By the meekness and gentleness1 of Christ, I appeal to you--I, Paul,2 who am "timid" when face to face with you, but "bold" when away!
I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold3 as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.43
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.54
The weapons we fight with6 are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power7 to demolish strongholds.85
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,9 and we take captive every thought to make it obedient10 to Christ.
And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.117
You are looking only on the surface of things.a12 If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ,13 he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he.148
For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us15 for building you up rather than pulling you down,16 I will not be ashamed of it.
I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters.
For some say, "His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive17 and his speaking amounts to nothing."18