so badly to be clothed with this new heavenly home. When we put on this clothing we won't be seen naked. While we are in thistentwe sigh, being weighed down by this life. It's not so much that we want to take off the clothing of this life but that we look forward to what we shall be clothed with, so that what is mortal may be overwhelmed by life. It's God himself who prepared us for all this, and who provided the Spirit as a guarantee to us. So we remain confident, knowing that while we are at home here in our physical bodies, we are away from the Lord. (For we live by trusting in God, not by seeing him.) As I say, we are confident, wanting to be away from the body so we can be at home with the Lord. That's why our goal, whether home here in our bodies or not, is to make sure we please him. 10 For all of us must appear before Christ's seat of judgment. Each of us will receive what we deserve for what we have done in this life, whether it is good or bad.
11 Knowing how we are in awe of the Lord, we try to convince others. It's clear to God what we are, and I hope that it's clear to your minds too. 12 We are not trying to speak well of ourselves again, just trying to give you the opportunity to be proud of us, so you can answer those who are proud of outward show and not what they are inside. 13 If we are “crazy people,” it's for God. If we make good sense, it's for you. 14 Christ's love urges us on, because we're absolutely sure that he died for everyone, and so everyone died. 15 Christ died for everyone so that they shouldn't live any longer for themselves, but for him who died and rose again for them.
16 From now on we don't look at anyone from a human point of view. Even though we once viewed Christ this way, we don't do so any longer. 17 That's why anyone who is in Christ is a new beingwhat was old is gone, the new has come! 18 God did all this by changing us from enemies into friends through Christ. God gave us this same work of changing his enemies into his friends. 19 For God was in Christ bringing the world back from hostility to friendship with him, not counting anyone's sins against them, and giving us this message to change his enemies into his friends. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God is pleading through us: “Please, won't you come back and be God's friend?” 21 God made Jesus, who never personally sinned, experience the consequences of sin so that we could have a character that is good and right just as God is good and right.§
* 5:1 The symbolism here is of the earthly body as a tent, and the heavenly body is a house—both of which “clothe” the person. 5:12 Literally, “in the heart.” 5:13 This may have been a criticism of Paul and his companions by those in Corinth. § 5:21 Or “we could become right just as God is right,” meaning morally right, not in the sense of being correct.