1. For we are well aware that when the tent that houses us on earth is folded up, there is a house for us from God, not made by human hands but everlasting, in the heavens.
2. And in this earthly state we do indeed groan,
3. longing to put on our heavenly home over the present one; if indeed we are to be found clothed rather than stripped bare.
4. Yes, indeed, in this present tent, we groan under the burden, not that we want to be stripped of our covering, but because we want to be covered with a second garment on top, so that what is mortal in us may be swallowed up by life.
5. It is God who designed us for this very purpose, and he has given us the Spirit as a pledge.
6. We are always full of confidence, then, realising that as long as we are at home in the body we are exiled from the Lord,
7. guided by faith and not yet by sight;
8. we are full of confidence, then, and long instead to be exiled from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
9. And so whether at home or exiled, we make it our ambition to please him.
10. For at the judgement seat of Christ we are all to be seen for what we are, so that each of us may receive what he has deserved in the body, matched to whatever he has done, good or bad.
11. And so it is with the fear of the Lord always in mind that we try to win people over. But God sees us for what we are, and I hope your consciences do too.
12. Again we are saying this not to commend ourselves to you, but simply to give you the opportunity to take pride in us, so that you may have an answer for those who take pride in appearances and not inner reality.
13. If we have been unreasonable, it was for God; if reasonable, for you.
14. For the love of Christ overwhelms us when we consider that if one man died for all, then all have died;
15. his purpose in dying for all humanity was that those who live should live not any more for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life.
16. From now onwards, then, we will not consider anyone by human standards: even if we were once familiar with Christ according to human standards, we do not know him in that way any longer.
17. So for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old order is gone and a new being is there to see.
18. It is all God's work; he reconciled us to himself through Christ and he gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
19. I mean, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not holding anyone's faults against them, but entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
20. So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were urging you through us, and in the name of Christ we appeal to you to be reconciled to God.
21. For our sake he made the sinless one a victim for sin, so that in him we might become the uprightness of God.