11 Therefore, since we know the fear of the Lord,(A) we try to persuade people. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your consciences. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may have a reply for those who take pride in outward appearance rather than in the heart. 13 For if we are out of our mind,(B) it is for God; if we are in our right mind,(C) it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ compels us, since we have reached this conclusion, that one died for all,(D) and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all(E) so that those who live should no longer live for themselves,(F) but for the one(G) who died for them and was raised.

The Ministry of Reconciliation

16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective.[a] Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective,[b] yet now we no longer know him in this way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;(H) the old has passed away, and see,(I) the new has[c] come!(J) 18 Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.(K) 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world(L) to himself,(M) not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us.

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors(N) for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf,(O) “Be reconciled to God.” 21 He made the one who did not know sin(P) to be sin[d] for us,(Q) so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Working together with him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive the grace of God in vain.” For he says:

At an acceptable time I listened to you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.[e](R)

See, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation!(S)

The Character of Paul’s Ministry

We are not giving anyone an occasion for offense, so that the ministry will not be blamed. Instead, as God’s ministers, we commend ourselves in everything: by great endurance, by afflictions, by hardships, by difficulties, by beatings, by imprisonments,(T) by riots, by labors, by sleepless nights, by times of hunger, by purity,(U) by knowledge,(V) by patience,(W) by kindness,(X) by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,(Y) by the word of truth,[f](Z) by the power of God;(AA) through weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, through glory(AB) and dishonor, through slander and good report; regarded as deceivers, yet true; as unknown, yet recognized; as dying, yet see—we live; as being disciplined, yet not killed; 10 as grieving, yet always rejoicing;(AC) as poor, yet enriching many; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.

Footnotes

  1. 5:16 Lit anyone according to the flesh
  2. 5:16 Lit Christ according to the flesh
  3. 5:17 Other mss read look, all new things have
  4. 5:21 Or be a sin offering
  5. 6:2 Is 49:8
  6. 6:7 Or by truthful speech

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