December 6

2 Corinthians 1:1 — 4:18

2 Corinthians

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through God’s will, and Timothy [our] brother to the congregation of God that is in Corinth, together with all the holy ones who are in all of Achaia:

2 May YOU have undeserved kindness and peace from God our Father and [the] Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those in any sort of tribulation through the comfort with which we ourselves are being comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings for the Christ abound in us, so the comfort we get also abounds through the Christ. 6 Now whether we are in tribulation, it is for YOUR comfort and salvation; or whether we are being comforted, it is for YOUR comfort that operates to make YOU endure the same sufferings that we also suffer. 7 And so our hope for YOU is unwavering, knowing as we do that, just as YOU are sharers of the sufferings, in the same way YOU will also share the comfort.

8 For we do not wish YOU to be ignorant, brothers, about the tribulation that happened to us in the [district of] Asia, that we were under extreme pressure beyond our strength, so that we were very uncertain even of our lives. 9 In fact, we felt within ourselves that we had received the sentence of death. This was that we might have our trust, not in ourselves, but in the God who raises up the dead. 10 From such a great thing as death he did rescue us and will rescue us; and our hope is in him that he will also rescue us further. 11 YOU also can help along by YOUR supplication for us, in order that thanks may be given by many in our behalf for what is kindly given to us due to many [prayerful] faces.

12 For the thing we boast of is this, to which our conscience bears witness, that with holiness and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but with God’s undeserved kindness, we have conducted ourselves in the world, but more especially toward YOU. 13 For we are really not writing YOU things except those which YOU well know or also recognize; and which I hope YOU will continue to recognize to the end, 14 just as YOU have also recognized, to an extent, that we are a cause for YOU to boast, just as YOU will also be for us in the day of our Lord Jesus.

15 So, with this confidence, I was intending before to come to YOU, that YOU might have a second [occasion for] joy, 16 and after a stopover with YOU to go to Macedonia, and to come back from Macedonia to YOU and be conducted partway by YOU to Judea. 17 Well, when I had such an intention, I did not indulge in any lightness, did I? Or what things I purpose, do I purpose [them] according to the flesh, that with me there should be “Yes, Yes” and “No, No”? 18 But God can be relied upon that our speech addressed to YOU is not Yes and yet No. 19 For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among YOU through us, that is, through me and Silvanus and Timothy, did not become Yes and yet No, but Yes has become Yes in his case. 20 For no matter how many the promises of God are, they have become Yes by means of him. Therefore also through him is the “Amen” [said] to God for glory through us. 21 But he who guarantees that YOU and we belong to Christ and he who has anointed us is God. 22 He has also put his seal upon us and has given us the token of what is to come, that is, the spirit, in our hearts.

23 Now I call upon God as a witness against my own soul that it is to spare YOU that I have not yet come to Corinth. 24 Not that we are the masters over YOUR faith, but we are fellow workers for YOUR joy, for it is by [YOUR] faith that YOU are standing.

For this is what I have decided for myself, not to come to YOU again in sadness. 2 For if I make YOU sad, who indeed is there to cheer me except the one that is made sad by me? 3 And so I wrote this very thing, that, when I come, I may not get sad because of those over whom I ought to rejoice; because I have confidence in all of YOU that the joy I have is that of all of YOU. 4 For out of much tribulation and anguish of heart I wrote YOU with many tears, not that YOU might be saddened, but that YOU might know the love that I have more especially for YOU.

5 Now if anyone has caused sadness, he has saddened, not me, but all of YOU to an extent—not to be too harsh in what I say. 6 This rebuke given by the majority is sufficient for such a man, 7 so that, on the contrary now, YOU should kindly forgive and comfort [him], that somehow such a man may not be swallowed up by his being overly sad. 8 Therefore I exhort YOU to confirm YOUR love for him. 9 For to this end also I write to ascertain the proof of YOU, whether YOU are obedient in all things. 10 Anything YOU kindly forgive anyone, I do too. In fact, as for me, whatever I have kindly forgiven, if I have kindly forgiven anything, it has been for YOUR sakes in Christ’s sight; 11 that we may not be overreached by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his designs.

