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Paul and the False Apostles

11 I would to God you could bear with me a little in my folly. Indeed, bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy. For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear that somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve through his trickery, so your minds might be led astray from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes 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 might submit to it readily enough.

For I think I am not in any way inferior to the most eminent of the apostles. Even though I am unpolished in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. All things about us have been thoroughly revealed to you. Did I commit a sin in abasing myself that you might be exalted, because I preached to you the gospel of God free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting wages from them to serve you. Furthermore, when I was present with you and was lacking, I was a burden to no one. For the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I lacked. In all things I have kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so will I keep myself. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows.

12 And I will continue doing what I am doing, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be found equal to us in what they boast about. 13 For such are false apostles and deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

Paul’s Sufferings as an Apostle

16 I say again, let no one think that I am a fool. Otherwise, at least receive me as a fool, so that I also may boast a little. 17 What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast. 19 For you tolerate fools gladly, seeing you yourselves are wise. 20 For you permit it if a man brings you into bondage, if a man devours you, if a man takes from you, if a man exalts himself, or if a man strikes you on the face. 21 I say to my reproach that we were too weak for that.

But whenever anyone is bold (I speak foolishly), I am bold also. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I speak as a fool. I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I suffered shipwreck; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brothers; 27 in weariness and painfulness, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, and in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside the external things, the care of all the churches pressures me daily. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I am not distressed?

30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things which concern my weakness. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forevermore, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas secured the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me. 33 But I was let down by the wall through a window in a basket and escaped his hands.