After explaining the difference between natural and spiritual, he now shifts focus to explain the difference between our temporary existence on earth and our eternal existence with (or without) God.
2 Corinthians 5:1-4
5 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.
Our current bodies being just a temporary living situation for our soul is encouraging to me. As I age and my body starts letting me know I’m no longer a teenager, I’m encouraged to know that it’s not only part of the process of the decay of this body, but that in the future it won’t be an issue. In chapter 4 Paul addressed our mortality and how we should embrace death because it gives way to rebirth. This also applies to our natural bodies. In the most basic sense we can look at it as our bodies becoming fertilizer for grass and other plants. On the spiritual level we see it as a growing process and when our spiritual selves through sanctification outgrow our natural selves, the natural must fall away for the spiritual to flourish to the next level. Until then, we are just waiting for the transition.
In the first letter to the Corinthians, Paul discussed how we need to honor our bodies as they currently serve as temples of God’s Holy Spirit. Therefore, although our current “tent” is temporary, it doesn’t mean we should be misusing ourselves. One thing that I have been taught that is important for us to realize is that we are not physical beings having a spiritual experience; rather we are spiritual being having a physical experience. When we are reunited with Christ, we will be given new bodies without pain or suffering. They will be new mechanisms with which we can serve the Lord. But why are we stuck in this current temporary situation? Our current bodies are falling away as a result of sin in the world. When sin entered the world, it began to decay and ever since it has been growing and striving to return to its original state. God will restore His creation one day and we get to witness it!
We get to witness the destruction of sinfulness, pain, and suffering fall away. We will be renewed in our bodies, minds, and souls as we will get to sit face to face with our Lord.