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2 Corinthians 6-9 Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

As fellow workers we also urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says:

At a favorable time I listened to you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.[a]

Look, now is the favorable time! See, now is the day of salvation!

We are giving no one a reason to stumble in any way, so that our ministry will not be blamed. Rather, in every way we show ourselves to be God’s ministers: in great endurance, in troubles, in hardships, in difficulties, in beatings, in imprisonments, in riots, in hard work, in sleepless nights, in times of hunger; in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in sincere love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness on the right and on the left; through glory and dishonor, through bad report and good report; treated as deceivers yet being honest, treated as unknown and yet being well known; as dying, and yet look—we live; as punished yet not put to death; 10 as grieving yet always rejoicing; as poor yet making many rich; as having nothing yet possessing everything.

11 We have spoken to you openly,[b] Corinthians. Our heart is standing wide open. 12 We have plenty of room for you, but you do not have room for us in your affections. 13 I am speaking as to my children: In exchange, open your hearts wide too.

Do Not Be Yoked With Unbelievers

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what partnership does righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 15 And what agreement does Christ have with Belial?[c] Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? 16 And what mutual agreement does God’s temple have with idols? For you[d] are the temple of the living God, just as God said:

I will live and walk among them.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.[e]
17 Therefore come out from them, and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you.[f]
18 I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.[g]

So then, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that defiles flesh and spirit as we seek to bring sanctification to its goal in the fear of God.

You Encouraged Us

Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one. We have corrupted no one. We have taken advantage of no one. I am not saying this to condemn you. In fact, I have said before that you are in our hearts—we died together and live together with you! I have great confidence in you. I am very proud of you. I am filled with encouragement. I am overflowing with joy in all our trouble.

In fact, when we came to Macedonia, our flesh had no relief. Instead, we were troubled in every way—conflicts on the outside, fears on the inside. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us with the arrival of Titus, and not only with his arrival, but also with the comfort he had received concerning you. He told us about your longing, your sorrow, and your serious concern for me. As a result, I rejoiced even more.

For even if I caused you sorrow with my letter, I do not regret it (even though I did regret it, for I see that my letter caused you sorrow—yet only for a little while). Now I rejoice, not because you were made to feel sorrow, but because this sorrow resulted in repentance. Yes, you were made sorry in a godly way. So you were not harmed in any way by us. 10 In fact, godly sorrow produces repentance, which leads to salvation, leaving no regret. On the other hand, worldly sorrow produces death.

11 Yes, look what godly sorrow produced in you: what diligence, what eagerness to clear yourself, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what correction! In every way you proved yourselves to be pure in this matter. 12 So although I wrote to you, it was not because of the one who did what was wrong, or because of the one who was harmed by it. I wrote instead so that your genuine concern for us would be revealed to you in the sight of God. 13 For that reason we have been comforted.

In addition to our comfort, we rejoiced a great deal more at the joy of Titus, because all of you have set his spirit at rest. 14 For if I made any boast to him about you, I have not been put to shame. Rather, just as everything we said to you was true, so also our boasting to Titus turned out to be true. 15 And his heart goes out to you even more, as he remembers the obedience of all of you (how you received him with fear and trembling). 16 I rejoice because I have complete confidence in you.

Finish the Collection

Now brothers,[h] we want you to know about the grace of God that was given in the churches of Macedonia: In a severe test of trouble, their overflowing joy and their deep poverty overflowed into an abundance of their generosity.[i] I testify that of their own free will they gave according to their ability, and even beyond their ability, pleading with us with an urgent request for the gracious privilege of joining in this service to the saints. And they did this not as we had expected, but in keeping with God’s will they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us. As a result we urged Titus, since he had already made a beginning, to bring to completion this gracious gift on your part. But just as you overflow in every way—in faith, in word, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us[j] —see that you also overflow in this gracious gift.

I do not say this as a command, but to test how genuine your love is, by comparing it with the eagerness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that through his poverty you might become rich.

