This is the third time that I'm coming to visit you. Every matter is settled on the evidence of two or three witnesses.
When I was with you on my second visit, I already warned those who continued to sin. Now I'm repeating that warning to all the rest of you while I'm at a safe distance: if I come again, I won't spare anyone.
Since you are demanding proof that Christ speaks through me, Christ isn't weak in dealing with you but shows his power among you.
Certainly he was crucified because of weakness, but he lives by the power of God. Certainly we also are weak in him, but we will live together with him, because of God's power that is directed toward you.
Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Don't you understand that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless, of course, you fail the test.
But I hope that you will realize that we don't fail the test.
We pray to God that you don't do anything wrong, not because we want to appear to pass the test but so that you might do the right thing, even if we appear to fail.
We can't do anything against the truth but only to help the truth.
We are happy when we are weak but you are strong. We pray for this: that you will be made complete.
This is why I'm writing these things while I'm away. I'm writing so that I won't need to act harshly when I'm with you by using the authority that the Lord gave me. He gave it to me so that I could build you up, not tear you down.