The Pulpit Commentary

2 Corinthians 5:1-21 (2 Corinthians 5:1-21)

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2 Corinthians 5:11-19 (2 Corinthians 5:11-19)

Self-devotion of the ministry of reconciliation.

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2 Corinthians 5:17 (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Therefore . If even a human, personal, external knowledge of Christ is henceforth of no significance, it follows that there must have been a total change in all relations towards him. The historic fact of such a changed relationship is indicated clearly in John 20:17 . Mary Magdalene was there lovingly taught that a "recognition of Christ after the flesh," i.e. as merely a human friend, was to be a thing of the past. In Christ; i.e. a Christian. For perfect faith attains to mystic union with Christ. A new creature; rather, a new creation ( Galatians 6:15 ). The phrase is borrowed from the rabbis who used it to express the condition of a proselyte. But the meaning is not mere Jewish arrogance and exclusiveness, but the deep truth of spiritual regeneration and the new birth ( John 3:3 ; Ephesians 2:10 ; Ephesians 4:23 , Ephesians 4:24 ; Colossians 3:3 , etc.). Old things; literally, the ancient things, all that belongs to the old Adam. Behold . The word expresses the writer's vivid realization of the truth he is uttering. All things. The whole sphere of being, and therewith the whole aim and character of life. The clause illustrates the "new creation."

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