Final Warnings and Exhortations

13 This is the third time I am coming to you.(A) Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.[a](B) I gave a warning when I was present the second time, and now I give a warning(C) while I am absent to those who sinned before and to all the rest: If I come again, I will not be lenient, since you seek proof of Christ speaking in me.(D) He is not weak in dealing with you, but powerful among you. For he was crucified(E) in weakness, but he lives(F) by the power of God. For we also are weak in him,(G) but in dealing with you we will live(H) with him by God’s power.

Test(I) yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you fail the test.[b] And I hope you will recognize that we ourselves do not fail the test. But we pray to God that you do nothing wrong—not that we may appear to pass the test, but that you may do what is right,(J) even though we may appear to fail. For we can’t do anything against the truth,(K) but only for the truth. We rejoice when we are weak and you are strong.(L) We also pray that you become fully mature.[c] 10 This is why I am writing these things while absent, so that when I am there I may not have to deal harshly with you, in keeping with the authority the Lord gave me for building up(M) and not for tearing down.(N)

11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice.[d] Become mature, be encouraged,[e] be of the same mind,(O) be at peace,(P) and the God of love(Q) and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.(R) All the saints send you greetings.

13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love(S) of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.[f](T)

Footnotes

  1. 13:1 Dt 17:6; 19:15
  2. 13:5 Or you are disqualified, or you are counterfeit
  3. 13:9 Or become complete, or be restored
  4. 13:11 Or farewell
  5. 13:11 Or listen to my appeal
  6. 13:12–13 Some translations divide these two vv. into three vv. so that v. 13 begins with All the saints... and v. 14 begins with The grace of...

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