2 Corinthians 5:7 Meaning of For We Live by Faith, Not by Sight

2 Corinthians 5:7
“For we live by faith, not by sight.”

Explanation and Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:7

Trust in God and live your life accordingly.

In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul explains why he and the other apostles continued to try to spread Christianity even though they put their lives in danger by doing so. He explained that the apostles believed they would be happy in Heaven after their deaths. They were confident that the earth was just a temporary home until they could be in Heaven with the Lord. They lived and acted in the belief in the truth of the Word of God.

The apostles lived their lives governed by the belief in the Word and promises of God, as opposed to how things appear in this world.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of 2 Corinthians 5:7

#1: “For we…
Originally, Paul meant the apostles. Some commentators are comfortable applying “we” to present-day Christians.

#2: “…live…”
The King James Version translates this part as “For we walk…” but “live” is the better translation as the meaning is to live, act or conduct oneself. The translation using “walk” was intended so that the reader could have the sense that they were on a long journey of faith.

#3: “…by faith…”
Believing in God’s Word and His promises. “Faith” is described in Hebrews 11:1 as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ (Romans 10:17)

#4: “…not by sight.”
Not by how things “appear” to us while we are living on earth. The translation does not mean “vision” or “sight” with the eyes, as some commentators suggest.
Some suggest this part of the verse is a reference to 1 Corinthians 13:12 where Paul stated that his understanding of God while on earth was unclear and imperfect compared to how he would be able to understand God perfectly and fully in Heaven. In that verse, Paul said that we now see darkly through a mirror (and so we need faith), but in Heaven, we will see face to face (faith will be replaced with actual full knowledge of God). When we “see face to face” we will visibly be able to see God. It is important to note that mirrors in those days were made of polished metal, and did not display reflections clearly as mirrors do today.

Bible Study on 2 Corinthians 5:7

Expert Overview of 2 Corinthians

Biblical Translations of 2 Corinthians 5:7

NIV
For we live by faith, not by sight.

NLT
For we live by believing and not by seeing.

ESV
For we walk by faith, not by sight.

KJV
For we walk by faith, not by sight.

NKJV
For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.