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What is the body that Paul was talking about

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  • What is the body that Paul was talking about

    2 Cor 5.6 Therefore we are always confident knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are abscent from the Lord.

    2 Cor 5.7 (for we walk by faith, not by sight)

    2 Cor 5.8 We are confident, and I say willingly, rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

    This is written towards the end of the 3rd mission trip. Paul is heading back to Jerusalem where it has been prophesied that he would become a prisioner for the Lord.

    Notice this from an earlier letter to the Corinthians

    1 Cor 12.27 Now ye are the body of Christ

    1 Cor 12.12 For as the ody is one and hath many members and all the members of that one body being many are one body

    Rom 12.5 So we being many are one body in Christ

    The letter to the romans was written about the same time as the letters to the Corinthians.

    We today talk in the same way refering to the body when meaning the Church.

    Paul had not long finished writing a letter to the Corinthians about the body of Christ. Now he is saying that he desires to be absent from the body. It is natural to come to the conclusion that the meaning of body in this case means the body of the church.

    We must remember the other teaching clearly made by Paul both to the Corinthians and to the Thessalonians that the dead in Christ do not proceed those who remain alive at the second coming of Jesus. All together, as one group, after the great resurrection, we will rise up together to ever more be with the Lord.

  • #2
    Paul - A desire to go home.

    Phil 1.20- 24 Accrding to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness as always so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether in life, or in death. For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh this is the fruit of my labour; yet what I shall choose I wot not (dont know). For I am in a straight betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better. Never the less to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

    Paul is in prison. His case before Ceasar is not yet decided. He does not know what his future holds. Freedom and further service for the Lord and support to the Churches. Or death. Paul has spent over 20 years in strong active service. and has now been in captivity for about 3 or 4 years.

    Paul does not have a death wish. He just doesnt know where his future lies.

    This letter is written about 3 or 4 years after the corinthian letter.

    From Pauls teaching about the great day of the resurrection at the coming of Jesus found in Corinthians and in Thessalonians we can know that Paul understands that when he dies, he will join those who have died in Christ, in the sleep of death, to await that great and glorious day of the coming of Jesus.


    • #3
      In 1st Corinthians 12, Paul is addressing the problems of division in the church (the body).

      In 2nd Corinthians 5, Paul is addressing the hope we have of a heavenly home when, by the grace of God, we exit our earthly home (body).

      Two different things.


      • #4
        When we die, the bible clearly says that we sleep.

        It is only at the resurrection that Paul says that those who have died in Christ shall awaken.

        When Jesus comes the second time, He is coming with His reward. It is at the resurrection that the righteous receive their reward of everlasting life, when they are given immortal bodies.

        After the resurrection Jesus will take the righteous back to heaven to the place that He has prepared for them.

        Paul clearly teaches that those who are alive at the coming of Jesus will NOT preceed those who have died in Christ. We ALL go TOGETHER.


        • #5
          Let's stick with the OP and define what body means. Soul sleep is nowhere near setting that definition.

          soma - neuter noun

          1) the body both of men or animals
          a) a dead body or corpse
          b) the living body
          1) of animals
          2) the bodies of planets and of stars (heavenly bodies)
          3) is used of a (large or small) number of men closely united into one society, or family as it were; a social, ethical, mystical body
          a) so in the NT of the church
          4) that which casts a shadow as distinguished from the shadow itself

          How can being absent from the body and still be present from the Lord as it is stated in definition 3 if it would mean that we are no longer part of the church?
          Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
          Not second or third, but first.
          Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
          when He is the source of all hope,
          when His love is received and freely given,
          holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
          will all other things be added unto to you.


          • #6
            putting myself in the shoes of the corinthians, and having received pauls first letter explaining clearly that the body is the church, and that we are all just a part of the one body... then to receive the second letter from paul which talks about his desire to depart from the body ... I would think that he was talking about no longer having a desire to remain in the church with all its problems and responsibilities.

            today we would say that paul was experiencing mission burnout.


            • #7
              Interesting thought just occurred ... if paul was suffering from burn out... not long after writting these letters to the corinthians...

              paul has a forced break from mission work... in his four years of prison confinement.


              • #8
                Body=the church, the Christian community.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KnightwithDignity View Post
                  2 Cor 5.6 Therefore we are always confident knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are abscent from the Lord.

                  2 Cor 5.7 (for we walk by faith, not by sight)

                  2 Cor 5.8 We are confident, and I say willingly, rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

                  Verses 1-5 should make clear Paul is speaking of our earthly body (home) in contrast to the heavenly home (body).