III. The Ministers
of the New Covenant
A. Constituted by and with the Lord
as the Life-giving and Transforming Spirit
12 Therefore since we have such 1hope, we use much 2aboldness,
13 And are not like Moses, who put a aveil on his face so that the sons of Israel would not gaze 1at the end of that which was being done away with.
14 But their 1athoughts were bhardened; for until the present day the same veil remains at the creading of the old covenant, 2it not being unveiled to them that the veil is being done away with in Christ.
15 Indeed unto this day, whenever 1Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart;
16 But whenever 1their heart turns to the Lord, the aveil is taken away.
17 1And the 2Lord is the 3aSpirit; and where the 4bSpirit of the Lord is, there is 5cfreedom.
18 1But 2we all with 3unveiled face, 4abeholding and reflecting like a 5bmirror the 6cglory of the Lord, are 7being dtransformed into the 8same eimage 9from glory to fglory, even as 10from the 11Lord Spirit.
B. Conducting Themselves
for the Shining of the Gospel of Christ
1 1Therefore having 2this aministry as we have been shown 3bmercy, we do cnot lose heart;
2 But we have renounced the hidden things of ashame, not walking in bcraftiness nor 1cadulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of the 2dtruth ecommending ourselves to every fconscience of men before God.
3 And even if our gospel is 1veiled, it is aveiled in those who are bperishing,
4 In whom the 1agod of bthis age has 2cblinded the 3dthoughts of the unbelievers that the 4eillumination of the gospel of the fglory of Christ, who is the gimage of God, might not 5shine on them.
5 1For we do not apreach ourselves but Christ Jesus as 2bLord, and ourselves as your 3cslaves for Jesus' sake.
6 1Because the God who said, Out of adarkness blight shall shine, is the One who shined 2in 3our chearts to 4dilluminate the knowledge of the eglory of God in the 5face of Jesus Christ.
C. Living a Crucified Life
for the Manifestation of the Resurrection Life
by the Power of the Treasure in the Earthen Vessels
7 1But we have this 2atreasure in earthen bvessels that the 3cexcellency of the dpower may be of God and not out of us.
8 We are 1pressed on aevery side but not 2constricted; unable to find a way out but not butterly without a way out;
9 1aPersecuted but not 2babandoned; 3cast down but cnot 4destroyed;
10 Always bearing about ain the body the 1bputting to cdeath of Jesus 2that the 3life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
11 For we who are alive are always being delivered unto adeath for Jesus' sake that the blife of 1Jesus also may be manifested in our cmortal 2flesh.
12 So then adeath operates in us, but 1life in you.
13 And having the 1same 2aspirit of bfaith according to that which is written, c"I believed, therefore I spoke,'' we also believe, therefore we also speak,
14 Knowing that He who araised the Lord Jesus will 1braise us also with Jesus and will cmake us stand before Him with you.
15 For aall things are bfor your sakes that the 1cgrace which has abounded through the greater number may cause the dthanksgiving to abound to the eglory of God.
16 Therefore we do anot lose heart; but though our 1bouter man is 2decaying, yet our 1cinner man is being 3drenewed day by day.
17 For our amomentary lightness of 1affliction works out for us, 2more and more surpassingly, an 3eternal weight of 4bglory,
18 Because we do not regard the 1things which are aseen but the 2things which are bnot seen; for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are ceternal.
D. Longing to Be Clothed Upon with the Transfigured Body
1 1For we know that if our 2earthly 3atabernacle dwelling is taken down, we have a 4building 5from God, a 6dwelling bnot made with hands, ceternal, 7din the heavens.
2 For also in 1this we agroan, longing to be 2clothed upon with our 3dwelling place 4from heaven,
3 If indeed, being clothed, we will not be found 1anaked.
4 For also, we who are in this tabernacle groan, being 1aburdened, 2in that we do not desire to be unclothed, but clothed upon, that 3what is bmortal may be 4cswallowed up by life.
5 Now He who has 1wrought us for this very thing is God, who has given to us the Spirit as a 2apledge.
6 Therefore being always of good courage and knowing that while we are 1at home in the body, we are 1abroad from the Lord
7 (For we 1walk by afaith, not by 2bappearance) --
8 We are of good courage then and are well pleased rather 1to be aabroad from the body and at home with the Lord.
E. Making It Their Aim to Please the Lord by Living to Him
9 Therefore also we are 1determined, whether 2at home or abroad, to gain the honor of being awell pleasing to Him.
10 1For we must all be amanifested before the 2bjudgment seat of Christ, that each one may 3creceive the things done 4through the body according to what he has practiced, whether good or 5bad.
11 1Knowing therefore the 2afear of the Lord, we 3persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; yet I hope that we are made manifest also in your bconsciences.
12 We are not again acommending ourselves to you, but so speak in order to give you an opportunity to bboast on our behalf, that you may 1have an answer for those who are cboasting in doutward 2appearance and not in 3eheart.
13 For whether we were 1abeside ourselves, it was to God; or whether we are 2bsober-minded, it is cfor you.
14 For the 1alove of Christ 2constrains us because we 3have judged this, that 4bOne died for all, 5therefore call died;
15 And He adied for all that those who blive may 1no longer live to themselves but 2cto Him who died for them and has been raised.
