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Visions and Revelations

12 Doubtless it is not profitable for me to boast. So I will move on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ over fourteen years ago—whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I knew that such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell, God knows— was caught up into paradise and heard inexpressible words not permitted for a man to say. Of such a person, I will boast. Yet of myself I will not boast, except in my weaknesses. For if I desire to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But now I resist, lest anyone should think of me above that which he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me, lest I be exalted above measure. I asked the Lord three times that this thing might depart from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 So I take pleasure in weaknesses, in reproaches, in hardships, in persecutions, and in distresses for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul’s Concern for the Corinthian Church

11 I have become a fool in boasting. You have compelled me, for I ought to have been commended by you, for I am in no way inferior to the leading apostles, though I am nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were performed among you in all patience, in signs and wonders, and mighty deeds. 13 For in what respect were you inferior to other churches, unless it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong!

14 I am ready to come to you this third time. And I will not be burdensome to you, for I do not seek what is yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But be that as it may. I did not burden you. Nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with deceit. 17 Did I take advantage of you by any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps?

19 Again, do you think that we are defending ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. We do all things, beloved, for your edifying. 20 For I fear that when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish. I fear there are debates, envying, wrath, strife, backbiting, whispering, arrogance, and disorder. 21 And I fear that when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall mourn for many who have sinned already, who have not repented of uncleanness, sexual immorality, and lasciviousness which they have committed.