|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:9-15 The apostle quickens himself and others to acts of duty. Well-grounded hopes of heaven will not encourage sloth and sinful security. Let all consider the judgment to come, which is called, The terror of the Lord. Knowing what terrible vengeance the Lord would execute upon the workers of iniquity, the apostle and his brethren used every argument and persuasion, to lead men to believe in the Lord Jesus, and to act as his disciples. Their zeal and diligence were for the glory of God and the good of the church. Christ's love to us will have a like effect upon us, if duly considered and rightly judged. All were lost and undone, dead and ruined, slaves to sin, having no power to deliver themselves, and must have remained thus miserable for ever, if Christ had not died. We should not make ourselves, but Christ, the end of our living and actions. A Christian's life should be devoted to Christ. Alas, how many show the worthlessness of their professed faith and love, by living to themselves and to the world!
Verse 9. - We labour; literally, we are emulous. This, says Bengel, is "the sole legitimate ambition." The same word occurs in Romans 15:20. Whether present or absent; literally, whether at home or away from home; i.e. whether with Christ or separated from him (as in ver. 8); or, "whether in the body or out of the body" (as in ver. 6). The latter would resemble 1 Thessalonians 5:10, "That whether we wake or sleep we may live with him." We may be accepted of him; literally, to be well pleasing to him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent,.... This may be understood either of the ministers of the Gospel in particular, who labour in the word and doctrine, are ambitious, as the word here used signifies, and strive to preach the Gospel, not to please men, but their Lord and master; or of saints in general, who are intent upon this, and whose highest ambition is, that whether living or dying they
may be accepted of him; both persons and services: such who are born again, who are believers in Christ, and truly love him, are earnestly desirous of doing those things which are pleasing to him; and do in the strength of Christ endeavour to perform them. Faith is a diligent, industrious, and operative grace, and makes persons like itself. As none ought to be, so none are more careful to perform good works, or more ambitious to excel others in them, and thereby please their Lord, than believers. And these are the only persons that can please him, for without faith it is impossible to please him; for these act from a principle of love to him, and with a view to his glory; and may they be but accepted of him, living and dying, both in this and the other world, they have the highest favour they can wish for and desire.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. Wherefore—with such a sure "confidence" of being blessed, whether we die before, or be found alive at Christ's coming.
we labour—literally, "make it our ambition"; the only lawful ambition.
whether present or absent—whether we be found at His coming present in the body, or absent from it.
2 Corinthians 5:9 Parallel Commentaries
2 Corinthians 5:9 NIV
2 Corinthians 5:9 NLT
2 Corinthians 5:9 ESV
2 Corinthians 5:9 NASB
2 Corinthians 5:9 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible