Copyright (c) Timothy E. Clontz 1999 All rights reserved.
The Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are throughout Achaia: 2 grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from so deadly a peril, and he will deliver us; on him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
12 For our boast is this: the testimony of our conscience, that with holiness and godly sincerity, not in worldly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and still more toward you. 13 For we write you nothing but what you can read and understand; and I hope you will understand fully, 14 as you have understood us in part, that you can be proud of us just as we can be of you, in the day of the Lord Jesus.
15 Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a double benefit. 16 I planned to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea. 17 When I was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or do I make my plans in a fleshly manner so that in the same breath I say, "Yes, Yes" and "No, No"? 18 But as surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. 19 For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us-by me and Silvanus and Timothy-was not Yes and No, but in him it has always been Yes. 20 For as many as are the promises of God, in him they are Yes. And so through him we speak our Amen to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us; 22 he has put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
23 But I call God as my witness that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth. 24 Not that we lord it over your faith; but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.
1 So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you. 2 For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained? 3 And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I had confidence in all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. 4 For I wrote you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.
5 But if any one has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure-not to put it too severely-to all of you. 6 Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9 For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Any one whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 in order that Satan might gain no advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.
12 Now when I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and when a door was opened for me in the Lord, 13 I still had no rest in my mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took my leave of them and went on to Macedonia.
14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddling the word of God; but as men of sincerity, as from God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of carnal hearts.
4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves; but our competence is from God, 6 who has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness exceed it in glory. 10 For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was fading away came with glory, much more is the glory of that which lasts.
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at the end of the radiance that was fading away. 14 But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, the same veil remains unlifted, because only in Christ is it removed. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another, for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is at work in us, but life in you. 13 Since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For all this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, yet our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen; for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are unseen are eternal.
1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 Here indeed we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3 so that when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed, but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now he who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6 Therefore we are always of good courage; and we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men; but what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not again commending ourselves to you, but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you may have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a fleshly point of view; even though we once regarded Christ from a fleshly point of view, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making his appeal through us. We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1 Working together with him, then, we urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says,
"At the acceptable time I have listened to you,
and helped you on the day of salvation."
Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, distresses, 5 in beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, sleeplessness, hunger, 6 in purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7 in truthful speech, and in the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, evil report and good report; true, yet regarded as impostors; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
11 Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians. Our heart is opened wide. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. 13 Now in a fair exchange-I speak as to my children-open wide your hearts also.
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What harmony has Christ with Belial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
"I will live in them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore come out from them
and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.
18 And I will be a father to you,
and you shall be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty."
1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Make room for us in your hearts; we have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. 3 I do not say this to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. 4 I have great confidence in you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. With all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.
5 For even when we came into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn-conflicts on the outside and fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. 8 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it- for I see that my letter hurt you, though only for a little while-9 now I rejoice, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance; for you became sorrowful as God intended, so that you suffered no loss through us. 10 For godly sorrow produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly sorrow produces death. 11 For behold what this very thing, godly sorrow, has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what readiness to see justice done! At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So although I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong, nor on account of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your zeal for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. 13 Therefore we are comforted.
And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 14 For if I have boasted to him about you, I was not put to shame; but just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting before Titus has proved true. 15 And his affection goes out all the more to you, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice, because I have perfect confidence in you.
1 Now, brethren, we want you to know about the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. 3 For I testify that according to their ability, and even beyond their ability, they gave of their own free will, 4 urgently pleading with us for the privilege of sharing in the relief of the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, he would also complete in you this work of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything-in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in your love for us-see that you excel in this work of grace also.
8 I am not speaking this as a command, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that through his poverty you might become rich. 10 And in this matter I give my advice: it is best for you now to complete what a year ago you began not only to do but to desire. 11 Now finish the work, so that your readiness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but at the present time your abundance should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be equality. 15 As it is written,
"He who gathered much had nothing left over,
and he who gathered little had no lack."
16 But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus. 17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord. 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his preaching of the gospel; 19 and not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work which we are carrying on, for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will. 20 We intend that no one should blame us about this liberal gift which we are administering, 21 for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often proved diligent in many matters, but who is now more diligent than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; and as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ. 24 Therefore openly before the churches, show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our boasting about you.
1 Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the offering for the saints, 2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3 But I am sending the brethren so that our boasting about you may not prove vain in this case, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be; 4 lest if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we-not to say anything about you- would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren to go on to you before me, and arrange in advance for this gift you have promised, so that it may be ready not as an exaction but as a willing gift.
6 The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give just as he has purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that you, always having all sufficiency in everything, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written,
"He has scattered abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever."
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will multiply the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13 Because of the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in your confession of the gospel of Christ, and by the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others; 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
1 I, Paul, myself urge you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ-I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold to you when I am away!-2 I beg you that when I am present I may not have to be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war as the flesh does. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish every disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
7 You look at things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ's, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ's, so also are we. 8 For even if I boast somewhat further about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I shall not be put to shame. 9 I do not wish to seem as if I would terrify you by my letters. 10 For they say, "His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is weak, and his speech of no account." 11 Let such people realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.
12 For we do not dare to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. 13 But we will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has apportioned to us, a field that reaches even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we did not reach to you; we were the first to come even as far as you with the gospel of Christ. 15 We do not go beyond limits by boasting in other men's labors, but our hope is that as your faith grows, our sphere among you may be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast of work already done in another man's territory. 17 But, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 18 For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.
1 I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 3 But I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 5 I think that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. 6 But even if I am unskilled in speech, I am not in knowledge; in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.
7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 And what I am doing, I will also continue to do, in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things of which they boast. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will be according to their deeds.
16 I repeat, let no one think me foolish; but even if you do, receive me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17 What I am saying I am not saying as the Lord would, but as a fool, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19 For you put up with fools gladly, being so wise yourselves! 20 For you put up with anyone if he makes slaves of you, or preys upon you, or takes advantage of you, or exalts himself, or strikes you in the face. 21 To my shame, I must say that we were too weak for that! But whatever anyone else dares to boast about-I am speaking as a fool-I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one-I am talking like a madman-in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, with more beatings, and often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the open sea. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, in danger from robbers, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness, in danger at sea, and in danger from false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 Besides such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I do not inwardly burn?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped his hands.
1 I must go on boasting, though there is nothing to be gained by it; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know-God knows. 3 And I know that this man-whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows-4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, which a man is not permitted to tell. 5 On behalf of such a man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. 6 Though if I should boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 And to keep me from being too elated because of the abundance of revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should depart from me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I am content in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
11 I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not in the least inferior to these super- apostles, even though I am nothing. 12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you in all perseverance, with signs and wonders and mighty works. 13 For in what respect were you inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong! 14 Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden to you, for I seek not what is yours but you; for children ought not to lay up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you the more, am I to be loved the less? 16 But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself. Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery! 17 Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go, and I sent the brother with him. Titus did not take advantage of you, did he? Did we not act in the same spirit and walk in the same steps?
19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves before you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you what I wish you to be, and you may not find me what you wish me to be; I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. 21 I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will have to mourn over many of those who sinned before and have not repented of the impurity, immorality, and lewdness which they have practiced.
1 This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 2 I warned those who sinned in the past and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present the second time, that if I come again I will not spare them-3 since you desire proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you. 4 For he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God for you.
5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, indeed, you fail the test? 6 I trust that you will realize that we have not failed the test. 7 Now we pray to God that you may not do wrong-not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, even though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. What we pray for is your perfection. 10 I write these things while I am absent, in order that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority which the Lord gave me for building you up, and not for tearing you down.
11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
13 All the saints greet you. 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.