20 We were sent to speak for Christ, and God is begging you to listen to our message. We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God.
21 Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God.
We work together with God, and we beg you to make good use of God's kindness to you.
In the Scriptures God says,
“When the time came,
I listened to you,
and when you needed help,
I came to save you.”
That time has come. This is the day for you to be saved.
We don't want anyone to find fault with our work, and so we try hard not to cause problems.
But in everything and in every way we show that we truly are God's servants. We have always been patient, though we have had a lot of trouble, suffering, and hard times.
We have been beaten, put in jail, and hurt in riots. We have worked hard and have gone without sleep or food.
But we have kept ourselves pure and have been understanding, patient, and kind. The Holy Spirit has been with us, and our love has been real.
We have spoken the truth, and God's power has worked in us. In all our struggles we have said and done only what is right.
8 Whether we were honored or dishonored or praised or cursed, we always told the truth about ourselves. But some people said we did not.
9 We are unknown to others, but well known to you. We seem to be dying, and yet we are still alive. We have been punished, but never killed,
10 and we are always happy, even in times of suffering. Although we are poor, we have made many people rich. And though we own nothing, everything is ours.