2Corinthians 04 - Two Houses
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2Corinthians 5:1)
Paul mentions two houses in relation to what he has just described as “seen temporary things” and “not seen eternal things.” We want to study these two houses in contrast. We will notice what these are, the nature of each, the use of each, and what they mean to us.
What are these two houses?
The old house is the physical body (2Corinthians 5:6). The old secular song “This Old House” uses this same metaphor. The second house is the future body of the saint (2Corinthians 5:1,8).
What is the nature of the first house?
It is the crowning work of creation (Genesis 1:26,27). This is a glorious house as compared to the rest of creation (Hebrews 2:6‑8). However, this old house is weak and subject to sin (Romans 7:14‑25; Romans 3:23; 1John1:8‑10). This old house groans and is subject to pain and sorrow (2Corinthians 5:2). This old house is burdened with many loads (2Corinthians 5:4). This old house is subject to wearing away (Ecclesiastes 12:1‑9). This old house is destined to pass, for it is just temporary—like a tent (2Corinthians 5:1; 5:4; 4:16; Hebrews 9:27).
How should the old house be used?
Just because it has the shortcomings aforementioned, does not mean that it is not important as to how it is used. It is to be used for the Lord (1Corinthians 6:13). It is for a temple of the Spirit; it is to be used with care—it is a borrowed item (1Corinthians 6:19). It is to be used to glorify God (1Corinthians 6:20). It is to be used so as to be accepted (2Corinthians 5:9).
What is the nature of the second house?
It is different from the first house (1Corinthians 15:35‑52). It is from God, but is spiritual. It is eternal (2Corinthians 5:1). It is not subject to pain; there is no groaning or burden connected with it (2Corinthians 5:2). It is heavenly (2Corinthians 5:8). In this connection, take note of Revelation 21:4.
How will the second house be used?
We don’t know much about how it will be used, but God has revealed what we need to know. It will be used to serve around the throne of God (Revelation 22:3,4). It will not be used as this body is used, for we won’t be concerned with marriage, with making a living and things like those of this earthly life (Matthew 22:30). We may not know everything about how it will be used, but to know that it will not be used to suffer punishment is plenty (Revelation 21:7,8).
Let us use this old house well, that we may have the privileges of the second.