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21 of God through us. Now he who confirms us with you in Christ and
22 anointed us, is God: who also sealed us as his own and set the pledge and instalment of the Spirit in our hearts.
23 I call God to witness against my soul, it was to spare you that I
24 forbore to revisit Corinth. (Not that we exercise lordship over your faith. Nay, we work together for your joy. For by your faith you
2 1, 2 stand.) I decided that I would not visit you again in sorrow. For if 1 make you sorrowful, then who is to make me glad? who but he who is
3 made sorrowful by me? and I wrote just for this reason, in case upon my arrival I might have sorrow from those who ought to furnish me with joy; confident as I am in you all, that my joy is the joy of you
4 all. For it was out of much distress and misery of heart that I wrote you, with many tears; not to make you sorrowful, but to make you
5 realise the love which I have for you especially. If anyone has caused sorrow, he has not caused sorrow to me, but to you all; at least—
6 not to be too severe—to a section of you. This punishment from the
7 majority is enough for the individual in question, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest haply the
8 man be swallowed up by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I appeal to you
9 to ratify your love to him. For it was with this object that I also
10 wrote, to find out the proof of your obedience in every point. The man whom you forgive for anything, I forgive also. And truly whatever I have forgiven, my forgiveness has been for your sakes in the
11 presence of Christ—to prevent Satan from taking any advantage of us;
12 for well do we know his schemes. Now on arriving at Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even although a door stood open for me in the
13 Lord, I got no relief for my spirit, since I did not find Titus my brother;
14 so I took leave of them and departed to Macedonia. Thanks be to God who ever makes our life a pageant of triumph in Christ, and dis
15 closes through us in every place the odour of his knowledge! For to God we are a fragrance of Christ, in the saved and in the perishing:
16 to these an odour of1 death to death, to those an odour of1 life to life.
17 (And who is qualified for this?) For we are not like the majority who adulterate the word of God; nay, out of sincerity, from God, thus it is we speak in Christ before God.
3 1 Are we beginning once more "to commend ourselves "? or do we require, like some people, letters of commendation to you or
2 from you? You are yourselves our letter, written within our hearts,
3 recognised and read by all men. It is plain, to look at you, that you are a letter of Christ, executed by our ministry, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of
4 stone, but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.—Such is the confidence
5 we have through Christ towards God. It is not that we are personally qualified to form any judgment by our unaided selves; our qualifica
6 tion is from God, who has also qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant, not of written law but of spirit. For the written law
7 puts to death, but the spirit makes alive. Now if the ministry of death, engraved in letters of stone, was accompanied with such splendour that the sons of Israel could not gaze on the face of Moses
8 for the splendour of his face—a, splendour that was waning—surely the
9 ministry of the Spirit shall be of still greater splendour? For if splendour belongs to the ministry of condemnation, far far more does
10 the ministry of uprightness excel in splendour. Indeed in this respect
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what has been made splendid possesses no splendour, in view of the
11 splendour that is surpassing. For if the appearance of what was
waning was splendid, then splendid far far more is what remains.
12, 13 Since then we have such a hope, we use great openness, and are
not like Moses, who used to put a veil upon his face, to prevent the sons
14 of Israel gazing on the end of what was waning. Moreover their minds have been hardened. For to this very day, upon the reading of the old covenant, the same veil remains. Veiled to them the fact that it
15 has waned in Christ! Yes, down to this day, whensoever Moses is
16 read, a veil lies on their heart. But whensoever they turn to the Lord, the
17 veil is taken away. The Lord is the Spirit: where the Spirit of the
18 Lord is, there freedom is. And while we all, with face unveiled, behold as in a mirror the splendour of the Lord, we are transformed into that very image from splendour to splendour, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
4 1 Therefore, after the mercy we have obtained, we do not lose
2 heart in this, our ministry. The practices which very shame conceals, we have disowned; we do not proceed by craft or falsify the word of God, but by the disclosure of the truth we commend ourselves to
3 every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel
4 is veiled, it is veiled for the perishing; in their case the god of tliis age has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that no ray should reach them from the radiance of the gospel of the splendour of Christ,
5 who is the image of God. For it is not ourselves that we preach, it is Christ Jesus as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus.
6 For the God who said, "Out of darkness light shall shine," is he who shone within our hearts to irradiate the knowledge of God's splendour in the face of Christ.
