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Further Warning


This is the third time I am coming to you. “Any charge must be sustained by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” 2I warned those who sinned previously and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again, I will not be lenient— 3since you desire proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you. 4For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test! 6I hope you will find out that we have not failed. 7But we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. 8For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9For we rejoice when we are weak and you are strong. This is what we pray for, that you may become perfect. 10So I write these things while I am away from you, so that when I come, I may not have to be severe in using the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.

Final Greetings and Benediction

11 Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

10. According to the power In the first place, he arms the strictness of which he speaks, with the authority of God, that it may not appear to be thunder without lightning, or a rashly excited onset. 970970     Vne escarmouche d’vn homme qui se soit cnflambe sans raison;” — “A skirmishing on the part of a man who has kindled himself up without any just cause.” Farther, he lets them know, that he would rather employ his power to another purpose, for which it was peculiarly designed — the promoting of their edification. “I shall not rashly have recourse to cruel remedies, nor will I give indulgence to my passion, but will simply execute the commission that the Lord has given me.”

When he speaks of power given him for edification, and not for destruction, he employs these terms for a somewhat different purpose from what he had done previously in 2 Corinthians 10:8. For in that passage there was a commendation of the Gospel from the advantage it yields — because what is for our advantage is wont to be agreeable, and is willingly received by us. Here, however, he simply means to declare, that although he might justly inflict upon the Corinthians a severe blow, yet it was much more his inclination to exercise his power for their advantage, than for their destruction — the former being its proper design. For as the Gospel, in its own nature, is the power of God unto salvation, (Romans 1:16,) and an odor of life unto life, (2 Corinthians 2:15, 16,) but in a way of contingency, is an odor of death; so the authority, which is conferred upon the Ministers of it, ought to be salutary to the hearers. If, on the other hand, it turns out to their condemnation, that is contrary to its nature. The meaning, therefore, is this: “Do not, through your own fault, allow that to turn to your destruction, which God has appointed for salvation.” In the mean time, the Apostle admonishes all pastors by his example, in what manner they should limit the use of their power.

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