1 Therefore, as God's fellow workers, we also appeal to you not to receive his loving kindness in vain.
2 For he says —
‘At the time for acceptance I listened to you,
And on the day of deliverance I helped you.’
Now is the time for acceptance! Now is the day of deliverance!
3 Never do we put an obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry.
4 No, we are trying to commend ourselves under all circumstances, as God's assistants should — in many an hour of endurance, in troubles, in hardships, in difficulties,
5 in floggings, in imprisonments, in riots, in toils, in sleepless nights, in fastings;
6 by purity, by knowledge, by patience, by kindliness, by holiness of spirit, by unfeigned love;
7 by the message of truth, and by the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;
8 amid honor and disrepute, amid slander and praise; regarded as deceivers, yet proved to be true;
9 as unknown, yet well-known; as at death's door, yet, see, we are living; as chastised, yet not killed;
10 as saddened, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet enriching many; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things!
The Apostle and his Converts
11 We have been speaking freely to you, dear friends in Corinth; we have opened our heart;
12 there is room there for you, yet there is not room, in your love, for us.
13 Can you not in return — I appeal to you as I should to children — open your hearts to us?
14 Do not enter into inconsistent relations with those who reject the faith. For what partnership can there be between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what has light to do with darkness?
15 What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial? Or what can those who accept the faith have in common with those who reject it?
16 What agreement can you be between a temple of God and idols? And we are a temple of the living God. That is what God meant when he said —
‘I will live among them, and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they will be my people.
17 Therefore “Come out from among the nations, and separate yourselves from them,” says the Lord,
“And touch nothing impure;
And I will welcome you;
18 and I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,”
says the Lord, the Ruler of all.’