1 This is the third time I am coming to you: "in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." 2 I told you once before, and now being absent I write to forewarn you and all that have sinned, that when I shall arrive, I will not spare them; 3 since you demand a proof of my mission from Christ, who with regard to you has shown no want of power among you. 4 for tho' he was crucified with the appearance of weakness, yet he lives by the power of God; tho' we are afflicted upon his account, we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
5 Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; bring yourselves to the proof; are you so little acquainted with yourselves, as not to know whether Jesus Christ be in you? but if you are destitute of proofs, 6 I trust you shall know that we are not so destitute, 7 now I pray God that I may not punish you; not that I may show you my proofs to your cost, but that by your acting honestly, I may be as if I had no proofs: 8 for I can employ no power against the truth, but for the truth. 9 I am therefore glad when I am disarm'd by the strength of your integrity: and this is what I pray for, even your perfection. 10 these things therefore I write to you being absent, that when I come I may not use severity, according to the power which the Lord hath given me for edification, and not for destruction.
11 Finally, brethren, be cheerful: redress yourselves, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 12 salute one another with religious affection.