As workers together with God we also plead with you not to make your acceptance of God's grace worthless. Just as God said, “At the right time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I rescued you.”* Believe me: now is the right time! Now is the day of salvation! We don't put anything in anyone's way that would trip them up, making sure the work we do won't be criticized. Instead we try to demonstrate we are good servants of God in every way we can. With a great deal of patience we put up with all kinds of trouble, hardship, and distress. We have been beaten up, thrown into prison, and attacked by mobs. We have been worked to the bone, suffering sleepless nights and hunger. We demonstrate who we are by living blameless lives in the knowledge of God, with a great deal of patience, being kind and filled with the Holy Spirit, showing sincere love. We speak truthfully, living in the power of God. Our weapons consist of what is true and right; we attack with our right hand and we defend with our left. We continue whether we are honored or dishonored, whether we are cursed or praised. People call us frauds but we tell the truth. We are disregarded, even though we are well-known; given up for dead, but we're still alive; lashed, but not killed. 10 Seen as miserable, we are always rejoicing; as poor, but we make many rich; as destitute, but we own everything!
11 I've been speaking bluntly, my Corinthian friends, loving you with a big heart! 12 We haven't kept our love from you, but you have kept your love from us. 13 Please respond in the same way, as if you were my children, and be big-hearted!
14 Don't join together with people who don't believefor what connection does goodness have with wickedness? What do light and darkness have in common? 15 How could Christ and the Devil§ ever agree? How could a believer and an unbeliever share together? 16 What compromise could the Temple of God make with idols? For we are a temple of the living God, just as God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”* 17 So leave them, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don't touch anything that is unclean, and I will accept you.” 18 I will be like a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
* 6:2 Quoting Isaiah 49:8. 6:7 Or “word of truth,” meaning the gospel. 6:7 Literally, “weapons of the right and left.” This may mean the use of a sword with the right hand and a shield with the left. § 6:15 Literally, “Belial.” * 6:16 Quoting Leviticus 26:12 and Ezekiel 37:27. 6:17 Referencing Isaiah 52:11 and Ezekiel 20:34, Ezekiel 20:41. 6:18 Referencing 2 Samuel 7:14 or 1 Chronicles 17:13.