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2 Corinthians 5:2

ESV For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,
NIV Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,
NASB For indeed, in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,
CSB Indeed, we groan in this tent, desiring to put on our heavenly dwelling,
NLT We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.
KJV For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

What does 2 Corinthians 5:2 mean?

Paul has acknowledged the reality that he will eventually die. He knows this might be directly caused by his preaching of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:7–12). He has described life on this side of eternity, in this sin-ravaged world, as only a temporary dwelling place. He called it a tent. Waiting for him in eternity is a real house made by Christ.

Now Paul is honest about his longing to leave behind the tent of this life, a brief experience apart from God. He describes that longing as a "groaning." This is an awareness that all is not as it should be, nor as it will be. He put it this way in Romans 8:23, "We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies."

We must be clear that Paul is not despairing about his life on earth. He has declared his refusal to "lose heart" in the work God has given to him. He advocates life in the power of God's Spirit that brings the fruit of love, joy, peace, and more (Galatians 5:22–23). Paul is simply being honest that life on this earth for believers will never be free of the groaning—the longing—for our permanent place in eternity with the Father.
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