1 Since we are God’s coworkers, we urge you not to let God’s kindness #Or “grace.” be wasted on you. 2 God says,
“At the right time I heard you.
On the day of salvation I helped you.”
Listen, now is God’s acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation!
Our Lives Demonstrate That We Are God’s Servants
3 We don’t give people any opportunity to find fault with how we serve. 4 Instead, our lives demonstrate that we are God’s servants. We have endured many things: suffering, distress, anxiety, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, hard work, sleepless nights, and lack of food. 6 ⌊People can see⌋ our purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit’s presence ⌊in our lives⌋, our sincere love, 7 truthfulness, and the presence of God’s power. We demonstrate that we are God’s servants 8 as we are praised and dishonored, as we are slandered and honored, and as we use what is right to attack what is wrong and to defend the truth.#The last part of verse 7 (in Greek) has been moved to verse 8 to express the complex Greek sentence structure more clearly in English. We are treated as dishonest although we are honest, 9 as unknown although we are well-known, as dying although, as you see, we go on living. We are punished, but we are not killed. 10 People think we are sad although we’re always glad, that we’re beggars although we make many people spiritually rich, that we have nothing although we possess everything.
11 We have been very open in speaking to you Corinthians. We have a place for you in our hearts. 12 We haven’t cut you off. Your own emotions have cut you off ⌊from us⌋. 13 I’m talking to you as I would talk to children. Treat us the same way we’ve treated you. Make a place for us in your hearts too.
Christians and Their Relationships with Unbelievers
14 Stop forming inappropriate relationships with unbelievers. Can right and wrong be partners? Can light have anything in common with darkness? 15 Can Christ agree with the devil? Can a believer share life with an unbeliever? 16 Can God’s temple contain false gods? Clearly, we are the temple of the living God. As God said,
“I will live and walk among them.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”
17 The Lord says, “Get away from unbelievers.
Separate yourselves from them.
Have nothing to do with anything unclean.#“Unclean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is not presentable to God.
Then I will welcome you.”
18 The Lord Almighty says, “I will be your Father,
and you will be my sons and daughters.”