Paul’s Final Advice
1This is the third time I am coming to visit you (and as the Scriptures say, “The facts of every case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses”#13:1 Deut 19:15.). 2I have already warned those who had been sinning when I was there on my second visit. Now I again warn them and all others, just as I did before, that next time I will not spare them.
3I will give you all the proof you want that Christ speaks through me. Christ is not weak when he deals with you; he is powerful among you. 4Although he was crucified in weakness, he now lives by the power of God. We, too, are weak, just as Christ was, but when we deal with you we will be alive with him and will have God’s power.
5Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you#13:5 Or in you.; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. 6As you test yourselves, I hope you will recognize that we have not failed the test of apostolic authority.
7We pray to God that you will not do what is wrong by refusing our correction. I hope we won’t need to demonstrate our authority when we arrive. Do the right thing before we come—even if that makes it look like we have failed to demonstrate our authority. 8For we cannot oppose the truth, but must always stand for the truth. 9We are glad to seem weak if it helps show that you are actually strong. We pray that you will become mature.
10I am writing this to you before I come, hoping that I won’t need to deal severely with you when I do come. For I want to use the authority the Lord has given me to strengthen you, not to tear you down.
Paul’s Final Greetings
11Dear brothers and sisters,#13:11 Greek Brothers. I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
12Greet each other with a sacred kiss. 13All of God’s people here send you their greetings.
14 # 13:14 Some English translations include verse 13 as part of verse 12, and then verse 14 becomes verse 13. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.