My defense to those who examine me is this:
“ Brethren and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you.”
I answered them that it is not the custom of the Romans to hand over any man before the accused meets his accusers face to face and has an opportunity to make his defense against the charges.
If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.
You are looking at things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.
But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself; nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I took you in by deceit.
since you are seeking for proof of the Christ who speaks in me, and who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you.
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.
For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.
the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.
At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them.