Paul's Second Letter to the
To the church of God in Corinth, and to all Christ's people throughout Greece, from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, and from Timothy, who is also a follower. May God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you and give you peace.
Blessed is the God and Father of Jesus Christ our Lord, the all-merciful Father, the God ever ready to console, who consoles us in all our troubles, so that we may be able to console those who are in any trouble with the consolation that we ourselves receive from him. It is true that we have our full share of the sufferings of the Christ, but through the Christ we have also our full share of consolation. If we meet with trouble, it is for the sake of your consolation and salvation; and, if we find consolation, it is for the sake of the consolation that you will experience when you are called to endure the sufferings that we ourselves are enduring; and our hope for you remains unshaken. We know that, as you are sharing our sufferings, you will also share our consolation. We want you, friends, to know that, in the troubles which befell us in Roman Asia, we were burdened altogether beyond our strength, so much so that we even despaired of life. Indeed, we had the presentiment that we must die, so that we might rely, not on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead. 10 And from so imminent a death God delivered us, and will deliver us again; for in him we have placed our hopes of future deliverance, while you, also, help us by your prayers. 11 And then many lips will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us in answer to many prayers.
The Apostle's Relations with his Converts
12 Indeed, our main ground for satisfaction is this — Our conscience tells us that our conduct in the world, and still more in our relations with you, was marked by a purity of motive and a sincerity that were inspired by God, and was based, not on worldly policy, but on the help of God. 13 We never write anything to you other than what you will acknowledge to the very end — 14 And, indeed, you have already partly acknowledged it about us — that you have a right to be proud of us, as we will be proud of you, on the day of our Lord Jesus.
15 With this conviction in my mind, I planned to come to see you first, so that your pleasure might be doubled — 16 To visit you both on my way to Macedonia, and to come to you again on my return from Macedonia, and then to get you to send me on my way into Judea. 17 As this was my plan, where, pray, did I show any fickleness of purpose? Or do you think that my plans are formed on mere impulse, so that in the same breath I say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’? 18 As God is true, the message that we brought you does not waver between ‘Yes’ and ‘No’! 19 The Son of God, Christ Jesus, whom we — Silas, Timothy, and I — proclaimed amongst you, never wavered between ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ With him it has always been ‘Yes.’ 20 For, many as were the promises of God, in Christ is the ‘Yes’ that fulfils them. Therefore, through Christ again, let the ‘Amen’ rise, through us, to the glory of God. 21 God who brings us, with you, into close union with Christ, and who consecrated us, 22 also set his seal on us, and gave us his Spirit in our hearts as a pledge of future blessings.
23 But, as my life will answer for it, I call God to witness that it was to spare you that I deferred my visit to Corinth. 24 I do not mean that we are to dictate to you with regard to your faith; on the contrary, we work with you for your true happiness; indeed, it is through your faith that you are standing firm.