1As God’s fellow-workers we also urge you not to receive his grace and then do nothing with it. 2For he says,
“At the acceptable time I heard you;
in the day of salvation I helped you.”
3We try not to put obstacles in anyone’s path, so that no one can find fault with the work we do. 4On the contrary, we try to commend ourselves in every way as workers for God by continually enduring troubles, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, overwork, lack of sleep and food. 6We commend ourselves by our purity, knowledge, patience and kindness; by the Ruach HaKodesh; by genuineness of love 7and truthfulness of speech; and by God’s power. We commend ourselves through our use of righteous weapons, whether for pressing our cause or defending it; 8through being honored and dishonored, praised and blamed, considered deceptive and sincere, 9unknown and famous. And we commend ourselves as God’s workers headed for death, yet look! we’re alive! as punished, yet not killed; 10as having reason to be sad, yet always filled with joy; as poor, yet making many people rich; as having nothing, yet having everything!
11Dear friends in Corinth! We have spoken frankly to you, we have opened our hearts wide. 12Any constraint you feel has not been imposed by us, but by your own inner selves. 13So, just to be “fair” (I am using the language of children), open wide your hearts too.
14Do not yoke yourselves together in a team with unbelievers. For how can righteousness and lawlessness be partners? What fellowship does light have with darkness? 15What harmony can there be between the Messiah and B’liya‘al? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement can there be between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God — as God said,
“I will house myself in them, . . .
and I will walk among you.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”
17Therefore Adonai says,
“‘Go out from their midst;
don’t even touch what is unclean.
Then I myself will receive you.
18In fact, I will be your Father,
and you will be my sons and daughters.’