1Since we work together with him, we are also begging you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2He says, I listened to you at the right time, and I helped you on the day of salvation.#Isa 49:8 Look, now is the right time! Look, now is the day of salvation!
3We don’t give anyone any reason to be offended about anything so that our ministry won’t be criticized. 4Instead, we commend ourselves as ministers of God in every way. We did this with our great endurance through problems, disasters, and stressful situations. 5We went through beatings, imprisonments, and riots. We experienced hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger. 6We displayed purity, knowledge, patience, and generosity. We served with the Holy Spirit, genuine love, 7telling the truth, and God’s power. We carried the weapons of righteousness in our right hand and our left hand. 8We were treated with honor and dishonor and with verbal abuse and good evaluation. We were seen as both fake and real, 9as unknown and well known, as dying—and look, we are alive! We were seen as punished but not killed, 10as going through pain but always happy, as poor but making many rich, and as having nothing but owning everything.
Call to relationship and holiness
11Corinthians, we have spoken openly to you, and our hearts are wide open. 12There are no limits to the affection that we feel for you. You are the ones who placed boundaries on your affection for us. 13But as a fair trade—I’m talking to you like you are children—open your hearts wide too.
14Don’t be tied up as equal partners with people who don’t believe. What does righteousness share with that which is outside the Law? What relationship does light have with darkness? 15What harmony does Christ have with Satan?#Or Beliah What does a believer have in common with someone who doesn’t believe? 16What agreement can there be between God’s temple and idols? Because we are the temple of the living God. Just as God said, I live with them, and I will move among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.#Lev 26:11-12 17Therefore, come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord. Don’t touch what is unclean. Then I will welcome you.#Isa 52:11; Ezek 20:34, 41 18I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.#2 Sam 7:14