Paul Defends His Ministry
10 iI, Paul, myself entreat you, by the jmeekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— 2 I beg of you kthat when I am present I may not have to show lboldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the mweapons of nour warfare are not of the flesh but have odivine power pto destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and qevery lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to robey Christ, 6 sbeing ready to punish every disobedience, twhen your obedience is complete.
7 uLook at what is before your eyes. vIf anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as whe is Christ’s, xso also are we. 8 For even if I boast a little too much of your authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. 9 I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters. 10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but zhis bodily presence is weak, and ahis speech of no account.” 11 Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. 12 Not that we dare to classify or bcompare ourselves with some of those who care commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are dwithout understanding.
13 But we will not boast ebeyond limits, but will fboast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, gto reach even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. hFor we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. 15 We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that ias your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be jgreatly enlarged, 16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence. 17 “Let kthe one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is lnot the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one mwhom the Lord commends.
Paul and the False Apostles
11 I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since nI betrothed you to one husband, oto present you pas a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that qas the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts rwill be led astray from a ssincere and tpure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and uproclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept va different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 5 Indeed, I consider that wI am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. 6 xEven if I am unskilled in speaking, yI am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way zwe have made this plain to you in all things.
7 Or adid I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because bI preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and was cin need, dI did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia esupplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain ffrom burdening you in any way. 10 gAs the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine hwill not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 And why? iBecause I do not love you? jGod knows I do!
12 And what I am doing I will continue to do, kin order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are lfalse apostles, mdeceitful workmen, ndisguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as oan angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as pservants of righteousness. qTheir end will correspond to their deeds.
Paul’s Sufferings as an Apostle
16 I repeat, rlet no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17 What I am saying swith this boastful confidence, tI say not as the Lord would1 but as a fool. 18 Since umany boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19 For you gladly bear with fools, vbeing wise yourselves! 20 For you bear it if someone wmakes slaves of you, or xdevours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or ystrikes you in the face. 21 To my shame, I must say, zwe were too weak for that!
But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? aSo am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they bservants of Christ? cI am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, dfar more imprisonments, ewith countless beatings, and foften near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the gforty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was hbeaten with rods. iOnce I was stoned. Three times I jwas shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, kdanger from my own people, ldanger from Gentiles, mdanger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 nin toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, oin hunger and thirst, often without food,2 in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for pall the churches. 29 qWho is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
30 rIf I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 sThe God and Father of the Lord Jesus, the who is blessed forever, uknows that I am not lying. 32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas vwas guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 wbut I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.
Give Thanks to the Lord, for He Is Good
106 iPraise the Lord!
lfor his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord,
or declare all his praise?
3 Blessed are they who observe justice,
who mdo righteousness at all times!
4 nRemember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people;
help me when you save them,1
5 that I may look upon the prosperity of your ochosen ones,
that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
that I may glory with your inheritance.
we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.
7 Our fathers, when they were in Egypt,
did not consider your wondrous works;
they rdid not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,
but srebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
8 Yet he saved them tfor his name’s sake,
uthat he might make known his mighty power.
and he xled them through the deep as through a desert.
10 So he ysaved them from the hand of the foe
and zredeemed them from the power of the enemy.
11 And athe waters covered their adversaries;
not one of them was left.
12 Then bthey believed his words;
they csang his praise.
13 But they soon dforgot his works;
they did not wait for ehis counsel.
14 But they had fa wanton craving in the wilderness,
and gput God to the test in the desert;
15 he hgave them what they asked,
but sent ia wasting disease among them.
16 When men in the camp jwere jealous of Moses
and Aaron, kthe holy one of the Lord,
17 lthe earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
and covered the company of Abiram.
18 mFire also broke out in their company;
the flame burned up the wicked.
19 They nmade a calf in Horeb
and worshiped a metal image.
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
21 They pforgot God, their Savior,
who had done great things in Egypt,
22 wondrous works in qthe land of Ham,
and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
23 Therefore rhe said he would destroy them—
had not Moses, his schosen one,
tstood in the breach before him,
to turn away his wrath from destroying them.
having wno faith in his promise.
25 They xmurmured in their tents,
and did not obey the voice of the Lord.
26 Therefore he yraised his hand and swore to them
that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
27 and would make their offspring fall among the nations,
zscattering them among the lands.
and ate sacrifices offered to bthe dead;
29 they provoked the Lord to anger with their deeds,
and a plague broke out among them.
30 Then cPhinehas stood up and intervened,
and the plague was stayed.
31 And that was dcounted to him as righteousness
from generation to generation forever.
32 They eangered him at the waters of Meribah,
and it went ill with Moses on their account,
and he gspoke rashly with his lips.
34 They did not hdestroy the peoples,
ias the Lord commanded them,
35 but they jmixed with the nations
and learned to do as they did.
36 They served their idols,
which became ka snare to them.
37 They lsacrificed their sons
and their daughters to mthe demons;
38 they poured out innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
and the land was npolluted with blood.
39 Thus they obecame unclean by their acts,
and pplayed the whore in their deeds.
and he abhorred his rheritage;
41 he sgave them into the hand of the nations,
so that those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies toppressed them,
and they were brought into subjection under their power.
43 uMany times he delivered them,
but they were rebellious in their vpurposes
and were wbrought low through their iniquity.
44 Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress,
when he xheard their cry.
45 For their sake he yremembered his covenant,
46 He caused them to be bpitied
by all those who held them captive.
47 cSave us, O Lord our God,
and dgather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
48 eBlessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!
eAnd let all the people say, “Amen!”
fPraise the Lord!