1As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says,
‘In the time of my favour I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.’[a]
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.
3 We put no stumbling-block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonour, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange – I speak as to my children – open wide your hearts also.
Warning against idolatry
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[b]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
‘I will live with them
and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they will be my people.’[c]
‘Come out from them
and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.’[d]
‘I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.’[e]