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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.

7. I desire before God. Again he declares, that he cares nothing for his own honor, but is simply desirous of promoting their advantage. For nothing was so undesirable for them, as to deprive themselves of advantage from his doctrine — as they had begun to do, through their pride and contempt. “As to myself,” says he, “for my reputation among men, I am not concerned. My only fear is, lest you should offend God. Nay more, I am prepared to be as a reprobate, provided you are free from all blame.” “I am a reprobate,” says he, “in the judgment of mankind, who very frequently reject those who are deserving of the highest honor.” 961961     Qui estoyent dignes d’honneur sur tous autres;” — “Who were worthy of honor above all others.” At the same time, the particle as is not superfluous. For it corresponds with what he says elsewhere — as deceivers and yet true. (2 Corinthians 6:8.) And this, certainly, is the true rule — that the Pastor, having no regard to himself, should be devoted exclusively to the edification of the Church. Let him be concerned as to his own reputation, in so far as he sees it to be conducive to the public advantage. Let him be prepared to feel indifferent to it, whenever he may do so, without public disadvantage.

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