1. Such by God's mercy is our ministry, and therefore we do not waver
2. but have renounced all shameful secrecy. It is not our way to be devious, or to falsify the word of God; instead, in God's sight we commend ourselves to every human being with a conscience by showing the truth openly.
3. If our gospel seems to be veiled at all, it is so to those who are on the way to destruction,
4. the unbelievers whose minds have been blinded by the god of this world, so that they cannot see shining the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5. It is not ourselves that we are proclaiming, but Christ Jesus as the Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.
6. It is God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' that has shone into our hearts to enlighten them with the knowledge of God's glory, the glory on the face of Christ.
7. But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is God's and not our own.
8. We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair;
9. we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us;
10. always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our body.
11. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are continually being handed over to death, for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our mortal flesh.
12. In us, then, death is at work; in you, life.
13. But as we have the same spirit of faith as is described in scripture -- I believed and therefore I spoke -we, too, believe and therefore we, too, speak,
14. realising that he who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up with Jesus in our turn, and bring us to himself -- and you as well.
15. You see, everything is for your benefit, so that as grace spreads, so, to the glory of God, thanksgiving may also overflow among more and more people.
16. That is why we do not waver; indeed, though this outer human nature of ours may be falling into decay, at the same time our inner human nature is renewed day by day.
17. The temporary, light burden of our hardships is earning us for ever an utterly incomparable, eternal weight of glory,
18. since what we aim for is not visible but invisible. Visible things are transitory, but invisible things eternal.