1We work together with God, and we beg you to make good use of God's kindness to you. 2In the Scriptures God says,#Is 49.8.
“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.
3We don't want anyone to find fault with our work, and so we try hard not to cause problems. 4But 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. 5We have been beaten, put in jail, and hurt in riots. We have worked hard and have gone without sleep or food.#Ac 16.23. 6But 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. 7We 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.
8Whether we were honoured or dishonoured or praised or cursed, we always told the truth about ourselves. But some people said we did not. 9We 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, 10and 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.
11Friends in Corinth, we are telling the truth when we say that there is room in our hearts for you. 12We are not holding back on our love for you, but you are holding back on your love for us. 13I 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
14Stay 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? 15Is Christ a friend of Satan?#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. Can people who follow the Lord have anything in common with those who don't? 16Do idols belong in the temple of God? We are the temple of the living God, as God himself says,#1 Co 3.16; 6.19; Lv 26.12; Ez 37.27.
“I will live with these people
and walk among them.
I will be their God,
and they will be
17The Lord also says,#Is 52.11.
“Leave them and stay away!
Don't touch anything
that isn't clean.
Then I will welcome you
18and be your Father.#2 S 7.14; 1 Ch 17.13; Is 43.6; Jr 31.9.
You will be my sons
and my daughters,
as surely as I am God,