2 Corinthians

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2 Corinthians 5 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 2 Corinthians 5 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

"... according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
We will be judged according to what we do, not what we believe. But will we be judged by Jesus?
Is salvation by faith alone?
What must you do to be saved?
Does Jesus judge people?
Does anyone ever do anything good?
BOM: 2 Nephi 9:15, 3 Nephi 28:31, Mormon 3:20, 6:21
The author of the SAB claims that there is a contradiction between salvation by faith and the final judgement. But as John Calvin explains, this can't be.

For no work is so full and complete in all its parts as to be deservedly well-pleasing to him, and farther, there is no one whose works are in themselves well-pleasing to God, unless he render satisfaction to the whole law. Now no one is found to be thus perfect.

Indeed, there is none without sin: Prov. 20:9. So how can this verse say there are good works? Because if we are under the law, we are required to obey it. And the law demands perfection. As nothing we do is without sin, there wouldn't be any good works. And if we did it with perfection, it still wouldn't be a good or meritorious work, because we only did what the law demanded, Luke 17:10. So those who are judged if their deeds are bad, are judged according to the law. That's the only criteria the law knows.
But believers are not under the law Rom. 6:14, but under grace. And under grace there can be good works. Not that they are without sin, but God accepts them nonetheless in Christ.
On if Jesus will judge the earth: yes as this verse clearly says. See John 8:15 where the author of the SAB reads something different.

11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.

13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

"For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause."
If Paul is crazy, it's God's fault; If he's sane, it's yours.
The paraphrase the author of the SAB gives here, is incorrect. As John Calvin explains:

This is said by way of concession; for Paul’s glorying was sane, or it was, if we may so term it, a sober and most judicious madness; but as he appeared foolish in the eyes of many, he speaks according to their views.

14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

"Behold, all things are become new." What's new?

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus, who was without sin, was made into sin. This made the real sinners sinless.
If you are fined, and someone else, who isn't fined, pays your fine, you don't have to pay your fine anymore. That is what the apostle is saying here.
This is a very weak example of course, because the “fine” for sin is death, Rom. 6:23.