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An exhortation to receive the word of God with thankfulness and amendment of life. The diligence of Paul in the gospel, and how he warns them to avoid the company of the heathen.

We as helpers therefore exhort you, do not receive the grace of God in vain. For he says: I have heard you in a favoured time, and in the day of salvation I have succoured you. Behold, now is that well-favoured time; behold, now is that day of salvation. Let us give no one occasion for evil, so that in our service no fault may be found, but in all things let us behave ourselves as the ministers of God in much patience – in afflictions, in hardship, in anguish, in stripes, in prison, in strife, in labour, in sleeplessness, in hunger; in pureness, in knowledge, in longsuffering, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in love unfeigned, in the words of truth; in the power of God, with the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left; in honour and dishonour, in evil report and good report, as deceivers and yet true, as unknown and yet known. As dying, and behold, we live yet; as chastened, and not killed; 10 as sorrowing, and yet always merry; as poor, and yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

11 O ye Corinthians, we pursue you with many words. Our hearts yearn to you. 12 You are not shut out in us, but are shut away in your own selves. 13 I promise you like reward with me, as to my children. So set yourselves free, 14 and bear not a stranger’s yoke with the unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? What communion has light with darkness? 15 What concord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has he who believes with an infidel? 16 How does the temple of God agree with idols? And you are the temple of the living God, as God said: I will dwell among them and walk among them, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Therefore: Come out from among them, and separate yourselves (says the Lord), and touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you, 18 and will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

As God’s co-workers(A) we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.(B) For he says,

“In the time of my favor I heard you,
    and in the day of salvation I helped you.”[a](C)

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

Paul’s Hardships

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path,(D) so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments(E) and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger;(F) in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit(G) and in sincere love;(H) in truthful speech(I) and in the power of God;(J) with weapons of righteousness(K) in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor,(L) bad report(M) and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors;(N) known, yet regarded as unknown; dying,(O) and yet we live on;(P) beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing;(Q) poor, yet making many rich;(R) having nothing,(S) and yet possessing everything.(T)

11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you.(U) 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children(V)—open wide your hearts(W) also.

Warning Against Idolatry

14 Do not be yoked together(X) with unbelievers.(Y) For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?(Z) 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[b]?(AA) Or what does a believer(AB) have in common with an unbeliever?(AC) 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?(AD) For we are the temple(AE) of the living God.(AF) As God has said:

“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”[c](AG)

17 Therefore,

“Come out from them(AH)
    and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”[d](AI)

18 And,

“I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,(AJ)
says the Lord Almighty.”[e](AK)

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 6:2 Isaiah 49:8
  2. 2 Corinthians 6:15 Greek Beliar, a variant of Belial
  3. 2 Corinthians 6:16 Lev. 26:12; Jer. 32:38; Ezek. 37:27
  4. 2 Corinthians 6:17 Isaiah 52:11; Ezek. 20:34,41
  5. 2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Samuel 7:14; 7:8

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