7 But this treasure we hold in earthen vessels,
That the pre-eminence of the power may be God's, not due to us—
8 In everything distressed yet not straitened, perplexed yet not despairing,
9 persecuted yet not forsaken, prostrate yet not destroyed,
10 Bearing about ever in the body the dying of Jesus,
That the life of Jesus also may be disclosed in our body:
11 For we who live are always being delivered to death for Jesus'
sake, That the life of Jesus also may be disclosed in our mortal flesh. 12,13 In us then death is active, in you life. Yet having the same spirit of faith as that whereof it is written, / believed: therefore I spoke—we too
14 believe, and therefore speak; since we know that he who raised up the Lord Jesus shall also raise us up with Jesus and present us with you.
15 All is for your sakes, that grace multiplied may cause thanksgiving to abound through the greater number to tne honour of God.
16 Wherefore we lose not heart:
Although our outer man decays,
Day after day our inner man is renewed. - ■ •
17 For the moment's ' light distress results for us in an eternal weight of majesty:
18 While we look not at the seen, but at the unseen,
For the seen is for a time,
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5 1 For wo know that if our earthly house of the tabernacle be taken down,
We have a building from God, a house that no hands made, eternal in the heavens.
2 And truly this is why we groan,
As we yearn to be clothed upon with our habitation from heaven;
3 Seeing that once it is put on, we shall not indeed be found naked.
4 And truly we who are in this tabernacle do groan under the burden,
Since our desire is not to be unclothed, but clothed upon,
5 For this very end has he formed us,
Even the God who gave us the pledge and instalment of the Spirit. G So then we are ever confident, knowing that for us to be at home in
7 the body is to be abroad from the Lord (for the sphere of our walk is
8 faith, not appearances)—we are confident, I say, and would far sooner be
9 abroad from the body and at home with the Lord. Wherefore we also make it our ambition, whether at home or abroad, to be well-pleasing to
10 him. For we must all be exposed before the tribunal of Christ, that each may be paid back for what he has done with the body, according to his deeds, be they good or ill.
11 Knowing the fear of the Lord, then, we "try to win over men." But what we are is plain to God; plain also, as I hope, within your consciences.
12 We are not "commending ourselves to you" again, but giving you an opportunity to exult on our behalf, that you may have some answer for
13 those who exult in appearance and not in heart. We have "gone out of our mind "? that is God's concern. We are "in our senses "? that is in
14 your interest. For it is the love of Christ that urges us: because our con
15 viction is that one died on behalf of all—so then all died—and died on behalf of all, in order that the living might live no longer for themselves
16 but for him who died and rose again on their behalf. So, as for us, from henceforth we know no man after the flesh. Even though wo have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him thus no more.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old things
18 have passed away, behold, they have become new! And it is all of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of
19 reconciliation, whose purport is: God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not reckoning to them their trespasses; and he has placed
20 with us the word of reconciliation. On Christ's behalf then we are envoys, as though by us God made appeal. We entreat you on behalf
21 of ChriHt, accept reconciliation to God. Him who knew no sin he made
6 1 to be sin for us, that we might become God's uprightness in him. As his
fellow-workers we appeal to you also not to receive the grace of God in
2 vain—for he saith,
At an meltable time I hearkened to thee,
A nd in a day of salvation I helped thee.
Lo now is the day of salvation—
3 and we give no occasion for stumbling at any point, that our ministry
4 may not be impugned. No, as ministers of God we commend ourselves in every point, in much endurance, amid distresses, amid troubles, amid
5 calamities, amid stripes, amid imprisonments, amid tumults, amid labours, C amid vigils, amid fastings, in purity, in knowledge, in long-suffering, in
7 kindness, in the holy Spirit, in love unfeigned, in the word of truth, in the power of God: by the weapons of uprightness in the right hand and
8 in the left, by credit and dishonour, by evil report and good report, as
9 "impostors" yet truthful, as "unknown:' yet well known, as dying yet
10 lo! we live, as chastised yet not put to death, as sorrowful but ever rejoicing, as poor but enriching many, as having nothing yet possessed of everything.
11 We keep nothing back from you, Corinthians; our luart is wide open. 12, 13 Your constraint lies not in us, it lies in your own hearts. Now one good
turn deserves another (I am speaking as to my children), be you wide
14 open too. Share no incongruous yoke with unbelievers.
For what partnership can exist between uprightness and wickedness?
