A Trip to Macedonia

12 When I came to Troas(A) to preach the gospel of Christ, even though the Lord opened a door(B) for me, 13 I had no rest(C) in my spirit because I did not find my brother Titus.(D) Instead, I said good-bye to them and left for Macedonia.(E)

A Ministry of Life or Death

14 But thanks be to God,(F) who always leads us in Christ’s triumphal procession and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of him in every place.(G) 15 For to God we are the fragrance(H) of Christ among those who are being saved(I) and among those who are perishing.(J) 16 To some we are an aroma of death(K) leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life(L) leading to life. Who is adequate for these things? 17 For we do not market the word of God(M) for profit like so many.[a] On the contrary, we speak with sincerity in Christ, as from God and before God.

Living Letters

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.(N) You show that you are Christ’s letter,(O) delivered[b] by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God(P)—not on tablets of stone(Q) but on tablets of human hearts.[c](R)

Paul’s Competence

Such is the confidence we have through Christ before God. It is not that we are competent in[d] ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.(S) He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant,(T) not of the letter,(U) but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Footnotes

  1. 2:17 Other mss read like the rest
  2. 3:3 Lit ministered to
  3. 3:3 Lit fleshly hearts
  4. 3:5 Lit from

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