This is my third visit to you. “Any charge must be verified by two or three witnesses.”* I already warned those of you who were sinning when I visited the second time. Even though I'm not there, I'm warning them againand all the rest of youthat when I visit I won't hesitate to act against them, since you're demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in the way he relates to you; rather he works powerfully among you. Even though he was crucified in weakness, now he lives through the power of God. We too are weak in him, but you will see that we live with him through the power of God. Examine yourselves to see if you are trusting God. Put yourselves to the test. Don't you yourselves realize that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless you have failed the test However, I hope that you realize that we have not failed the test.
We pray to God that you won't do anything badnot so we can show we passed the test, but so you can do what is good, even if we appear to be failures. We can't do anything against the truth, only for the truth. We're happy when we are weak, and you are strongwe pray that you may continue to improve. 10 That is why I write about this while I'm not with you, so that when I am with you I won't have to treat you harshly by imposing my authority. The Lord gave me authority for building up, not for tearing down.
11 Finally, brothers and sisters, I say goodbye. Continue to improve spiritually. Encourage one another. Be in agreement. Live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet each other with Christian affection. 13 All the believers here send their greetings. 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
* 13:1 Quoting Deuteronomy 19:15. 13:5 Or “in union with.”