5 1 For we are conscious that if this our tent of flesh is taken down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in heaven. 2 For in this we are crying in weariness, greatly desiring to be clothed with our house from heaven: 3 So that our spirits may not be unclothed. 4 For truly, we who are in this tent do give out cries of weariness, for the weight of care which is on us; not because we are desiring to be free from the body, but so that we may have our new body, and death may be overcome by life. 5 Now he who has made us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a witness of what is to come. 6 So, then, we are ever without fear, and though conscious that while we are in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 (For we are walking by faith, not by seeing,) 8 We are without fear, desiring to be free from the body, and to be with the Lord. 9 For this reason we make it our purpose, in the body or away from it, to be well-pleasing to him. 10 For we all have to come before Christ to be judged; so that every one of us may get his reward for the things done in the body, good or bad.
The Ministry of Reconciliation
11 Having in mind, then, the fear of the Lord, we put these things before men, but God sees our hearts; and it is my hope that we may seem right in your eyes.
12 We are not again requesting your approval, but we are giving you the chance of taking pride in us, so that you may be able to give an answer to those whose glory is in seeming, and not in the heart. 13 For if we are foolish, it is to God; or if we are serious, it is for you. 14 For it is the love of Christ which is moving us; because we are of the opinion that if one was put to death for all, then all have undergone death; 15 And that he underwent death for all, so that the living might no longer be living to themselves, but to him who underwent death for them and came back from the dead.
16 For this reason, from this time forward we have knowledge of no man after the flesh: even if we have had knowledge of Christ after the flesh, we have no longer any such knowledge. 17 So if any man is in Christ, he is in a new world: the old things have come to an end; they have truly become new. 18 But all things are of God, who has made us at peace with himself through Christ, and has given to us the work of making peace; 19 That is, that God was in Christ making peace between the world and himself, not putting their sins to their account, and having given to us the preaching of this news of peace. 20 So we are the representatives of Christ, as if God was making a request to you through us: we make our request to you, in the name of Christ, be at peace with God. 21 For him who had no knowledge of sin God made to be sin for us; so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
6 1 We then, working together with God, make our request to you not to take the grace of God to no purpose. 2 (For he says, I have given ear to you at a good time, and I have been your helper in a day of salvation: see, now is the good time; now is the day of salvation): 3 Giving no cause for trouble in anything, so that no one may be able to say anything against our work; 4 But in everything making it clear that we are the servants of God, in quiet strength, in troubles, in need, in sorrow, 5 In blows, in prisons, in attacks, in hard work, in watchings, in going without food; 6 In a clean heart, in knowledge, in long waiting, in being kind, in the Holy Spirit, in true love, 7 In the true word, in the power of God; with the arms of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 By glory and by shame, by an evil name and a good name; as untrue, and still true; 9 Unnoted, but still kept fully in mind; as near to death, but still living; as undergoing punishment, but not put to death; 10 As full of sorrow, but ever glad; as poor, but giving wealth to others; as having nothing, but still having all things.
11 Our mouth is open to you, O Corinthians, our heart is wide. 12 It is not our feelings to you which are narrow, but yours to us. 13 Now to give me back payment of the same sort (I am talking as to my children), let your hearts be wide open to me.
Ye Are the Temple of the Living God
14 Do not keep company with those who have not faith: for what is there in common between righteousness and evil, or between light and dark? 15 And what agreement is there between Christ and the Evil One? or what part has one who has faith with one who has not? 16 And what agreement has the house of God with images? for we are a house of the living God; even as God has said, I will be living among them, and walking with them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 For which cause, Come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and let no unclean thing come near you; and I will take you for myself, 18 And will be a Father to you; and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord, the Ruler of all.
7 1 Because God, then, will give us such rewards, dear brothers, let us make ourselves clean from all evil of flesh and spirit, and become completely holy in the fear of God.
Paul's Joy at the Church's Repentance
2 Let your hearts be open to us: we have done no man wrong, no man has been damaged by us, we have made no profit out of any man, 3 It is not with the purpose of judging you that I say this: for I have said before that you are in our hearts for life and death together. 4 My words to you are without fear, I am full of pride on account of you: I have great comfort and joy in all our troubles.
5 For even when we had come into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; there were fightings outside and fears inside. 6 But God who gives comfort to the poor in spirit gave us comfort by the coming of Titus; 7 And not by his coming only, but by the comfort which he had in you, while he gave us word of your desire, your sorrow, your care for me; so that I was still more glad. 8 For though my letter gave you pain, I have no regret for it now, though I had before; for I see that the letter gave you pain, but only for a time. 9 Now I am glad, not that you had sorrow, but that your sorrow was the cause of a change of heart; for yours was a holy sorrow so that you might undergo no loss by us in anything. 10 For the sorrow which God gives is the cause of salvation through a change of heart, in which there is no reason for grief: but the sorrow of the world is a cause of death. 11 For you see what care was produced in you by this very sorrow of yours before God, what clearing of yourselves, what wrath against sin, what fear, what desire, what serious purpose, what punishment. In everything you have made it clear that you are free from sin in this business.
