by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love,
truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left;
in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true;
as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed;
as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide.
You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections.
In return--I speak as to children--widen your hearts also.
Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
What accord has Christ with Be'lial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you,
and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
2 Corinthians 7
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.
Open your hearts to us; we have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one.
I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.
I have great confidence in you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. With all our affliction, I am overjoyed.
For even when we came into Macedo'nia, our bodies had no rest but we were afflicted at every turn--fighting without and fear within.
But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,
and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.
For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it (though I did regret it), for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while.
As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting; for you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death.
For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves guiltless in the matter.
So although I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong, nor on account of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your zeal for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God.
Therefore we are comforted. And besides our own comfort we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his mind has been set at rest by you all.
For if I have expressed to him some pride in you, I was not put to shame; but just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting before Titus has proved true.
And his heart goes out all the more to you, as he remembers the obedience of you all, and the fear and trembling with which you received him.
I rejoice, because I have perfect confidence in you.
2 Corinthians 8
We want you to know, brethren, about the grace of God which has been shown in the churches of Macedo'nia,
for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of liberality on their part.
For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will,
begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints--
and this, not as we expected, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.
Accordingly we have urged Titus that as he had already made a beginning, he should also complete among you this gracious work.
Now as you excel in everything--in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in your love for us--see that you excel in this gracious work also.
I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.
And in this matter I give my advice: it is best for you now to complete what a year ago you began not only to do but to desire,
so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.
For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he has not.
I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened,
but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their want, so that their abundance may supply your want, that there may be equality.
As it is written, "He who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little had no lack."
But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.
For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord.
With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel;
and not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work which we are carrying on, for the glory of the Lord and to show our good will.
We intend that no one should blame us about this liberal gift which we are administering,
for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord's sight but also in the sight of men.
And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you.
As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker in your service; and as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
So give proof, before the churches, of your love and of our boasting about you to these men.