1This will be my third visit to you. Scripture says, "Every matter must be proved by the words of two or three witnesses." (Deuteronomy 19:15) 2I already warned you during my second visit. I now say it again while I'm away. When I return, I won't spare those who sinned earlier. I won't spare any of the others either.
3You are asking me to prove that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you. He is powerful among you. 4It is true that Christ was nailed to the cross because he was weak. But he lives by God's power. In the same way, I share his weakness. But by God's power I will live with him to serve you.
5Take a good look at yourselves to see if you are really believers. Test yourselves. Don't you realize that Christ Jesus is in you? Unless, of course, you fail the test! 6I hope you will discover that I haven't failed the test.
7I pray to God that you won't do anything wrong. I don't pray so that people will see that I have passed the test. Instead, I pray so that you will do what is right, even if it seems I have failed. 8I can't do anything to stop the truth. I can only work for the truth.
9I'm glad when I am weak but you are strong. I pray that you will become perfect. 10That's why I write these things before I come to you. Then when I do come, I won't have to be hard on you when I use my authority.
The Lord gave me the authority to build you up. He didn't give it to me to tear you down.
11Finally, brothers and sisters, good-by. Try to be perfect. Pay attention to what I'm saying. Agree with one another. Live in peace. And the God who gives love and peace will be with you.
12Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13All of God's people send their greetings.
14May the grace shown by the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love that God has given us, and the sharing of life brought about by the Holy Spirit be with you all.