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13 This is the third time I am coming to visit you. The Scriptures tell us that if two or three have seen a wrong, it must be punished. Well, this is my third warning as I come now for this visit.[a] I have already warned those who had been sinning when I was there last; now I warn them again and all others, just as I did then, that this time I come ready to punish severely and I will not spare them.

I will give you all the proof you want that Christ speaks through me. Christ is not weak in his dealings with you but is a mighty power within you. His weak, human body died on the cross, but now he lives by the mighty power of God. We, too, are weak in our bodies, as he was, but now we live and are strong, as he is, and have all of God’s power to use in dealing with you.

Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ’s presence and power more and more within you? Or are you just pretending to be Christians when actually you aren’t at all? I hope you can agree that I have stood that test and truly belong to the Lord.

I pray that you will live good lives, not because that will be a feather in our caps,[b] proving that what we teach is right; no, for we want you to do right even if we ourselves are despised. Our responsibility is to encourage the right at all times, not to hope for evil.[c] We are glad to be weak and despised if you are really strong. Our greatest wish and prayer is that you will become mature Christians.

10 I am writing this to you now in the hope that I won’t need to scold and punish when I come; for I want to use the Lord’s authority that he has given me, not to punish you but to make you strong.

11 I close my letter with these last words: Be happy. Grow in Christ. Pay attention to what I have said. Live in harmony and peace. And may the God of love and peace be with you.

12 Greet each other warmly in the Lord. 13 All the Christians here send you their best regards. 14 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. May God’s love and the Holy Spirit’s friendship be yours.



  1. 2 Corinthians 13:1 Well, this is my third warning as I come now for this visit, implied.
  2. 2 Corinthians 13:7 not because that will be a feather in our caps, literally, “not that we may appear approved.”
  3. 2 Corinthians 13:8 Our responsibility is . . . not to hope for evil, literally, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.”

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