4For while we are still in this tent, we groan under the burden and sigh deeply (weighed down, depressed, oppressed)–not that we want to put off the body (the clothing of the spirit), but rather that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal (our dying body) may be swallowed up by life [after the resurrection]. (Amp) Not swallowed up in death, but swallowed up in life. This sounds like such a smooth transition. I’ve never thought of it this way before reading this verse. We go straitght from life into life? Jesus was swallowed up in death and now He lives so that we can be swallowed up by life in Him after we die. Do we feel death for a second, or just go straight into life? Either way, the grave is not what awaits us. We will either go to God and live with Him, or we will go to hell and live without Him. He has done everything including dying to make it possible for us to come to Him and live with Him. He loves us. “But God–so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).” (Ephesians 2:4-5 Amp) But a true lover does not rape his beloved full of himself. The choice is fully ours. God does not want robots. God wants a family. “For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]–” (Ephesians 1:5 Amp)
5Now He Who has fashioned us [preparing and making us fit] for this very thing is God, Who also has given us the [Holy] Spirit as a guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise]. (Amp) God gave us a promise as the guarantee of His other promises. When I promise something I just say, I promise and sadly lots of times I never get around to it. God didn’t just promise by Word, although He did that too and it is great because He never lies. In promising God literally gave us His Spirit Who is the LORD Himself as the promise; and He did this in order to guarantee the promise of giving us Jesus Christ, Who is the LORD, Who caries us to, promises us, the Father, Who is the LORD. God has fully given Himself to us. “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever– The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him…” (John 14:16-17 Amp) “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom). And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Amp) “All who keep His commandments [who obey His orders and follow His plan, live and continue to live, to stay and] abide in Him, and He in them. [ They let Christ be a home to them and they are the home of Christ.]” (1 John 3:22 Amp) “Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.” (John 14:23) And by this we know and understand and have the proof that He [really] lives and makes His home in us: by the [Holy] Spirit Whom He has given us.” (1 John 3:22 Amp) “Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3 Amp) This is incredible, and it is for everyone. “And consider that the long-suffering of our Lord [ His slowness in avenging wrongs and judging the world] is salvation ( that which is conducive to the soul’s safety),” (2 Peter 3:15 Amp) “The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 Amp) “For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself.” (Acts 2:39 Amp) And there are more promises promised by that Promise that haven’t even occurred yet, maybe that we don’t even no about yet, definitely that we don’t even fully understand yet.
6So then, we are always full of good and hopeful and confident courage; we know that while we are at home in the body, we are abroad from the home with the Lord [that is promised us]. (Amp) NO matter where we go, God is there waiting for us, loving on us. “Where could I go from Your Spirit? Or where could I flee from Your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol (the place of the dead), behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning or dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me and the night shall be [the only] light about me, Even the darkness hides nothing from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:7-16) Okay, I was actually only planning on giving you a verse or two there, but I got kind of wrapped up in the beauty of that Psalm.
7For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; (Amp) Faith requires boldness of heart, and we should live boldly for God, myself included. Boldness is behavior born out of belief. Sometimes faith feels more like doubt. Sometimes it makes us want to cringe back in fear of all the questions that rise up. but what is wrong with questions? God wants us to ask, to hold out our hands to Him in faith. Look at what boldness Jesus gives us when we do. “This is in accordance with the terms of the eternal and timeless purpose which He (the Father) has realized and carried into effect in [the person of] Christ Jesus our Lord, In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear).” (Ephesians 3:11-12 Amp) God has given us all of Himself. He is Imanual, God with us. Because of Jesus we can hug Him, kiss Him, talk to Him, be listened to by Him. We can call God our homeskillet if we so desire, He has given Himself fully to us.
8[Yes] we have confident and hopeful courage and are pleased rather to be away from home out of the body and be at home with the Lord. We are pleased to leave this world; not to die, but to live! We are not looking forward to death, we are looking forward past death to life Who is Jesus Christ.