2 Corinthians 5:1…
Since we know the things we see are passing away, and the things which are unseen are eternal, we enter the realm of what takes place with those who believe in Christ as they pass into eternity.
Having already provided the picture of the human body being but an empty vessel for Christ, bearing the message of Christ, Paul now employs the imagery of our bodies being but an “earthly house,” or a “tent.”
The concept is the same and serves to further make the point we are not the container, but the soul within.
No one can truly question the existence of man in a dichotomy of body and soul. This has been self-apparent since we discovered the presence of sin in our physical members that our conscience seeks to control. The physical body wars against the conscience present in the soul, and life becomes a struggle for self-control because the lusts of the flesh seek to rule in the mind and heart. When the mind and heart submit to the lust of the flesh, they feel guilt.
But then we hear and place our faith in the message of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and everything changes. Now we have been born again of the Spirit of Christ, and by our allowance the Spirit of Christ takes up residence and Lordship in our hearts. We have now become body, soul, and spirit – a trichotomy.
The warfare continues between the physical body and the mind for self-control, but now rather than the mind submitting itself to the rule of the lusts of the flesh, the mind can choose to submit itself to the power of Christ Jesus, alive in our hearts. In making this available choice, we make Jesus our Lord and become slaves of His righteousness rather than sin. This is the victory in this life we are assured of by the presence of the power of Christ alive in us.
And this Spirit of Christ alive in us becomes our assurance of salvation and eternal life in heaven. We recognize the life of God within our body, and His power to control our actions AND our thoughts – which is where Jesus has taught us sin truly begins.
And so, we recognize even MORE fully we are not our body. Our body is simply a vessel, a “house,” a “tent” which contains who we are – which is an immortal soul, designed by God to live forever in loving relationship with God. And it is only when we recognize this born-again life in our frame that we sense the emptiness which had been present in our life has been fulfilled.
Therefore, we are no longer overly or irrationally concerned about the fact our body is wearing down, becoming frayed at the edges, and unable to do what it used to do – because we look forward to being “further clothed” by a heavenly body not made with human hands but fashioned for us by God. The life of the Spirit alive in our body presently is all the proof we need to know this is so.