1 For we know that if our earthly "house" [i.e., our physical body] which is like a tent, is torn down, we have [the promise of] a building from God, a never ending "house" in heaven that is not made by human hands. 2 For indeed, we groan while in this "house," longing to be covered over by our heavenly dwelling place, 3 because when we are covered by it, we will not be found naked [i.e., without a suitable dwelling for our body]. 4 For indeed, we who are in this "tent" groan under its burden, not [wanting] to be uncovered, but to be covered over. Then our mortal body will be swallowed up [i.e., replaced] by [never ending] life. 5 Now God is the One who has prepared us for this very thing [i.e., the receiving of a new body to live in]. He has [also] given us the Holy Spirit as a down payment. [Note: This refers to the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit as being a guarantee that we will receive the balance of our inheritance in the form of a new body].
6 So, we are always encouraged and know that, while we are at home in our [physical] body, we are away from the Lord, 7 for we live by faith, not by what we see. 8 We are encouraged, I say, and would rather be away from our body and at home with the Lord. 9 So, we are also eager to please God very much, whether we are at home [in our body] or away from it. 10 For we must all appear in front of the judgment bar of Christ, so that each one of us may receive what is due him for what he had done while in his [physical] body [i.e., on earth], whether it be good or bad.
11 Since we [apostles] know [what it means] to revere the Lord, we try to persuade people [i.e., to accept the Gospel, or to acknowledge our integrity]. But we are [already] known to God, and I hope that you also know us in your hearts [i.e., to have integrity]. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but we speak [in such a way as] to give you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you can have an answer for those who take pride in [outward] appearances instead of what is in the heart. 13 For if we [seem to] be crazy, it is for the sake [of the work] of God, or if we [seem to] be sensible, it is for your benefit. 14 For Christ's love for us motivates us, because we have concluded that, [since] one person [i.e., Christ] died for all people, so then all people have died. [Note: This may mean simply that Christ died for all people, who were dead in their sins]. 15 And Christ died for all people, so that those who are alive should not live for themselves anymore, but for Him who died and rose again for their sakes.
16 So, from now on we will not regard any person by worldly standards, even though we [once] regarded Christ that way. But we will not regard Him [that way] anymore. [Note: Paul seems to be saying that before his conversion he viewed Christ on the basis of His family, His education, His position, etc., but since his conversion he does not view Him that way anymore]. 17 Therefore, if any person is in [fellowship with] Christ, he is a new person. His old ways have passed away; now his ways have become new. 18 All [these] things are from God, who restored us to fellowship with Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of restoring [other] people to [such] fellowship. 19 That is, God was in Christ restoring the world to fellowship with Himself, not counting people's sins against them. And He entrusted to us the message of restoring people to fellowship [with Him]. 20 So, we [apostles] are ambassadors, [speaking] on behalf of Christ. [It is] as though God were appealing [to people] through us: "We urge you people, on behalf of Christ, to be restored to fellowship with God." 21 God considered Christ to be sinful on our behalf, even though He never sinned, so that we could be considered right with God through Him.