Clothed, Unclothed, and Clothed Again

Spending time studying 2 Corinthians 4:16–5:10 has yielded the following conclusions:

(1) Our “earthly tent” (2 Cor 5:1) is our earthly body that will soon be dismantled at death.

(2) Between the believer’s death and the resurrection of the body, there is an intermediate state of being “unclothed” or “naked” (2 Cor 5:4, 8).

(3) Believers await the coming of Christ which will involve the resurrection of the saints (1 Cor 15:23, 52-54) and the reception of an “eternal dwelling” (2 Cor 5:1), or the “resurrection/glorified body.”

So believers are now embodied and (if Christ’s return tarries) will be disembodied at death.  But disembodiment is not the hope of the believer, as if the body were a prison for the soul.  No, Paul says that we groan in these earthly tents (2 Cor 5:2, 4), longing for our heavenly dwelling (resurrection body).  The hope is for re-embodiment.

From 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, then, I think we can affirm a disembodied intermediate state for every believer that dies.

At the return of Christ, every dead believer will be re-embodied in a glorified body.  Any believers that are living when Christ returns will be transformed and glorified in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:51-52).  What a blessed hope!

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