1 Therefore, being engaged in this service and being mindful of the mercy which has been shown us, we are not cowards. 2 Nay, we have renounced the secrecy which marks a feeling of shame. We practice no cunning tricks, nor do we adulterate God's Message. But by a full clear statement of the truth we strive to commend ourselves in the presence of God to every human conscience. 3 If, however, the meaning of our Good News has been veiled, the veil has been on the hearts of those who are on the way to perdition, 4 in whom the god of this present age has blinded their unbelieving minds so as to shut out the sunshine of the Good News of the glory of the Christ, who is the image of God. 5 (For we do not proclaim ourselves, but we proclaim Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bondservants for the sake of Jesus.) 6 For God who said, "Out of darkness let light shine," is He who has shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory, which is radiant on the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in a fragile vase of clay, in order that the surpassing greatness of the power may be seen to belong to God, and not to originate in us. 8 We are hard pressed, yet never in absolute distress; perplexed, yet never utterly baffled; 9 pursued, yet never left unsuccoured; struck to the ground, yet never slain; 10 always, wherever we go, carrying with us in our bodies the putting to death of Jesus, so that in our bodies it may also be clearly shown that Jesus lives. 11 For we, alive though we are, are continually surrendering ourselves to death for the sake of Jesus, so that in this mortal nature of ours it may also be clearly shown that Jesus lives. 12 Thus we are constantly dying, while you are in full enjoyment of Life. 13 But possessing the same Spirit of faith as he who wrote, "I believed, and therefore I have spoken," we also believe, and therefore we speak. 14 For we know that He who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will raise us also to be with Jesus, and will cause both us and you to stand in His own presence. 15 For everything is for your sakes, in order that grace, being more richly bestowed because of the thanksgivings of the increased number, may more and more promote the glory of God.
16 Therefore we are not cowards. Nay, even though our outward man is wasting away, yet our inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For this our light and transitory burden of suffering is achieving for us a preponderating, yes, a vastly preponderating, and eternal weight of glory; 18 while we look not at things seen, but things unseen; for things seen are temporary, but things unseen are eternal.