1 This is the third time I am coming to you. (See 12:14.)
In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word stand. (This reference is to Deut. 19:18. Cp. Matt. 18:16.)
2 I told you before, and foretell you (as Gal. 5:21), as being present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which have sinned before, and to all the rest, that, if I come again, I will not spare:
3 Since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, Who to you is not weak, but is mighty in you.
4 For indeed though He was crucified out of weakness, yet He lives out of the power of God (see Eph. 1:19:20). For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
5 Try yourselves, if you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, if you not be reprobates? (See Rom 1:28.)
6 But I hope that you shall know that we are not reprobates.
7 Now I pray to God that you should not do anything evil; not that we should appear approved, but in order that you should do that which is honest (see 8:21), though we be as reprobates.
8 For we can do not anything against the truth, but on behalf of the truth.
9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and you are strong: and this we pray for also, even your perfection.
10 On account of this I write these things being absent, in order that being present I should not act severely, according to the authority which the Lord gave me for edification, and not to destruction.
11 For the rest, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be encouraged, mind the same thing, live in peace (as in Rom. 12:18); and the God of love (agapē) and peace shall be with you.
12 Salute (see Acts 20:1) one another with an holy kiss.
13 All the saints (see Acts 9:18) salute you.
14 The grace (Gr. charis. 2 Thess. 1:12. 1 Tim. 1:14. 2 Tim. 2:1) of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.