12 Now when I arrived in Troas to declare the good news about the Christ, and a door was opened to me in [the] Lord, 13 I got no relief in my spirit on account of not finding Titus my brother, but I said good-bye to them and departed for Macedonia.

14 But thanks be to God who always leads us in a triumphal procession in company with the Christ and makes the odor of the knowledge of him perceptible through us in every place! 15 For to God we are a sweet odor of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the latter ones an odor issuing from death to death, to the former ones an odor issuing from life to life. And who is adequately qualified for these things? 17 [We are;] for we are not peddlers of the word of God as many men are, but as out of sincerity, yes, as sent from God, under God’s view, in company with Christ, we are speaking.

Are we starting again to recommend ourselves? Or do we, perhaps, like some men, need letters of recommendation to YOU or from YOU? 2 YOU yourselves are our letter, inscribed on our hearts and known and being read by all mankind. 3 For YOU are shown to be a letter of Christ written by us as ministers, inscribed not with ink but with spirit of a living God, not on stone tablets, but on fleshly tablets, on hearts.

4 Now through the Christ we have this sort of confidence toward God. 5 Not that we of ourselves are adequately qualified to reckon anything as issuing from ourselves, but our being adequately qualified issues from God, 6 who has indeed adequately qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant, not of a written code, but of spirit; for the written code condemns to death, but the spirit makes alive.

7 Moreover, if the code which administers death and which was engraved in letters in stones came about in a glory, so that the sons of Israel could not gaze intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, [a glory] that was to be done away with, 8 why should not the administering of the spirit be much more with glory? 9 For if the code administering condemnation was glorious, much more does the administering of righteousness abound with glory. 10 In fact, even that which has once been made glorious has been stripped of glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels it. 11 For if that which was to be done away with was brought in with glory, much more would that which remains be with glory.

12 Therefore, as we have such a hope, we are using great freeness of speech, 13 and not doing as when Moses would put a veil upon his face, that the sons of Israel might not gaze intently at the end of that which was to be done away with. 14 But their mental powers were dulled. For to this present day the same veil remains unlifted at the reading of the old covenant, because it is done away with by means of Christ. 15 In fact, down till today whenever Moses is read, a veil lies upon their hearts. 16 But when there is a turning to Jehovah, the veil is taken away. 17 Now Jehovah is the Spirit; and where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom. 18 And all of us, while we with unveiled faces reflect like mirrors the glory of Jehovah, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, exactly as done by Jehovah [the] Spirit.

That is why, since we have this ministry according to the mercy that was shown us, we do not give up; 2 but we have renounced the underhanded things of which to be ashamed, not walking with cunning, neither adulterating the word of God, but by making the truth manifest recommending ourselves to every human conscience in the sight of God. 3 If, now, the good news we declare is in fact veiled, it is veiled among those who are perishing, 4 among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through. 5 For we are preaching, not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as YOUR slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God is he who said: “Let the light shine out of darkness,” and he has shone on our hearts to illuminate [them] with the glorious knowledge of God by the face of Christ.

7 However, we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the power beyond what is normal may be God’s and not that out of ourselves. 8 We are pressed in every way, but not cramped beyond movement; we are perplexed, but not absolutely with no way out; 9 we are persecuted, but not left in the lurch; we are thrown down, but not destroyed. 10 Always we endure everywhere in our body the death-dealing treatment given to Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be made manifest in our body. 11 For we who live are ever being brought face to face with death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus may also be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 Consequently death is at work in us, but life in YOU.

13 Now because we have the same spirit of faith as that of which it is written: “I exercised faith, therefore I spoke,” we too exercise faith and therefore we speak, 14 knowing that he who raised Jesus up will raise us up also together with Jesus and will present us together with YOU. 15 For all things are for YOUR sakes, in order that the undeserved kindness which was multiplied should abound because of the thanksgiving of many more to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not give up, but even if the man we are outside is wasting away, certainly the man we are inside is being renewed from day to day. 17 For though the tribulation is momentary and light, it works out for us a glory that is of more and more surpassing weight and is everlasting; 18 while we keep our eyes, not on the things seen, but on the things unseen. For the things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting.