7:1 Therefore, having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
7:2 Open your hearts to us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
7:3 I do not speak this to condemn you: for I have said before, that you are in our hearts to die with you and to live with you.
7:4 Great is my confidence in you, great is my pride in you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.
7:5 For, when we had come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; fighting without, fears within.
7:6 But God, who comforts those who are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
7:7 And not by his coming only, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced still more.
7:8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not regret it, though I did regret: for I perceive that the letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while.
7:9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that your sorrow brought you to repentance: for you were made sorrowful in a godly manner, so that you suffered no harm from us.
7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation and leaves no regret: but the sorrow of the world produces death.
7:11 For behold what earnestness this godly sorrow has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what readiness to punish wrongdoing! In all things you have shown yourselves to be innocent in this matter.
7:12 Therefore, though I wrote to you, I did not do it because of the one who committed the wrong, nor because of the one who suffered the wrong, but that your zeal for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God.
7:13 Therefore we are comforted. And besides our comfort, we especially rejoiced at the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.
7:14 For if I have boasted at all to him about you, I was not put to shame; but as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus has proved true.
7:15 And his inward affection abounds even more toward you, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him.
7:16 I rejoice that in all things I have confidence in you.
8:1 And now, brethren, we want you to know of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
8:2 For during a great test of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty overflowed in a wealth of liberality.
8:3 For I bear witness that they gave according to their ability, yea, and beyond their ability, and of their own accord;
8:4 Begging us most insistently that we would allow them the privilege of taking part in this service to the saints.
8:5 And this they did, not as we expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God.
8:6 So we urged Titus, since he had already begun, that he would also finish this gracious work among you.
8:7 Therefore, as you excel in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all earnestness, and in your love for us, see that you excel in this gracious work as well.
8:8 I do not speak this as a commandment, but to use the zeal of others to test the sincerity of your own love.
8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that through his poverty you might become rich.
8:10 And here I give my advice about what is best for you: a year ago you were the first not only to give, but to desire to do so.
8:11 Therefore, complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness in desiring it, so there may also be a completion of it, according to your means.
8:12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is acceptable, according to what a man has, and not according to that he does not have.
8:13 I do not intend that other men be eased, and you burdened,
8:14 But for there to be equality; at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance may also be a supply for your want: that there may be equality.
8:15 As it is written, He who gathered much did not have too much; and he who gathered little had no lack.
8:16 But thanks be to God, who put the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.
8:17 For he not only accepted our appeal; but being very earnest, he is going to you of his own accord.
8:18 And we have sent with him the brother whose fame in the gospel ministry has spread throughout all the churches;
8:19 And not only that, but who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is administered by us for the glory of the Lord himself, and to show our good will.
8:20 We intend that that no man should blame us about this abundant gift which we are administering:
8:21 For we take care to do what is honest, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
8:22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have often tested and found to be diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, because of the great confidence which he has in you.
8:23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; and as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.
8:24 Therefore show to them, before the churches, the proof of your love, and the reason for our boasting about you.
9:1 Now regarding this ministry to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:
9:2 For I know your eagerness, of which I boast to the Macedonians, saying that you in Achaia were ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up most of them.
9:3 But I have sent the brethren, lest our boasting about you in this matter should be in vain; that, as I said, you may be ready:
9:4 Lest if any from Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (to say nothing of you) should be put to shame by this confidence.
9:5 Therefore, I thought it necessary to urge these brethren, that they would go on ahead to you, and arrange beforehand your generous gift, which you promised, that it might be ready, as a willing gift, and not as one grudgingly given.
9:6 Now this I say, He who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.
9:7 Every man must do as he has decided in his heart; not grudgingly, or under compulsion: for God loves a cheerful giver.
9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you; that you, always having enough in all things, may abound in every good work.
9:9 As it is written, He has scattered abroad; he has given to the poor: his righteousness endures forever.
9:10 Now he who provides seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;
9:11 You will be enriched in everything, so you can be generous, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
9:12 For the performance of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints, but also overflows in many thanksgivings to God.
9:13 Because of the proof given by this service, they will glorify God because of your obedience to the gospel of Christ, which you profess, and for your liberal contribution to them, and to all;
9:14 And in their prayers, their hearts will go out to you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.
9:15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift.
10:1 Now I, Paul, urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I who am meek in your presence, but bold when I am absent from you.
10:2 I urge you, that when I am present I may not be bold with the confidence with which I expect to be bold against some, who think that we walk according to the flesh.
10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh:
10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are mighty before God for the pulling down of strongholds.
10:5 We cast down arguments, and every lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;
10:6 And we have a readiness to punish all disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
10:7 Do you look on things according to their outward appearance? If any man trusts that he is Christ's, let him remind himself, that, as he is Christ's, so are we.
10:8 For though I should boast somewhat freely of our authority, which the Lord has given us for building you up, and not for your destruction, I shall not be put to shame.
10:9 I do not wish to seem to be frightening you by my letters.
10:10 For his letters, they say, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
10:11 Let such people realize this, that, the way we are in word by letters when we are absent, so we will also be in deeds when we are present.
10:12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves: but in measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, they are not wise.
10:13 But we will not boast of things without limit, but will keep within the field which God has assigned to us, a field which reaches even to you.
10:14 For we do not stretch beyond our limit, as though we had not reached to you: for we were the first to come as far as to you with the gospel of Christ:
10:15 We do not boast of things without limit, that is, of other men's labours; but we have hope, when your faith has increased, that our field among you shall be greatly enlarged,
10:16 So we may preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast of work already done in another man's field.
10:17 But he who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.
10:18 For it is not he who commends himself who is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.
11:1 I wish you would bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed you are bearing with me.
11:2 For I am jealous of you with a godly jealousy: for I have betrothed you to one husband, that I might present you to Christ as a pure virgin.
11:3 But I fear, lest, as the serpent deceived Eve through his cunning, so your minds will be led astray from the simplicity that is in Christ.
11:4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you bear with him well enough.
11:5 I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these superlative apostles.
11:6 But though I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not in knowledge; we have made this plain to you in all things.
11:7 Have I committed an offence by abasing myself that you might be exalted, because I have preached the gospel of God to you without cost?
11:8 I robbed other churches, taking wages from them, to serve you.
11:9 And when I was present with you, and in want, I burdened no man: for that which I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will continue to do.
11:10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man in the regions of Achaia shall stop me from this boasting.
11:11 Why? because I do not love you? God knows I do.
11:12 But what I do, that I will continue to do, that I may undermine the claim of those who desire opportunity to be regarded as our equals in that of which they boast.
11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
11:14 And no wonder; for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
11:15 Therefore it is no surprise if his servants are also disguised as servants of righteousness; their end shall be according to their works.
11:16 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; but if you do, receive me as a fool, that I too may boast a little.
11:17 That which I am speaking, I do not speak with the Lord's authority, but, as it were, foolishly, in boastful confidence.
11:18 Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also.
11:19 For you endure fools gladly, seeing you yourselves are so wise.
11:20 For you bear it if a man brings you into bondage, if a man devours you, if a man takes advantage of you, if a man exalts himself, if a man strikes you on the face.
11:21 To my shame, I must say, we were too weak to do that. Yet in whatever else anyone dares to boast, (I speak foolishly,) I also dare to boast.
11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? so am I.
11:23 Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more so; in labours more abundant, in beatings beyond number, in prison more frequently, in danger of death often.
11:24 From the Jews I five times received forty lashes less one.
11:25 Thrice I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have spent in the deep;
11:26 On frequent journeys, in perils from rivers, in perils from robbers, in perils from my own countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils on the sea, in perils among false brethren;
11:27 In toil and hardship, in many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and nakedness.
11:28 Beside those things that are external, there is upon me the daily pressure of concern for all the churches.
11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is made to fall, and I do not burn inwardly?
11:30 If I must boast, I will boast of things which show my weakness.
11:31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus, who is blessed forevermore, knows that I do not lie.
11:32 In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, guarded the city of Damascus with a garrison in order to apprehend me:
11:33 but through a window in the wall I was let down in a basket, and escaped his hands.
12:1 Though it is not profitable for me to boast, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
12:2 I knew a man in Christ who fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;) was caught up to the third heaven.
12:3 And I know that this man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;)
12:4 Was caught up into paradise, and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
12:5 Of such a man I will boast: yet of myself I will not boast, except of my weaknesses.
12:6 If I should desire to boast, I shall not be a fool; for I will speak the truth: but I refrain, lest any man should think of me beyond that which he sees in me, or hears from me.
12:7 And lest I should exalt myself beyond measure through the abundance of revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger from Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted beyond measure.
12:8 I begged the Lord thrice, that this might depart from me.
12:9 And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, most gladly will I boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
12:10 Therefore, for Christ's sake, I take pleasure in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in distresses: for when I am weak, then I am strong.
12:11 I have made a fool of myself; you have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended by you: for in nothing am I behind these superlative apostles, though I am nothing.
12:12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all patience, by signs, and wonders, and miracles.
12:13 For in what way were you less favoured than other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
12:14 Behold, for the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I do not seek what is yours, but you: for the children ought not to save up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more abundantly, am I to be loved the less?
12:16 But be that as it may, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.
12:17 Did I take advantage of you by any of those whom I sent to you?
12:18 I urged Titus to go, and with him I sent the brother. Did Titus take advantage of you? did we not act in the same spirit and walk in the same steps?
12:19 All this time have you been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your strengthening.
12:20 For I fear that when I come, I shall not find you as I wish, and you shall not find me to be as you wish; lest perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of wrath, rivalries, slander, gossip, conceit, disorder:
12:21 And I fear that, when I come again, my God may humble me before you, and I shall mourn over many who have sinned and have not repented of the impurity and sexual sin and licentiousness which they have committed.
13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. By the mouths of two or three witnesses must every matter be established.
13:2 The second time I was with you I warned those who have sinned in the past; and now, being absent, I warn them again, and all the others, that, if I come again, I will not spare them,
13:3 Since you seek a proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is mighty among you.
13:4 For though he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God to serve you.
13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test your own selves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you, unless indeed you fail the test?
13:6 But I trust that you shall know that we have not failed the test.
13:7 Now I pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we should appear approved, but that you should do that which is right, even if we appear to be failures.
13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth.
13:9 For we are glad when we are weak, and you are strong: and this is our prayer, for your perfection.
13:10 Therefore I write these things while absent, that when present I need not be severe in using the power which the Lord has given me for building up, and not for tearing down.
13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Aim to be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
13:12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
13:13 All the saints greet you.
13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. [Amen.]