Paul Defends His Apostleship

1 I wish that you would 1bear with me in a little 2foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me.
2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I 3betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might 4present you as a pure virgin.
3 But I am afraid that, as the 5serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
4 For if one comes and preaches 6another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a 7different spirit which you have not received, or a 8different gospel which you have not accepted, you 9bear this 10beautifully.
5 For I consider myself 11not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles.
6 But even if I am 12unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in 13knowledge; in fact, in every way we have 14made this evident to you in all things.
7 Or 15did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the 16gospel of God to you 17without charge?
8 I robbed other churches by 18taking wages from them to serve you;
9 and when I was present with you and was in need, I was 19not a burden to anyone; for when 20the brethren came from 21Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from 22being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.
10 23As the truth of Christ is in me, 24this boasting of mine * will not be stopped in the regions of 25Achaia.
11 Why *? 26Because I do not love you? 27God knows I do!
12 But what I am doing I will continue to do, 28so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting.
14 No wonder, for even 31Satan disguises himself as an 32angel of light.
15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, 33whose end will be according to their deeds.