For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
Paul’s relationship with the believers at Corinth started with his second missionary journey. Paul spent eighteen months there, teaching and ministering to believers in the city. Paul wrote second Corinthians to deal with false doctrine which had once again crept into the church. This time the false teachers in order to spread their demonic doctrine had to impugn the character of Paul. They had to first convince the believers of Corinth to turn away from Paul. This was necessary in order for them to preach their false doctrine and coerce the believers to give up Christ and salvation by faith. Paul in this section of scripture is speaking of the resurrected and glorified bodies, all believers will receive. Paul here in these passages used the metaphor of a tent to represent our frail mortal bodies. A metaphor which would have been easily understandable to the nomadic people of this time, who spent a majority of their lives in and around tents.
In addition, we can’t forget Paul was a tent maker by trade and this would have been a natural metaphor for him to teach. The Jewish believers in his audience would have readily understood the implications because the nation of Israel started with the Tabernacle of the Lord, which later became the Temple. Paul is explaining to believers that our mortal bodies are only temporary. Because of our sin nature and the fallen world we live in, they are corrupt, frail and weak compared to the bodies we will receive from God when we are in the presence of Christ. Today because of sin and our fallen state, our bodies will decay, no matter how young we are. No matter how good of shape we are in, we will all age. We are all prone to disease and injury, there is nothing we can do to prevent the eventual destruction of our mortal bodies. However, when we are in the presence of Jesus we will receive our glorified bodies which will be perfect and immortal. Bodies capable of spending eternity in the presence of God the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit.