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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians

 

3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.

 

Verses 3 and 4 explain why Christians groan for their eternal future. Paul underscores the certainty that heaven awaits the believer after death. This certainty is not diminished by his death.

3 if indeed,

The “if” here expresses certainty (if and it is true, 1st class condition). If, when Christ returns, the believer is still alive, God will transform his mortal body into an immortal body. That is why Paul longed for a glorified body without any intervening period of disembodiment.

having been clothed [clothed over],

Our body is clothes for our soul. When the soul leaves the body, it is classified as “naked.” The soul departed from the body. The body was just the shell, not the person. It was merely a set of clothes.

A soul can recognize another soul in heaven. We cannot see the soul; we only see the physical. Once God clothes the soul with the resurrection body at the Rapture, the soul is never without a body again.

Christians groan in their present bodies because they will be found naked at the point of death. In heaven, God will put a resurrection body over the soul. This is like putting an overcoat over a suit.

we shall not be found naked.

Nakedness here is the idea that believer is in a disembodied state, a soul without a body. If our death precedes the Rapture, we will be “found naked.” The Christian is disembodied or unclothed after death and before he receives his resurrection body. Paul’s desire was for the Rapture, where all Christians will receive their gloried bodies.

PRINCIPLE:

One day the Christian will never fear the separation of the soul from the body again.

APPLICATION:

The body and the soul belong together (Ge 2:7). One day God will take our present physical bodies subject to deterioration and death and transform them like His glorious body (Php 3:21). This is why we look forward to an immediate transformation of our physical bodies when Christ returns (Ro 14:8). The soul will never sleep; upon death, the Christian is forever with the Lord. However, his body will sleep until Christ comes again. At that point the Christian will possess with a new body, an immortal body.  

The Bible teaches that we receive resurrection life at the time of Christ’s return (1 Th 4:13-18; 1 Co 15:22-28, 52-55; 2 Co 1:9; 4:4; Ro 8:22-24; Php 3:11, 20-21; 2 Ti 2:18). Christians do not receive their resurrection bodies at death. The soul (found naked) exists without the body in the presence of Christ until He comes back. The Bible does not further explain the bodiless state of the soul. After death, Christians wait for the resurrection of the body.

Christians in heaven right now are naked. They will not receive their resurrection body until Christ comes for the church (1 Th 4:16-17). The soul would be in heaven but the body on earth. There is no such thing as a bodyless soul on earth, but there is in heaven. Neither is there a doctrine of soul-sleep; only the body sleeps.

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