1Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence [am] base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
2But I beseech [you], that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4(For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
7Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he [is] Christ's, even so [are] we Christ's.
8For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
9That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.
10For [his] letters, say they, [are] weighty and powerful; but [his] bodily presence [is] weak, and [his] speech contemptible.
11Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such [will we be] also in deed when we are present.
12For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
13But we will not boast of things without [our] measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.
14For we stretch not ourselves beyond [our measure], as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in [preaching] the gospel of Christ:
15Not boasting of things without [our] measure, [that is], of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
16To preach the gospel in the [regions] beyond you, [and] not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.
17But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
18For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
1Would to God ye could bear with me a little in [my] folly: and indeed bear with me.
2For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.
3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him].
5For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
6But though [I be] rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.
7Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
8I robbed other churches, taking wages [of them], to do you service.
9And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all [things] I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and [so] will I keep [myself].
10As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.
11Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.
12But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
13For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
16I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.
17That which I speak, I speak [it] not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
18Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
19For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye [yourselves] are wise.
20For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour [you], if a man take [of you], if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
21I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
22Are they Hebrews? so [am] I. Are they Israelites? so [am] I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so [am] I.
23Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I [am] more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24Of the Jews five times received I forty [stripes] save one.
25Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26[In] journeyings often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils by [mine own] countrymen, [in] perils by the heathen, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren;
27In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
29Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
30If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
31The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
32In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:
33And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
1It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
4How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
5Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
6For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but [now] I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me [to be], or [that] he heareth of me.
7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
11I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
12Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
13For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except [it be] that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
14Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
15And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
16But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.
17Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?
18I desired Titus, and with [him] I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? [walked we] not in the same steps?
19Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but [we do] all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.
20For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and [that] I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest [there be] debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:
21[And] lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and [that] I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
1This [is] the third [time] I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
2I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare:
3Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
4For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
5Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
6But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
7Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
8For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
9For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, [even] your perfection.
10Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.
11Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
12Greet one another with an holy kiss.
13All the saints salute you.
End of today's reading.
End of today's reading.