This is the third time I am coming to you. On the testimony a of two or three witnesses every word will be confirmed. b2
I gave warning, and I give warning-as when I was present the second time, so now while I am absent-to those who sinned before and to all the rest: if I come again, I will not be lenient,
since you seek proof of Christ speaking in me. He is not weak toward you, but powerful among you.
In fact, He was crucified in weakness, but He lives by God's power. For we also are weak in Him, yet toward you we will live with Him by God's power.
Test yourselves [to see] if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you not recognize for yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless you fail the test.c6
And I hope you will recognize that we are not failing the test.
Now we pray to God that you do nothing wrong, not that we may appear to pass the test, but that you may do what is right, even though we [may appear] to fail.
For we are not able to do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
In fact, we rejoice when we are weak and you are strong. We also pray for this: your maturity.d10
This is why I am writing these things while absent, that when I am there I will not use severity, in keeping with the authority the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.