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Paul, By the will of God, An Apostle of Jesus Christ, And Timothy our brother, To the Church of God which is in Corinth, With all the devoted ones in the whole of Greece:

May favor be yours, and peace, From God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God

And Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

The Father from whom all mercies flow,
The God from whom all encouragement comes,
He who encourages us in all our troubles,
So that we may be able to encourage those

Who are in any trouble,

By means of the encouragement with which We ourselves are encouraged by God. For just as the sufferings of the Christ keep over

flowing to us, So also does our encouragement keep overflowing

by means of the Christ. And, if we are in trouble, It is for your encouragement and safety.

1: 6.

Or, if we are encouraged,

It is for your encouragement,

That encouragement which is working in you, By your endurance of the same sufferings

As we ourselves also are suffering.

(And our hope for you does not waver.) For we know that as you are sharers of our suffer

ings, So also are you of our encouragement.

For, brothers, we do not desire you to be ignorant of our trouble which we had in Asia Minor. For we were weighed down altogether beyond our strength so that we even despaired of life. Yes, we had in ourselves the presentiment of death, so that we might not trust in ourselves but, on the contrary, in the God who raises the dead. And he delivered us from such a death, and he will do it again. It is on him we have set our hope of further deliverance in the future by your help also in your prayers. And so for the favor bestowed on us by the help of many, thanks will be given by many on our behalf.

For our boast is this, that our conscience is our witness that we conducted ourselves in the world, and still more towards you, with a devotion and sincerity born of God. It was not with carnal wisdom, but with the favor of God. For we are not

2 COR. 1:13.

DEVOTION AND SINCERITY.

89

writing to you about anything which you have not had the opportunity of reading and becoming thoroughly acquainted with. And I hope you will know thoroughly to the end,—just as you have heretofore known me in part,—that we are your cause for boasting, just as you also are ours on the day when Jesus our Lord comes.

It was with this conviction I intended to visit you first, so that you might be favored twice, my intention being to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and again on my return, and then to be assisted by you in my journey to Judæa. So, as this was my intention, surely I showed no fickleness of purpose? Or, what I plan, do I plan it with reference to carnal nature, so that I say,

6. Yes" and “ No” in the same breath? Now, as God is faithful, our speech to you is not, “Yes” and “ No." For God's Son Christ Jesus, he who was proclaimed among you by us—by me, and Silvanus, and Timothy—did not become “Yes” and “ No." On the contrary, it is “ Yes," which has taken place in him, and it is still the same. For however many are the promises of God, in him is the “ Yes." And for this reason it is through him the “ Amen” is said to the glory of God by means of us. And he who is bringing us with you into Christ, and is strengthening us, is God, he who

1: 21.

anointed us, and sealed us, and gave us his Spirit in our hearts as a pledge of future blessings.

your faith.

Now, upon my soul, I call God as a witness, that it was because I desired to spare you I did not visit Corinth again. Not that we are lording it over

On the contrary, we are working with you for your true happiness. For it is by faith you are standing. So I decided that the best course for me was not to pay you another painful visit. For if I bring you pain, then who is going to bring me cheer, except the very person who is being pained by me? So I wrote as I did, so that, when I should come, I should not be pained by those who ought to make me glad. For I felt sure of you all without exception that my joy is yours also. For it was out of sore trouble and distress of heart, and with many tears I wrote to you, and I did it, not to give you pain, but to let you know how intense is the love which I have for you.

Now whoever has caused the grief, has not grieved me, but rather, to a certain extent—not to be too hard on him—all of you. Such a man has been sufficiently punished by the penalty inflicted on him by most of you. So, then, take the opposite course now, and forgive and encourage him, so that he may not in any way be overwhelmed by the intensity of his grief. So I urge you to assure

2 COR. 2:8.

SPIRITUAL ADVANCEMENT.

91

him of your love. For it was with this end in view also I wrote to you.

For I desired to put you to the test, and to learn whether you are in every way submissive. If you forgive any one, so do I. For if I have forgiven anything I have done it for your sakes in the sight of Christ, so as to prevent Satan from taking advantage of us. For we are not ignorant of his devices.

Now when I came to the country round Troy to tell the good news of the Christ, even though an opportunity presented itself, my spiritual nature had no rest, because I did not find our brother Titus. So I took leave of them and went out to Macedonia. But thanks be to God, who keeps leading us in one continual triumph in Christ, and uses us to spread the odor of his knowledge everywhere. For we are a sweet smelling odor of Christ to

God,
Among those who are being saved,

And among those who are perishing.
To the latter, we are an odor which pro-

ceeds from death,

And produces death.
To the former, we are an odor which pro-

ceeds from life,

And produces life. Who is qualified for so important a work? We are not as the many, who keep making the

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