2 Corinthians 1:1–4:18


1 Paul, aan apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and bTimothy our brother,

To the church of God which is at Corinth, cwith all the saints who are in all Achaia:

dGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Comfort in Suffering

eBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who fcomforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any 1trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as gthe sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our 2consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, hit is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that ias you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.

Delivered from Suffering

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of jour 3trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should knot trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 lwho delivered us from so great a death, and 4does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 11 you also mhelping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on 5our behalf nfor the gift granted to us through many.

Paul’s Sincerity

12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in 6simplicity and ogodly sincerity, pnot with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you. 13 For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end 14 (as also you have understood us in part), qthat we are your boast as ryou also are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Sparing the Church

15 And in this confidence sI intended to come to you before, that you might have ta second benefit—16 to pass by way of you to Macedonia, uto come again from Macedonia to you, and be helped by you on my way to Judea. 17 Therefore, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or the things I plan, do I plan vaccording to the flesh, that with me there should be Yes, Yes, and No, No? 18 But as God is wfaithful, our 7word to you was not Yes and No. 19 For xthe Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, ySilvanus, and zTimothy—was not Yes and No, abut in Him was Yes. 20 bFor all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and chas anointed us is God, 22 who dalso has sealed us and egiven us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

23 Moreover fI call God as witness against my soul, gthat to spare you I came no more to Corinth. 24 Not hthat we 8have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for iby faith you stand.

2 But I determined this within myself, athat I would not come again to you in sorrow. For if I make you bsorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?

Forgive the Offender

And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, cI should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, dhaving confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much 1affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, enot that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.

But fif anyone has caused grief, he has not ggrieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. This punishment which was inflicted hby the majority is sufficient for such a man, iso that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are jobedient in all things. 10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For 2if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Triumph in Christ

12 Furthermore, kwhen I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and la 3door was opened to me by the Lord, 13 mI had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us 4diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ namong those who are being saved and oamong those who are perishing. 16 pTo the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And qwho is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as 5so many, rpeddling 6the word of God; but as sof sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

Christ’s Epistle

3 Do awe begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, bepistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? cYou are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, dministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not eon tablets of stone but fon tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

The Spirit, Not the Letter

And we have such trust through Christ toward God. gNot that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but hour sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as iministers of jthe new covenant, not kof the letter but of the 1Spirit; for lthe letter kills, mbut the Spirit gives life.

Glory of the New Covenant

But if nthe ministry of death, owritten and engraved on stones, was glorious, pso that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will qthe ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry rof righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

12 Therefore, since we have such hope, swe use great boldness of speech—13 unlike Moses, twho put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at uthe end of what was passing away. 14 But vtheir minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless wwhen one turns to the Lord, xthe veil is taken away. 17 Now ythe Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is zliberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding aas in a mirror bthe glory of the Lord, care being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as 2by the Spirit of the Lord.

The Light of Christ’s Gospel

4 Therefore, since we have this ministry, aas we have received mercy, we bdo not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor 1handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth ccommending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, dit is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds ethe god of this age fhas blinded, who do not believe, lest gthe light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, hwho is the image of God, should shine on them. iFor we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and jourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God kwho commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has lshone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Cast Down But Unconquered

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, mthat the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are nhard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not oforsaken; pstruck down, but not destroyed—10 qalways carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, rthat the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live sare always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.

13 And since we have tthe same spirit of faith, according to what is written, u“I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that vHe who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For wall things are for your sakes, that xgrace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

Seeing the Invisible

16 Therefore we ydo not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is zbeing renewed day by day. 17 For aour light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 bwhile we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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