1 For I know that if this earthly tent in which I live is taken down, I have a building in heaven which comes from God, a house not built by human hands but eternal. 2 For in this one I am sighing, because I long to put on, like a robe, my heavenly body, my future home, 3 and if I do put it on, I shall not find myself to be disembodied. 4 For I who am still in my tent am sighing beneath my burdens, because I do not want it to be put off but to put on the other over it, so that my dying body may be absorbed in life. 5 Now it is God Himself who has put the finishing touches on me for this change, because He has given me the Spirit as the first installment of future bliss.
6 So I am always cheerful and confident, although I know that as long as I am at home in the body I am away from home and the Lord 7 (for here I live by what I believe and not by what I see), 8 and yet I am cheerful and confident, but really I prefer to be away from home in the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 So whether I am at home or away from home, it is my constant ambition to please Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment-bar of Christ, that each may get his pay for what he has done, whether it be good or bad.
11 So, since I know what the fear of God can do, I am trying to win men. My inner self is perfectly known to God, and I hope, to your consciences too. 12 I am not trying to recommend myself to you again. I am giving you ground for speaking well of me, that you may have something to say to those who are constantly prating about external privileges and not concerned about the state of the heart. 13 For if I did go crazy, it was for God's glory; and if I am keeping my head cool, it is for your good. 14 For the love of Christ continuously constrains me, because I am convinced that as One died for all, all have died, 15 and He died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
16 So from this moment on, I do not estimate anybody by the standard of outward appearances. Although I once did estimate Christ by this standard, I do not do so any longer. 17 For if anybody is in union with Christ, he is the work of a new creation; the old condition has passed away, a new condition has come. 18 This has all originated with God, for He through Christ has reconciled me to Himself and has given me the ministry of reconciliation. 19 For it was through Christ that God was reconciling the world to Himself instead of debiting men's offenses against them, and He has committed to me the message of this reconciliation. 20 So I am an envoy to represent Christ, because it is through me that God is making His appeal. As one representing Christ I beg you, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who personally knew nothing of sin to be a sin-offering for us, so that through union with Him we might come into right standing with God.