December 4 Reading – II Corinthians 5-9
II Corinthians 5 ASV
1 For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.
2 For verily in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven:
3 if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
4 For indeed we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but that we would be clothed upon, that what is mortal may be swallowed up of life.
5 Now he that wrought us for this very thing is God, who gave unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
6 Being therefore always of good courage, and knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord
7 (for we walk by faith, not by sight);
8 we are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord.
9 Wherefore also we make it our aim, whether at home or absent, to be well-pleasing unto him.
10 For we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
11 Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest unto God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.
12 We are not again commending ourselves unto you, but speak as giving you occasion of glorying on our behalf, that ye may have wherewith to answer them that glory in appearance, and not in heart.
13 For whether we are beside ourselves, it is unto God; or whether we are of sober mind, it is unto you.
14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died;
15 and he died for all, that they that live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again.
16 Wherefore we henceforth know no man after the flesh: even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know [him so] no more.
17 Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.
18 But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God.
21 Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
II Corinthians 6
1 And working together with him we entreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain
2 (for he saith, At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee, And in a day of salvation did I succor thee: behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation):
3 giving no occasion of stumbling in anything, that our ministration be not blamed;
4 but in everything commending ourselves, as ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings;
6 in pureness, in knowledge, in long suffering, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in love unfeigned,
7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8 by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true;
9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
11 Our mouth is open unto you, O Corinthians, our heart is enlarged.
12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own affections.
13 Now for a recompense in like kind (I speak as unto my children), be ye also enlarged.
14 Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you,
18 And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
II Corinthians 7
1 Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Open your hearts to us: we wronged no man, we corrupted no man, we took advantage of no man.
3 I say it not to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die together and live together.
4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying on your behalf: I am filled with comfort, I overflow with joy in all our affliction.
5 For even when we were come into Macedonia our flesh had no relief, but we were afflicted on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
6 Nevertheless he that comforteth the lowly, even God, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
7 and not by his coming only, but also by the comfort wherewith he was comforted in you, while he told us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced yet more.
8 For though I made you sorry with my epistle, I do not regret it: though I did regret it (for I see that that epistle made you sorry, though but for a season),
9 I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance; for ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, [a repentance] which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
11 For behold, this selfsame thing, that ye were made sorry after a godly sort, what earnest care it wrought in you, yea what clearing of yourselves, yea what indignation, yea what fear, yea what longing, yea what zeal, yea what avenging! In everything ye approved yourselves to be pure in the matter.
12 So although I wrote unto you, I wrote not for his cause that did the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered the wrong, but that your earnest care for us might be made manifest unto you in the sight of God.
13 Therefore we have been comforted: And in our comfort we joyed the more exceedingly for the joy of Titus, because his spirit hath been refreshed by you all.
14 For if in anything I have gloried to him on your behalf, I was not put to shame; but as we spake all things to you in truth, so our glorying also which I made before Titus was found to be truth.
15 And his affection is more abundantly toward you, while he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.
16 I rejoice that in everything I am of good courage concerning you.
II Corinthians 8
1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God which hath been given in the churches of Macedonia;
2 how that in much proof of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
3 For according to their power, I bear witness, yea and beyond their power, they gave of their own accord,
4 beseeching us with much entreaty in regard of this grace and the fellowship in the ministering to the saints:
5 and this, not as we had hoped, but first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us through the will of God.
6 Insomuch that we exhorted Titus, that as he made a beginning before, so he would also complete in you this grace also.
7 But as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all earnestness, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
8 I speak not by way of commandment, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity also of your love.
9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich.
10 And herein I give my judgment: for this is expedient for you, who were the first to make a beginning a year ago, not only to do, but also to will.
11 But now complete the doing also; that as there was the readiness to will, so there may be the completion also out of your ability.
12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according as a man hath, not according as he hath not.
13 For I say not this that others may be eased and ye distressed;
14 but by equality: your abundance being a supply at this present time for their want, that their abundance also may become a supply for your want; that there may be equality:
15 as it is written, He that gathered much had nothing over; and he that gathered little had no lack.
16 But thanks be to God, who putteth the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.
17 For he accepted indeed our exhortation; but being himself very earnest, he went forth unto you of his own accord.
18 And we have sent together with him the brother whose praise in the gospel is spread through all the churches;
19 and not only so, but who was also appointed by the churches to travel with us in the matter of this grace, which is ministered by us to the glory of the Lord, and to show our readiness:
20 Avoiding this, that any man should blame us in the matter of this bounty which is ministered by us:
21 for we take thought for things honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
22 and we have sent with them our brother, whom we have many times proved earnest in many things, but now much more earnest, by reason of the great confidence which he hath in you.
23 Whether any inquire about Titus, he is my partner and my fellow-worker to you-ward, or our brethren, they are the messengers of the churches, they are the glory of Christ.
24 Show ye therefore unto them in the face of the churches the proof of your love, and of our glorying on your behalf.
II Corinthians 9
1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:
2 for I know your readiness, of which I glory on your behalf to them of Macedonia, that Achaia hath been prepared for a year past; and your zeal hath stirred up very many of them.
3 But I have sent the brethren, that our glorying on your behalf may not be made void in this respect; that, even as I said, ye may be prepared:
4 lest by any means, if there come with me any of Macedonia and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be put to shame in this confidence.
5 I thought it necessary therefore to entreat the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your aforepromised bounty, that the same might be ready as a matter of bounty, and not of extortion.
6 But this I say, He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7 Let each man do according as he hath purposed in his heart: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound unto you; that ye, having always all sufficiency in everything, may abound unto every good work:
9 as it is written, He hath scattered abroad, he hath given to the poor; His righteousness abideth for ever.
10 And he that supplieth seed to the sower and bread for food, shall supply and multiply your seed for sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness:
11 ye being enriched in everything unto all liberality, which worketh through us thanksgiving to God.
12 For the ministration of this service not only filleth up the measure of the wants of the saints, but aboundeth also through many thanksgivings unto God;
13 seeing that through the proving of you by this ministration they glorify God for the obedience of your confession unto the gospel of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution unto them and unto all;
14 while they themselves also, with supplication on your behalf, long after you by reason of the exceeding grace of God in you.
15 Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.
Next Passage: II Corinthians 10-13
American Standard Version (ASV): Public Domain