Introduction to Devotional: 2 Corinthians 5:7
The Bible, a cornerstone of Christian belief, is a collection of texts with a myriad of messages and purposes. It provides guidance for believers in their spiritual journey and everyday life. Our focus today is on 2 Corinthians 5:7 from the New International Version (NIV), which states:
For we live by faith, not by sight.
The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, typically attributed to the Apostle Paul, is part of the New Testament. This letter is believed to have been written in the mid-50s AD, addressing the Christian community in Corinth. This period was marked by the early Church’s efforts to understand and live out the teachings of Jesus amid various challenges.
The letter of 2 Corinthians reflects Paul’s personal relationship with the Corinthian church, dealing with themes like reconciliation, the nature of the Christian ministry, and the contrast between worldly values and the teachings of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:7 is nestled within a section where Paul discusses the transient nature of earthly life and the eternal nature of the heavenly. This verse serves as a concise summary of a key Christian principle: living by faith.
“For we live by faith,” begins the verse, emphasizing the central Christian tenet of faith. In the context of Paul’s teachings, this is an exhortation to trust in God’s promises and plan, even when physical evidence or immediate circumstances might suggest otherwise.
“Not by sight,” contrasts the faith-oriented life with one focused on the physical or visible aspects of existence. This part of the verse underscores the belief that spiritual realities are not always perceivable through physical senses but require a deeper, spiritual understanding.
This verse encapsulates the essence of Christian faith: a call to trust in God and the unseen spiritual realities rather than relying solely on tangible, worldly experiences. It encourages believers to look beyond the immediate and visible, trusting in God’s overarching plan.
Different Christian denominations may interpret this verse slightly differently, but all generally agree on the fundamental message of faith over sight. Some may emphasize the aspect of faith in the face of trials, while others might focus on the contrast between the earthly and the heavenly.
This verse aligns with other biblical teachings about faith, such as Hebrews 11:1, which defines faith as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It reinforces the New Testament message of trusting in God’s promises and plan.
Application in Daily Life
Believers can apply this verse by consciously choosing to trust in God’s guidance, especially in uncertain or challenging times. It can inspire a life lived in alignment with spiritual truths rather than solely by worldly appearances.
Practically, this may mean making decisions based on faith principles, being patient in times of uncertainty, and maintaining hope and positivity in difficult circumstances.
This verse also serves as a reminder for personal spiritual growth, encouraging believers to deepen their faith and reliance on God, cultivating a perspective that transcends the immediate and visible.
In conclusion, 2 Corinthians 5:7 serves as a succinct but profound call to live by faith, an essential aspect of the Christian faith. It reminds believers to focus on spiritual truths and trust in God’s greater plan, beyond what is immediately visible. This verse is a powerful guide for believers in navigating their spiritual journey, emphasizing faith, hope, and a perspective that transcends the physical realm. Its relevance extends beyond theological understanding, offering practical guidance for living a life anchored in faith and spiritual insight.
5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Devotional: 2 Corinthians 5:7
What Does It Mean to “Live by Faith, Not by Sight”?
Living by faith, not by sight, means relying on spiritual beliefs and God’s promises rather than just what is physically observable or immediately evident. It’s about trusting in God’s plan and guidance, even in circumstances where the outcome isn’t clear or the situation seems challenging. This principle encourages believers to look beyond temporary, worldly situations and focus on eternal spiritual truths.
Is This Verse Suggesting We Ignore Reality or Practical Concerns?
Not at all. Living by faith does not mean ignoring reality or practical concerns. Instead, it’s about viewing life’s challenges and decisions through the lens of faith and spiritual understanding. It’s recognizing that while practical and material aspects of life are important, they are not the sole guiding factors for a believer.
Does “Not by Sight” Mean We Shouldn’t Trust Our Senses or Logic?
“Not by sight” does not imply a rejection of senses or logic. Rather, it encourages adding a layer of spiritual discernment and faith to our understanding of the world. It’s about balancing practical logic and sensory information with spiritual wisdom and faith.
How Can Someone Strengthen Their Ability to Live By Faith?
Strengthening one’s ability to live by faith can be achieved through regular prayer, meditation, studying religious texts, and being part of a faith community. It also involves practicing trust in God during both small daily challenges and larger life decisions, which helps to build a strong foundation of faith over time.