F. Commissioned with the Ministry of Reconciliation
for the Lord's New Creation
16 1So then we, from now on, 2know no one according to the aflesh; even though we have 2known Christ baccording to the flesh, yet now we 2know Him so no longer.
17 1So then if anyone is 2ain Christ, he is a 3bnew creation. The 4cold things have dpassed away; 5behold, 6they have become enew.
18 But 1all things are out from God, who has areconciled us to Himself through Christ and has given to us the bministry of reconciliation;
19 Namely, that God ain Christ was reconciling the bworld to Himself, cnot accounting their offenses to them, and has put in us the 1word of reconciliation.
20 On behalf of Christ then we are 1aambassadors, as God bentreats you through us; we beseech you on behalf of Christ, Be 2reconciled to God.
21 Him who did 1not know sin He made 2asin on our behalf that we might become the 3brighteousness of God 4in Him.
G. Working Together with God by an All-fitting Life
1. The Work of the Reconciling Ministry
1 1And working 2together with Him, we also 3aentreat you not to receive the 4bgrace of God in vain;
2 For He says, a"In an bacceptable time I listened to you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.'' Behold, now is the 1cwell-acceptable time; behold, now is the dday of 2salvation.
2. The Adequate Life of the Reconciling Ministry
3 1We give no occasion of stumbling in anything that the 2ministry may not be faulted,
4 But in everything we acommend ourselves as bministers of God, in much 1cendurance, in dafflictions, in 2enecessities, in fdistresses,
5 In astripes, in bimprisonments, in ctumults, in dlabors, in 1ewatchings, in 2fastings;
6 In pureness, in 1aknowledge, in long-suffering, in kindness, in a bholy 2spirit, in cunfeigned 1love,
7 In the aword of truth, in the bpower of God; through the 1cweapons of righteousness 2on the right and on the left,
8 Through 1glory and adishonor, through 2bevil report and good report; as 3cdeceivers and yet dtrue;
9 As 1unknown and yet well known; as 2adying and yet behold we blive; as 3being disciplined and yet cnot being put to death;
10 As 1made asorrowful yet always brejoicing; as 2poor yet cenriching many; as 3dhaving nothing and yet possessing eall things.
11 Our mouth is 1aopened to you, Corinthians; our heart is 1benlarged.
12 You are not constricted in us, but you are 1constricted in your 2ainward parts.
13 But for a 1recompense in kind, I speak as to 2achildren, you also 3be enlarged.
3. A Frank Exhortation of the Reconciling Ministry
14 1Do not become 2adissimilarly yoked with unbelievers. For what 3bpartnership do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what cfellowship does dlight have 4with edarkness?
15 And what concord does aChrist have 1with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an bunbeliever?
16 And what agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the atemple of the 1bliving God, even as God said, c"I will dwell among them and walk among them; and dI will be their God, and they will be My people.''
17 Therefore a"come out from their midst and be 1separated, says the Lord, and do not touch 2what is bunclean; and I will 3welcome you'';
18 "And I will be 1a aFather to you, and you will be 2bsons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.''
1 1Therefore since we have 2these promises, beloved, let us acleanse ourselves from all 3defilement of flesh and of bspirit, 4perfecting choliness in the 5dfear of God.
4. The Intimate Concern
of the Apostles' Ministering Life
2 1aMake room for us; we have 2bwronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken cadvantage of no one.
3 I do not say this to condemn you, for I have said before that you are 1in our hearts for our dying together and our living together.
4 Great is my aboldness toward you, great is my bboasting on your behalf; I am filled with 1ccomfort, I overflow with 1djoy in all our eaffliction.
5 For even when we came into aMacedonia, our 1flesh had no rest, but we were bafflicted in everything; without were cfightings, within were fears.
6 But He who acomforts those who are 1downcast, that is, God, 2bcomforted us by the 3coming of cTitus;
7 And not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted because of you, declaring to us your alonging, your lamentation, your bzeal for me, so that I crejoiced the more.
8 For though I caused you asorrow by the 1letter, I do not regret it. Even if I 2did regret it (for I see that that letter, even if for an hour, 3caused you sorrow),
9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to 1repentance; for you were made 2asorrowful according to God, that in nothing you might suffer loss from us.
10 For sorrow according to God works arepentance unto 1salvation, which is without regret; but the bsorrow of the world works out death.
11 For behold this very thing, your being made sorrowful according to God, what 1aearnestness it has 2worked out in you, 3indeed what 4defense, indeed what 5indignation, indeed what 6fear, indeed what 7blonging, indeed what 8czeal, indeed what 9dpunishment! In everything you have commended yourselves to be pure in 10the matter.
12 So then, though I awrote to you, it was not for the sake of 1him who did the wrong, nor for the sake of 2him who was wronged, but for the sake of 3manifesting to you before God your earnestness for us.
13 Because of this we have been acomforted. And in addition to our comfort, we brejoiced 1more abundantly over the joy of 2Titus, because his 3spirit has been crefreshed by all of you.
14 For if in anything I aboasted to him on your behalf, I have not been put to shame; on the contrary, as we spoke all things in truth to you, so also our boasting before Titus turned out to be the truth.
15 And his 1affections are abundantly toward you, he remembering the aobedience of you all, how you received him with bfear and trembling.
16 I arejoice that in everything I 1have boldness because of you.