1 I know that if this earthly tent of mine is taken down, I get a home from God, made by no human hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 It makes me sigh indeed, this yearning to be under the cover of my heavenly habitation, 3 since I am sure that once so covered I shall not be 'naked' at the hour of death. 4 I do sigh within this tent of mine with heavy anxiety ??not that I want to be stripped, no, but to be under the cover of the other, to have my mortal element absorbed by life. 5 I am prepared for this change by God, who has given me the Spirit as its pledge and instalment.
6 Come what may, then, I am confident; I know that while I reside in the body I am away from the Lord 7 (for I have to lead my life in faith, without seeing him): 8 and in this confidence I would fain get away from the body and reside with the Lord. 9 Hence also I am eager to satisfy him, whether in the body or away from it; 10 for we have all to appear without disguise before the tribunal of Christ, each to be requited for what he has done with his body, well or ill.
11 If I 'appeal to the interests of men,' then, it is with the fear of the Lord before my mind. What I am is plain to God without disguise, plain also, I trust, to your own conscience. 12 This is not 'recommending myself to you again'; it is giving you an incentive to be proud of me, which you can use against men who are proud of externals instead of the inward reality. 13 'I am beside myself,' am I? Well, that is between myself and God. I am 'sane,' am I? Well, that is in your interests; 14 for I am controlled by the love of Christ, convinced that as One has died for all, then all have died, 15 and that he died for all in order to have the living live no longer for themselves but for him who died and rose for them.
16 Once convinced of this, then, I estimate no one by what is external; even though I once estimated Christ by what is external, I no longer estimate him thus. 17 There is a new creation whenever a man comes to be in Christ; what is old is gone, the new has come. 18 It is all the doing of the God who has reconciled me to himself through Christ and has permitted me to be a minister of his reconciliation. 19 For in Christ God reconciled the world to himself instead of counting men's trespasses against them; and he entrusted me with the message of his reconciliation. 20 So I am an envoy for Christ, God appealing by me, as it were ??be reconciled to God, I entreat you on behalf of Christ. 21 For our sakes He made him to be sin who himself knew nothing of sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.