What Role Does Doubt Play in Living by Faith, Not by Sight?
Doubt is often a natural part of the faith journey. Living by faith, not by sight, doesn’t mean never experiencing doubt. Instead, it’s about how one navigates doubt. Faith often grows stronger when it is tested by questions and uncertainties. Addressing these doubts through prayer, reflection, and seeking counsel can lead to a deeper and more resilient faith.
Does “Living by Faith, Not by Sight” Conflict With Seeking Medical or Professional Help?
There is no conflict between living by faith and seeking medical or professional help. This principle is about trust in God and spiritual realities, not a rejection of practical solutions or scientific knowledge. Seeking professional assistance for health or other life issues can be a part of responsible stewardship of one’s life and health, which can coexist with a strong faith in God’s overarching care and plan.
How Do the Themes Expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:7 Relate to or Find Echoes in Other Verses and Passages in the Bible?
2 Corinthians 5:7 is a succinct yet profound expression of the Christian life’s fundamental principle: living by faith, not by sight. This verse encapsulates the essence of faith as trust in God beyond what is immediately visible or tangible. Let’s explore this verse and its relation to other parts of the Bible:
Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Relation: This verse is often considered the biblical definition of faith, resonating with 2 Corinthians 5:7 by emphasizing belief and trust in the unseen realities of God’s promises.
Romans 8:24-25 – “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Relation: Romans speaks to the nature of hope and faith in unseen future realities, aligning with the concept of living by faith, not sight, as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:7.
John 20:29 – “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'”
Relation: Jesus’ words to Thomas after His resurrection underscore the blessedness of those who believe without seeing, paralleling the faith over sight theme in 2 Corinthians 5:7.
1 Peter 1:8-9 – “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
Relation: Peter emphasizes faith in Jesus despite not seeing Him, mirroring the principle of living by faith in 2 Corinthians 5:7.
Habakkuk 2:4 – “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright—but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.”
Relation: This Old Testament verse lays a foundation for the New Testament concept of living by faith, as echoed in 2 Corinthians 5:7.
2 Corinthians 5:7 succinctly captures the essence of Christian faith – a reliance on and trust in God beyond the physical and visible. The verse and its related passages throughout the Bible highlight the importance of faith as the guiding principle in the believer’s life, emphasizing trust in God’s promises and presence, even when they are not immediately evident to the senses. This faith is fundamental to the Christian experience, shaping how believers understand and interact with the world and the divine.
A Prayer Inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:7
As we reflect on the profound message of 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we live by faith, not by sight,” let us enter into a time of prayer. This verse calls us to a deeper reliance on God, to trust in His divine plan beyond what our physical eyes can see. In this prayer, we seek to align our hearts and minds with this principle of faith, asking for God’s guidance and strength to live out this truth in our daily lives.
Our Prayer Inspired by Devotional: Corinthians 5:7
We come before You with hearts open, ready to embrace the profound wisdom of Your word, as taught in 2 Corinthians 5:7. In a world that often values what is seen and tangible, we seek the courage and grace to live by faith, trusting in Your unseen guidance and eternal truths.
Lord, in moments of uncertainty and challenge, remind us that our journey is not dictated by the visible alone. Help us to see through the eyes of faith, to recognize Your hand at work in all aspects of our lives, even when the path seems unclear.
Grant us the strength, O God, to walk boldly in faith, not swayed by the fleeting shadows of doubt or fear. May our trust in You be unwavering, knowing that Your plans are greater than anything we can perceive with our earthly senses.
In times of decision-making, give us the wisdom to discern Your will, to choose paths that honor You and reflect our commitment to live by faith. Help us to remember that our truest guide is not the transient, but the eternal—Your unchanging love and truth.
We pray for those who struggle to find their footing in faith, that they might feel Your presence and be comforted by Your steadfastness. May our own journey of faith be a testament to Your grace, encouraging others to look beyond the immediate, to the everlasting hope found in You.
As we navigate each day, let our actions, thoughts, and words be shaped by this profound trust in You. May our lives reflect the beauty and strength of living by faith, not by sight, as we serve as Your hands and feet in this world.
In the name of Jesus Christ, who is our ultimate example of faith lived out in love, we pray.