As God's partners, a we beg you not to reject this marvelous message of God's great kindness.
For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." b Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation.
We try to live in such a way that no one will be hindered from finding the Lord by the way we act, and so no one can find fault with our ministry.
In everything we do we try to show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.
We have been beaten, been put in jail, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food.
We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, our sincere love, and the power of the Holy Spirit. c7
We have faithfully preached the truth. God's power has been working in us. We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and to defend ourselves.
We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors.
We are well known, but we are treated as unknown. We live close to death, but here we are, still alive. We have been beaten within an inch of our lives.
Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you. Our hearts are open to you.
If there is a problem between us, it is not because of a lack of love on our part, but because you have withheld your love from us.
I am talking now as I would to my own children. Open your hearts to us!
Don't team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?
What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil d ? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?
And what union can there be between God's temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: "I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. e17
Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don't touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. f18
And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. g "
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)