15 What harmony has Christ with Beliar 1
Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
16 What compact has God's sanctuary with idols?
For we are the sanctuary of the living God: even as God said,
17 Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate," saith the
"And touch nothing unclean, and I will welcome you with favour:
18 So will I be to you a fatter, and to me you shall be sons and
daughters," Saith the Lord Almighty. 7 1 As we possess these promises, then, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Take us into your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have ruined
3 no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I am not speaking to condemn you; I have said before that you are in our hearts to die
4 together and to live together. Great is my frank confidence in regard to you, greatly do I exult on your behalf amid all our distress. I am full
5 of cheer, brimming over with delight. For even when we came to Macedonia our flesh got no relief, we were in utter distress—it was
6 wrangles without, fears within. But the God who cheers the depressed
7 cheered us by the arrival of Titus; and it was not merely by his arrival, but also by the cheer with which he had been encouraged over you, as he reported to us your longiiig, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I
8 rejoiced more and more. For though I caused you sorrow with my letter, I do not regret it. I had regrets, it is true, when I discovered 1 that that
9 letter had caused you sorrow (though it was only for a time); but, as matters stand, I rejoice—not because you had sorrow, but because you had sorrow to repentance. For you had sorrow in God's way, that you
10 might suffer no loss through us; for sorrow in God's way results in repentance to salvation—a repentance not to be regretted—but the sorrow of
11 the world results in death. Look at this very fact, that you were caused sorrow in God's way! what earnest care was its result in you, yes and clearing of yourselves, yes and indignation, yes and fear, yes and longing, yes and zeal, yes and punishment! You gave every proof that you were
12 innocent in the business. So then, although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of him who did the wrong, nor for the sake of I him who was wronged, but in order to make clear to yourselves in the sight of God
13 how earnestly you care for us. Hence our cheer. But over and above our own cheer we rejoiced more abundantly than ever at the
14 joy of Titus, because you had all refreshed his spirit. For I was not put to shame over any exultation that I had made to him upon your behalf; but as all that we said to you was true, so our exulting on your
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15 behalf before Titus proved also to be truth. And his affection for you is all the greater as he recalls the obedience of you all, and how you received
10 him with fear and trembling. I rejoice that in everything you give me confidence.
8 1 Now we would inform you, brothers, about the grace of God which
2 has been given to the Communities of Macedonia. Amid a severe ordeal of distress, their abundant joy and their deep poverty have had an abund
3 ant issue in rich generosity upon their part; up to their means (I bear
4 witness) and beyond their means, they of their own free will besought us with urgent entreaty for the favour of participating in the ministry to
5 the saints. And they surpassed our expectations. They actually gave themselves—first to the Lord, to begin with, and to us by "the will of God.
6 So much so that we appealed to Titus to get this bounty completed among
7 you also, since it was he who had previously made a beginning. Come, as you excel in everything, in faith and speech and knowledge and all earnestness and in your love to us, excel also in this bounty.
8 I do not speak by way of command, but through the earnestness of others
9 I would put the genuineness of your love also to the proof. (For you know the bounteous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ ; how for your sakes, rich though he was, he became poor, that through his poverty you might
10 grow rich.) Still, on this subject I give my opinion (it is for your own advantage, you who a year ago were the first not only in deed but also in
11 desire to make a beginning); complete the deed now as well as the desire, so that after your readiness in desiring you may likewise complete the
12 doing, in proportion to what you possess. For if the readiness is there, it is right welcome—according to what a man has, not according to what he
13 has not. This does not mean ease for other people and hardship for you:
14 it is a matter of equality. On the present occasion your abundance serves to supply their lack, in order that their abundance also may come to supply your lack; so that there may be equality, even as it is written:
15 He whose gathering was large luid nothing over,
^ And he whose gathering was small had not too little.
16 Now thanks be to God for putting into the heart of Titus the same
17 earnest care of you. For, while he accepted our appeal, he has gone off to
18 you of his own free will, so earnest is he. And we have sent along with him the brother whose praise in the gospel is known throughout all the
19 Communities: further, he was also appointed bv the Communities as our fellow-traveller in the matter of this bounty which we are administering
20 for the honour of the Lord and with encouragement to ourselves. (We are taking precautions to prevent anyone from impugning us in reference to
21 this munificence which we are administering; lor our concern is for what is honourable not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of men.)
22 Along with them we have also sent our brother, of whose earnestness we have had proof many a time and in many a matter, but yet stronger proof
23 now in the great confidence which he has with regard to you. As for Titus, he is my comrade and fellow-worker in your interest. As for our brothers,
24 they are messengers from the Communities, a credit to Christ. Afford > them the proof of your love, then, our warrant for exulting on your
9 1 acccount before the Communities. For it is superfluous for me
2 to be writing you on the ministry to the saints. I know your readiness and exult over it on your account to the Macedonians; "Achaia," I tell them, "has been prepared for a year back." And your zeal has been a
3 Btimulus to the most of them. But I have sent the brothers lest our exulta
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