12 So though I sent you a letter, it was not only because of the man who did the wrong, or because of him to whom the wrong was done, but so that your true care for us might be made clear in the eyes of God. 13 So we have been comforted: and we had the greater joy in our comfort because of the joy of Titus, for his spirit had been made glad by you all. 14 For I was not put to shame in anything in which I may have made clear to him my pride in you; but as we said nothing to you but what was true, so the good things which I said to Titus about you were seen by him to be true. 15 And his love to you is the more increased by his memory of you all, how you gave way to his authority, and how you took him to your hearts with fear and honour. 16 It gives me great joy to see you answering to my good opinion of you in every way.
The Offering for the Saints
8 1 And now we give you news, brothers, about the grace of God which has been given to the churches of Macedonia; 2 How while they were undergoing every sort of trouble, and were in the greatest need, they took all the greater joy in being able to give freely to the needs of others. 3 For I give them witness, that as they were able, and even more than they were able, they gave from the impulse of their hearts, 4 Seriously requesting us that they might have a part in this grace of being servants to the needs of the saints: 5 And going even farther than our hope, they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us after the purpose of God. 6 So that we made a request to Titus that, as he had made a start before, so he might make this grace complete in you.
7 And that as you are full of every good thing, of faith, of the word, of knowledge, of a ready mind, and of love to us, so you may be full of this grace in the same way. 8 I am not giving you an order, but using the ready mind of others as a test of the quality of your love. 9 For you see the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, how though he had wealth, he became poor on your account, so that through his need you might have wealth. 10 And in this I give my opinion: for it is to your profit, who were the first to make a start a year before, not only to do this, but to make clear that your minds were more than ready to do it. 11 Then make the doing of it complete; so that as you had a ready mind, you may give effect to it as you are able. 12 For if there is a ready mind, a man will have God's approval in the measure of what he has, and not of what he has not. 13 And I am not saying this so that others may get off free, while the weight comes on you: 14 But so that things may be equal; that from those things of which you have more than enough at the present time their need may be helped, and that if you are in any need they may be a help to you in the same way, making things equal. 15 As it says in the Writings, He who had taken up much had nothing over and he who had little had enough.
16 But praise be to God, who puts the same care for you into the heart of Titus. 17 For while he gladly gave ear to our request, he was interested enough to go to you from the impulse of his heart. 18 And with him we have sent a brother whose praise in the good news has gone through all the churches; 19 And not only so, but he was marked out by the churches to go with us in the grace of this giving which we have undertaken to the glory of the Lord and to make clear that our mind was ready: 20 And so that no man might be able to say anything against us in the business of this giving which has been put into our hands: 21 For the business has been so ordered by us as to have the approval, not only of the Lord, but of men. 22 And we have sent with them our brother, whose ready spirit has been made clear to us at times and in ways without number, but it is now all the more so because of the certain faith which he has in you. 23 If any question comes up about Titus, he is my brother-worker, working with me for you; or about the others, they are the representatives of the churches to the glory of Christ. 24 Make clear then to them, as representatives of the churches, the quality of your love, and that the things which we have said about you are true.
9 1 But there is no need for me to say anything in my letter about the giving to the saints: 2 For I have before made clear to those of Macedonia my pride in your ready mind, saying to them that Achaia has been ready for a year back; and a great number have been moved to do the same by your example. 3 But I have sent the brothers, so that the good things we said about you may be seen to be true, and that, as I said, you may be ready: 4 For fear that, if any from Macedonia come with me, and you are not ready, we (not to say, you) might be put to shame in this thing. 5 So it seemed to me wise for the brothers to go before, and see that the amount which you had undertaken to give was ready, so that it might be a cause for praise, and not as if we were making profit out of you.
6 But in the Writings it says, He who puts in only a small number of seeds, will get in the same; and he who puts them in from a full hand, will have produce in full measure from them. 7 Let every man do after the purpose of his heart; not giving with grief, or by force: for God takes pleasure in a ready giver. 8 And God is able to give you all grace in full measure; so that ever having enough of all things, you may be full of every good work: 9 As it is said in the Writings, He has sent out far and wide, he has given to the poor; his righteousness is for ever. 10 And he who gives seed for putting into the field and bread for food, will take care of the growth of your seed, at the same time increasing the fruits of your righteousness; 11 Your wealth being increased in everything, with a simple mind, causing praise to God through us. 12 For this work of giving not only takes care of the needs of the saints, but is the cause of much praise to God; 13 For when, through this work of giving, they see what you are, they give glory to God for the way in which you have given yourselves to the good news of Christ, and for the wealth of your giving to them and to all; 14 While their hearts go out to you in love and in prayer for you, because of the great grace of God which is in you. 15 Praise be to God for what he has given, which words have no power to say.