1 As God's fellow-worker I beg you too not to accept God's favor and throw it away. 2 For He says: "At a welcome time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you." Right now the time of welcome is here; right now it is the day of salvation.
3 To keep my ministry from being found fault with, I am trying not to put a single hindrance in anybody's way. 4 On the contrary, I am trying in everything to prove to people that I am a true servant of God: by my tremendous endurance in sorrows, distresses, difficulties; 5 in floggings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, and hunger; 6 through my personal purity, my knowledge, my patience, my kindness; through the Holy Spirit, my genuine love, 7 my message of truth, and the power of God; with the weapons of right-doing in my right hand and my left; 8 in honor or dishonor, in slander or praise; considered a deceiver and yet true, 9 obscure and yet well-known, on the point of dying and yet I go on living, punished and yet not put to death, 10 sad but always glad, poor but making many people rich, penniless but really possessing everything.
11 O Corinthians, my tongue is telling you everything; my heart is stretched with love for you. 12 You are not squeezed into a tiny corner in my heart, but you are in your own affections. 13 To pay me back, I tell you, my children, you too must stretch your hearts with love for me.
14 Stop forming intimate and inconsistent relations with unbelievers. What partnership can right-doing have with law-breaking, or how can light participate with darkness? 15 What harmony exists between Christ and Belial, or what is common between a believer and an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement can a temple of God make with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said: "I will live in them and walk in them, and I will be their God and they will be my people." 17 Therefore: "'Come out of company with them, and separate from them,' the Lord has said, 'And stop touching what is unclean; then I will welcome you, 18 I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters of mine,' The Lord Almighty said."