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. Chapter 5.

1 For we know that if the earthly frame that houses us today should be demolished, we possess a building which God has provided—a house not made by human hands, eternal, and in heaven. 2 In this present body we do indeed groan; we yearn to have our heavenly habitation put on over this one— 3 in the hope that, being thus clothed, we shall not find ourselves naked. 4 We groan indeed, we who are enclosed within this earthly frame; we are oppressed because we do not want to have the old body stripped off. 5 Rather our desire is to have the new body put on over it, so that our mortal part may be absorbed into life immortal. God himself has shaped us for this very end, and as a pledge of it he has given us the Spirit.

6 Therefore we never cease to be confident. We know that so long as we are at home in the body we are exiles from the Lord; 7 faith is our guide, we do not see him. [Or: faith is our guide and not the things we see.] 8 We are confident, I repeat, and would rather leave our home in the body and go to live with the Lord. 9 We therefore make it our ambition, wherever we are, here or there, to be acceptable to him. 10 For we must all have our lives laid open before the tribunal of Christ, where each must receive what is due to him for his conduct in the body, good or bad.

The Ministry of Reconciliation

11 WITH THIS FEAR of the Lord before our eyes we address our appeal to men. To God our lives lie open, as I hope they also lie open to you in your heart of hearts. 12 This is not another attempt to recommend ourselves to you: we are rather giving you a chance to show yourselves proud of us; then you will have something to say to those whose pride is all in outward show and not in inward worth. 13 It may be we are beside ourselves, but it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ leaves us no choice, when once we have reached the conclusion that one man died for all and therefore all mankind has died. 15 His purpose in dying for all was that men, while still in life, should cease to live for themselves, and should live for him who for their sake died and was raised to life. 16 With us therefore worldly standards have ceased to count in our estimate of any man; even if once they counted in our understanding of Christ, they do so now no longer. 17 When anyone is united to Christ, there is a new world; [Or: a new act of creation.] the old order has gone, and a new order has already begun. [Or: When anyone is united to Christ he is a new creature: his old life is over; a new life has already begun.]

18 From first to last this has been the work of God. He has reconciled us men to himself through Christ, and he has enlisted us in this service of reconciliation. 19 What I mean is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, no longer holding men's misdeeds against them, and that he has entrusted us with the message of reconciliation. 20 We come therefore as Christ's ambassadors. It is as if God were appealing to you through us: in Christ's name, we implore you, be reconciled to God! 21 Christ was innocent of sin, and yet for our sake God made him one with the sinfulness of men, so that in him we might be made one with the goodness of God himself.

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NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.