1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and from Timothy our brother.
To God’s church in the city of Corinth and to all God’s holy people everywhere in Greece.
2 Good will #Or “grace.” and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are yours!
God Comforts Paul and the Corinthians
3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Father who is compassionate and the God who gives comfort. 4 He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God. 5 Because Christ suffered so much for us, we can receive so much comfort from him. 6 Besides, if we suffer, it brings you comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, we can effectively comfort you when you endure the same sufferings that we endure. 7 We have confidence in you. We know that as you share our sufferings, you also share our comfort.
God Rescued Paul When He Was Suffering
8 Brothers and sisters, we don’t want you to be ignorant about the suffering we experienced in the province of Asia. It was so extreme that it was beyond our ability to endure. We even wondered if we could go on living. 9 In fact, we still feel as if we’re under a death sentence. But we suffered so that we would stop trusting ourselves and learn to trust God, who brings the dead back to life. 10 He has rescued us from a terrible death, and he will rescue us in the future. We are confident that he will continue to rescue us, 11 since you are also joining to help us when you pray for us. Then many people will thank God for the favor he will show us because many people prayed for us.
Paul’s Reason for Being Proud
12 We are proud that our conscience is clear. We are proud of the way that we have lived in this world. We have lived with a God-given holiness #Some manuscripts and translations read “God-given openness.” and sincerity, especially toward you. It was not by human wisdom that we have lived but by God’s kindness.#Or “grace.”13 We are only writing you what you already knew before you read this. I hope you will understand this as long as you live, 14 even though you now understand it only partially. We are your reason to be proud, as you will be our reason to be proud on the day of our Lord Jesus.
Why Paul Changed His Plans
15 Confident of this, I had previously wanted to visit you so that you could benefit twice. 16 My plans had been to go from the city of Corinth to the province of Macedonia. Then from Macedonia I had planned to return to you again in Corinth and have you support my trip to Judea.
17 You don’t think that I made these plans lightly, do you? Do you think that when I make plans, I make them in a sinful way? Why would I say that something is true when it isn’t? 18 You can depend on God. Our message to you isn’t false; it’s true. 19 God’s Son, Jesus Christ, whom I, Silvanus, and Timothy told you about, was true not false. Because of him our message was always true. 20 Certainly, Christ made God’s many promises come true. For that reason, because of our message, people also honor God by saying, “Amen!”
21 God establishes us, together with you, in a relationship with Christ. He has also anointed us. 22 In addition, he has put his seal ⌊of ownership⌋ on us and has given us the Spirit as his guarantee.
23 I appeal to God as a witness on my behalf, that I stayed away from Corinth because I wanted to spare you. 24 It isn’t that we want to have control over your Christian faith. Rather, we want to work with you so that you will be happy. Certainly, you are firmly established in the Christian faith.
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