1 This third time I am coming to you; by the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2 I have said before, and I now foretell as if present a second time, although absent, to those who have already sinned and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare; 3 since you seek a proof in me of Christ speaking, who is not weak to you but powerful in you; 4 for though he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by the power of God; and we also are weak in him, but live with him by the power of God in you.
5 Try yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove yourselves; or know you not yourselves that Christ is in you unless you are reprobates? 6 But I hope you will know that we are not reprobates. 7 We wish to God that you may do no evil, not that we may appear approved, but that you may do good though we should be as reprobates. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9 For we rejoice when we are weak and you are strong; and we desire this, your perfection. 10 For this reason, being absent, I write these things, that I may not use sharpness when present, with the power which the Lord has given me for building up, and not for pulling down.
11 Finally, brothers, rejoice, be perfect, be of good comfort, be of the same mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 12 Salute one another with a holy kiss.