Paul's third visit to Corinth
1 This is the third time that I will be coming to visit you. Remember this: ‘There must be two or three people to say certainly that another person has done something wrong. Two or three people must agree what has happened.’ 2 I have already warned those people who did wrong things before. I did that when I was with you on my second visit. Now I am warning them again, while I am away from you. So, when I come to you the next time, nobody will go free. I will punish those people and all the others who have done wrong things. 3 That will tell you what you want to know about me. You will surely know that I speak with the authority of Christ himself. Christ is not weak when he works in you. He shows his power among you. 4 People killed Christ on the cross as a weak person. But he now lives by God's power. We are also weak as we serve Christ, like he was weak. But we live, because he now lives. So, when we come to you, we will show God's power among you.
5 Think carefully about how you are living. Are you really believing the message about Christ? I hope you know that Jesus Christ is in you. You ought to know that, unless you have completely failed. 6 I hope that you will know that we ourselves have not failed. We do belong to Christ, as you do.
7 Now we pray to God that you will not do any wrong things. We do not pray this to show that God has accepted us as good. We pray like that because we want you to do what is right. We want that, even if we ourselves seem to have failed. 8 We can only work to show what is true. We cannot do anything against what is true. 9 We are happy when we seem to be weak, if you become strong as a result. We pray that you will become completely as you should be.
10 That is why I am writing these things to you now, while I am away from you. Then, when I arrive, I will not need to be angry with you. I will not have to use my authority to punish you. The Lord gave that authority to me to help you to become stronger as believers. He did not give it to me so that I could destroy you.