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We work together with God, and we beg you to make good use of God’s kindness to you. In the Scriptures God says,

“When the time came,
    I listened to you,
and when you needed help,
    I came to save you.”

That time has come. This is the day for you to be saved.

We don’t want anyone to find fault with our work, and so we try hard not to cause problems. But in everything and in every way we show that we truly are God’s servants. We have always been patient, though we have had a lot of trouble, suffering, and hard times. We have been beaten, put in jail, and hurt in riots. We have worked hard and have gone without sleep or food. But we have kept ourselves pure and have been understanding, patient, and kind. The Holy Spirit has been with us, and our love has been real. We have spoken the truth, and God’s power has worked in us. In all our struggles we have said and done only what is right.

Whether we were honored or dishonored or praised or cursed, we always told the truth about ourselves. But some people said we did not. We are unknown to others, but well known to you. We seem to be dying, and yet we are still alive. We have been punished, but never killed, 10 and we are always happy, even in times of suffering. Although we are poor, we have made many people rich. And though we own nothing, everything is ours.

11 Friends in Corinth, we are telling the truth when we say that there is room in our hearts for you. 12 We are not holding back on our love for you, but you are holding back on your love for us. 13 I speak to you as I would speak to my own children. Please make room in your hearts for us.

The Temple of the Living God

14 Stay away from people who are not followers of the Lord! Can someone who is good get along with someone who is evil? Are light and darkness the same? 15 Is Christ a friend of Satan?[a] Can people who follow the Lord have anything in common with those who don’t? 16 Do idols belong in the temple of God? We are the temple of the living God, as God himself says,

“I will live with these people
    and walk among them.
I will be their God,
and they will be
    my people.”

17 The Lord also says,

“Leave them and stay away!
Don’t touch anything
    that isn’t clean.
Then I will welcome you
18     and be your Father.
You will be my sons
    and my daughters,
as surely as I am God,
    the All-Powerful.”

Footnotes

  1. 6.15 Satan: The Greek text has “Beliar,” which is another form of the Hebrew word “Belial,” meaning “wicked” or “useless.” The Jewish people sometimes used this as a name for Satan.