As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive his grace in vain. For he has said, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.”
Look, the “right time” is now! Today is the day of salvation!
We take care not to put obstacles in anyone’s way, so that our ministry isn’t discredited. Rather, as servants of God, we commend ourselves in every way: in patience; in suffering; in hardship; in distress, in beatings; in imprisonments; in riots; in hard work; in vigils; in hunger; by honesty; by knowledge; by persistence; by compassion; by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; by sincere love; by truthfulness; by the power of God; with spiritual weapons for defence and attack; in honour and dishonour; whether popular or unpopular; considered deceivers, but actually true; considered nonentities, but really well-known; as dying, but we’re still alive; as wounded, yet continuing to fight; as sad, yet always rejoicing; as poor, but making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
My dear friends in Corinth, we’ve kept nothing back and opened our hearts to you. There’s no lack of love on our part, but you’re withholding your love from us. Now, in all fairness – I’m speaking to you like my children – open your hearts to us!
Don’t team up with unbelievers. How can integrity live with deceit? How can light exist with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and the devil? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between God’s temple and idols? For, yes, we’re the temple of the living God. He actually said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from them be separate, says the Lord. Touch nothing unclean and then I will welcome you. I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
So, because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that defiles the body and the spirit, aiming for purity out of respect for the Lord.