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2 Corinthians 6:1–8:24

tWorking together with him, then, uwe appeal to you vnot to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,

w“In a favorable time I listened to you,

and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, xnow is the yfavorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We zput no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but aas servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: bby great endurance, cin afflictions, dhardships, calamities, ebeatings, imprisonments, friots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; gby purity, hknowledge, patience, kindness, ithe Holy Spirit, jgenuine love; by ktruthful speech, and lthe power of God; with mthe weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, nthrough slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and oyet well known; pas dying, and behold, we live; qas punished, and yet not killed; 10 ras sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; sas poor, yet making many rich; tas having nothing, uyet possessing everything.

11 We have spoken freely to you,1 Corinthians; vour heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but wyou are restricted in your own affections. 13 xIn return (I speak yas to children) widen your hearts also.

The Temple of the Living God

14 zDo not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For awhat partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or bwhat fellowship has light with darkness? 15 cWhat accord has Christ with Belial?2 Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For dwe are the temple of the living God; as God said,

e“I will make my dwelling among them and fwalk among them,

and gI will be their God,

and they shall be my people.

17  Therefore hgo out from their midst,

and be separate from them, says the Lord,

and touch no unclean thing;

then I will welcome you,

18  iand I will be a father to you,

and you shall be sons and daughters to me,

says the Lord Almighty.”

Since we have these promises, beloved, jlet us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body1 and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

Paul’s Joy

kMake room in your hearts2 for us. lWe have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that myou are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. I am acting with ngreat boldness toward you; oI have great pride in you; pI am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

For even qwhen we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—rfighting without and fear within. But sGod, who comforts the downcast, tcomforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. For ueven if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though vI did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but wbecause you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

10 For xgodly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas yworldly grief produces death. 11 For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, zwhat zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. 12 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one awho did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. 13 Therefore bwe are comforted.

And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit chas been refreshed by you all. 14 For dwhatever boasts I made to him about you, I was not put to shame. But just as everything we said to you ewas true, so also our boasting before Titus has proved true. 15 And his affection for you is even greater, as he remembers fthe obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice, because I have complete gconfidence in you.

Encouragement to Give Generously

We want you to know, brothers,1 about the grace of God that has been hgiven among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and itheir extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave jaccording to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly kfor the favor2 of taking part in lthe relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they mgave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, nwe urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you othis act of grace. But as pyou excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you3qsee that you excel in this act of grace also.

rI say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that sthough he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter tI give my judgment: uthis benefits you, who va year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable waccording to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply xtheir need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, y“Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

Commendation of Titus

16 But zthanks be to God, awho put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. 17 For bhe not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going4 to you of his own accord. 18 With him we are sending5 cthe brother who is famous among dall the churches for his preaching of the gospel. 19 And not only that, but he has been eappointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of fgrace that is being ministered by us, gfor the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will. 20 We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, 21 for hwe aim at what is honorable inot only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. 22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is jmy partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers6 of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of kour boasting about you to these men.

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