You ·must look at the facts before you [or are looking only at outward appearances]. If you ·feel sure [are confident] that you belong to Christ, you must ·remember [consider again] that we belong to Christ just as you do.
You are looking at the outward appearance of things. Are there some there who reckon themselves to belong to Christ? Well, let them think again about themselves, because we belong to Christ just as much as they do.
Do look at things which stare you in the face! So-and-so considers himself to belong to Christ. All right; but let him reflect that we belong to Christ every bit as much as he. You may think that I have boasted unduly of my authority (which the Lord gave me, remember, to build you up not to break you down), but I don’t think I have done anything to be ashamed of. Yet I don’t want you to think of me merely as the man who writes you terrifying letters. I know my critics say, “His letters are impressive and moving but his actual presence is feeble and his speaking beneath contempt.” Let them realise that we can be just as “impressive and moving” in person as they say we are in our letters.
You stare and stare at the obvious, but you can’t see the forest for the trees. If you’re looking for a clear example of someone on Christ’s side, why do you so quickly cut me out? Believe me, I am quite sure of my standing with Christ. You may think I overstate the authority he gave me, but I’m not backing off. Every bit of my commitment is for the purpose of building you up, after all, not tearing you down.
Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s.
Do you look at things only as they appear in front of your face? If anyone trusts in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again with himself, that, even as he is Christ’s, so also we are Christ’s.
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