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13. Final Warnings

This 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. 14The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

11. Finally, brethren He qualifies whatever there has been of sharpness throughout the whole of the epistle, as he did not wish to leave their minds in an exasperated state, 971971     Il ne vouloit point laisser leurs coeurs offenses ou saisis d’amertume;” — “He did not wish to leave their minds exasperated, or under the influence of bitterness.” but rather to soothe them. For then only are reproofs beneficial, when they are in a manner seasoned with honey, that the hearer may, if possible, receive them in an agreeable spirit. At the same time, he appears to turn from a few diseased persons 972972     Combien qu’il semble que d’vn propos qu’il addressoit a aucuns qui estoyent commc brebis rogneuses en la compagnie il reuient maintenant route l’Eglise;” — “At the same time, it appears as if, from a discourse which he addressed to some who were like diseased sheep in the herd, he now turns to the entire Church.” to the entire Church. Hence he declares, that he aims at promoting its perfection, and desires its consolation.

To be of one mind, and to live in peace, are expressions which mean two different things; for the one takes its rise from the other. The former relates to agreement of sentiment; the latter denotes benevolence, and union of hearts.

And the God of peace This he adds, that his exhortation may have more weight with them, but, at the same time, he intimates that God will be with us, if we cultivate peace among ourselves; but that those that are at variance with each other are at a distance from him. 973973     Que tous ceux qui ont debars en sont eslongnez, et n’ont point d’accointance auec luy;” — “That all those who have contentions are at a distance from him, and have no acquaintance with him.”
    
For where there are strifes and contentions, there, it is certain, the devil reigns.

Now what agreement is there between light and darkness?
(2 Corinthians 6.14.)

He calls him the God of peace and love, because he has recommended to us peace and love, because he loves them, and is the author of them. Of the kiss here mentioned we have spoken in the two preceding Epistles.


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