Weakness and God’s Power
1This will be my third trip to you. And I will make sure that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter will be confirmed. 2-3Since you are demanding proof that the Anointed One is speaking through me, I will give you proof by exercising discipline among you. For just as I told you the last time I was there—and now, though absent, I say it again—that when I come I will not go easy on those whom I’ve already warned and those who continue to persist in their sin. Christ is not weak or feeble in his dealings with you but mighty and powerful within you. 4For although he was crucified as a “weakling,” now he lives robed with God’s power. And we also are “weak ones” in our co-crucifixion with him, but now we live in God’s triumphant power together with him, which is demonstrated on your behalf.
5Now your souls will be strengthened and healed if you hold steadfast to your faith. Haven’t you already experienced Jesus Christ himself living in you? If not, you are deficient. 6I hope you understand that we cannot be devalued. 7But we pray to God that you will be flawless, not to validate our ministry among you but so that you may continue on the path of righteousness even if we are denigrated. 8For in reality, the power we have is used in support of the truth, not against it. 9And we claim before God that you will be fully equipped and mature, for it brings us great joy when you are strong, even if we seem weak and denigrated.
10I’m writing my honest feelings to you from afar so that when I arrive I won’t have to correct you by using the authority the Lord has given me, for I want to build you up and not tear you down.
11Finally, beloved friends, be cheerful! Repair whatever is broken among you, as your hearts are being knit together in perfect unity. Live continually in peace, and God, the source of love and peace, will mingle with you. 12Greet and embrace one another with the sacred kiss. 13All of God’s holy people send their greetings.
14Now, may the grace and joyous favor of the Lord Jesus Christ, the unambiguous love of God, and the precious communion that we share in the Holy Spirit be yours continually. Amen!