Final Warnings and Greetings
1 This will be my third visit to you; and all facts must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 2 To those who have sinned in the past, and to everyone else, I repeat the warning I gave before; I gave it in person on my second visit, and I give it now in absence. It is that when I come this time, I will show no leniency. 3 Then you will have the proof you seek of the Christ who speaks through me, the Christ who, far from being weak with you, makes his power felt among you. 4 True, he died on the cross in weakness, but he lives by the power of God; and we who share his weakness shall by the power of God live with him in your service.
5 Examine yourselves: are you living the life of faith? Put yourselves to the test. Surely you recognize that Jesus Christ is among you? - unless of course you prove unequal to the test. 6 I hope you will come to see that we are not unequal to it. 7 Our prayer to God is that we may not have to hurt you; we are not concerned to be vindicated ourselves; we want you to do what is right, even if we should seem to be discredited. 8 For we have no power to act against the truth, but only for it. 9 We are well content to be weak at any time if only you are strong. Indeed, my whole prayer is that all may be put right with you. 10 My purpose in writing this letter before I come, is to spare myself, when I come, any sharp exercise of authority - authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for pulling down.
11 And now, my friends, farewell. Mend your ways; take our appeal to heart; agree with one another; live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Greet one another with the kiss of peace.
13 All God's people send you greetings.
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and fellowship in the Holy Spirit,
be with you all.
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