10 And I am giving advice in this matter because it is going to be helpful for you. Last year, you were not only the first to take action, but also the first to be willing. 11 Now bring the work to completion too, so that your eagerness to start may be matched by your completing it with what you have. 12 For if the eagerness is there, a gift is acceptable according to what someone has, not according to what he does not have.

13 Certainly, our goal is not that others take it easy while you are burdened, but that there may be equality. 14 At the present time, your abundance will provide what they lack, in order that their abundance will also provide what you lack—in this way there will be equality. 15 As it is written, “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”[k]

16 Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you, 17 because he accepted our encouragement and went to you eagerly, of his own free will. 18 We sent along with him the brother who is recognized by all the churches for his preaching of the gospel. 19 Not only that—but also he was elected[l] by the churches to be our traveling companion, as we administer this gracious gift to the glory of the Lord and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We are trying to avoid any criticism of the way we are administering this lavish gift. 21 To be sure, we are taking into consideration what is proper, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of other people.

22 We sent along with them our brother who has often proved to us in many tests that he is eager, and now is even more eager, because of the great confidence he has in you.

23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. Our brothers, messengers sent by the churches, are the glory of Christ. 24 So then, show the evidence of your love in the sight of the churches, and demonstrate why we boasted to them about you.

Christian Giving

It is really not necessary for me to write to you about the service to the saints, because I know your eagerness. I am boasting about it on your behalf to the Macedonians, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. Your zeal has stirred up many of them. But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting on your behalf will not prove to be empty in this case, but that you will be prepared just as I have been saying. Otherwise, if any Macedonians come along with me and find you unprepared, we (to say nothing of you) would be ashamed of this confidence.[m] That is why I considered it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance, and to arrange ahead of time the expression of praise that you previously promised, so that it may be ready as an expression of praise, not of grudging selfishness.

This is what I mean: The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. The one who sows generously[n] will also reap generously. Each one should give as he has determined in his heart, not reluctantly or under pressure, for God loves a cheerful giver.

God Provides

God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will overflow in every good work. As it is written:

He scattered; he gave to the poor.
His righteousness remains forever.[o]

10 And he who provides seed to the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed for sowing, and will increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you may be generous[p] in every way, which produces thanksgiving to God through us.

12 To be sure, the administration of this service is not only making up for what is lacking among the saints, but it is also overflowing in many prayers of thanksgiving to God. 13 By proving yourselves in this service, many people are glorifying God, as they see the obedience shown in your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity[q] shown in your sharing with them and all people. 14 At the same time as they pray for you, they also express their longing for you, because of the extraordinary measure of God’s grace given to you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Corinthians 6:2 Isaiah 49:8
  2. 2 Corinthians 6:11 Literally Our mouth is opened to you. This is an idiom for open and honest communication.
  3. 2 Corinthians 6:15 Greek has Beliar. Belial is the more common spelling. It is a reference to Satan.
  4. 2 Corinthians 6:16 Some witnesses to the text read we.
  5. 2 Corinthians 6:16 Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 37:27
  6. 2 Corinthians 6:17 Isaiah 52:11; Ezekiel 20:34,41
  7. 2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Samuel 7:14; 7:8
  8. 2 Corinthians 8:1 When context indicates it, the Greek word for brothers may refer to all fellow believers, male and female.
  9. 2 Corinthians 8:2 Or single-mindedness
  10. 2 Corinthians 8:7 Some witnesses to the text read in our love for you.
  11. 2 Corinthians 8:15 Exodus 16:18
  12. 2 Corinthians 8:19 Or chosen
  13. 2 Corinthians 9:4 Some witnesses to the text read ashamed of this confident boasting.
  14. 2 Corinthians 9:6 Literally on the basis of blessings
  15. 2 Corinthians 9:9 Psalm 112:9
  16. 2 Corinthians 9:11 Or single-minded
  17. 2 Corinthians 9:13 Or single-mindedness
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

The Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV), New Testament & Psalms ©2017

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