|2 Corinthians 12 |
1 It is doubtless not expedient for me to boast; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I knew a man in Christ more than fourteen years ago, (whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell, God knows;) who was caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell, God knows;)
4 How he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which man is not permitted to utter.
5 Of such a man I will boast; but I will not boast about myself, except of my infirmities.
6 For even if I chose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But now I refrain, so no one will think me above that which he sees me to be or hears from me.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, so I would not be exalted above measure.
8 I pleaded with the Lord three times about this thing, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." So I will gladly boast in my infirmities, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong.
11 I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you, for in nothing am I less than the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing.
12 Truly the signs of an apostle were performed among you in all patience, in miracles and wonders and mighty deeds.
13 For in what way were you inferior to other churches, except that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong.
14 Now for the third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek what is your's [money], but you; for the children should not have to store up savings for the parents, but the parents for the children.
15 And I will very gladly spend, and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.
16 But so be it, I did not burden you; nevertheless, being crafty I caught you with cunning.
17 Did I make a gain from you by any of those whom I sent to you?
18 I urged Titus to go, and sent a brother with him. Did Titus make a gain of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps?
19 Do you suppose that we have been defending ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ;1 we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.
20 For I fear, that when I come I will not find you as I would wish you to be; and that I will not be found by you as you would wish to find me; so that perhaps there may be debates, envying, wraths, strife, backbitings, whisperings, arrogance, and disorder.
21 I am afraid that when I come again, my God will humble me before you; and that I may grieve over those who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity and fornication and unrestrained lust which they have committed.
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1 Paul says: We speak before God in Christ; thus he again testifies of his consciousness and sight being in the Kingdom of Heaven, in the presence of God, in Christ. Paul and others had been translated into the Kingdom of Heaven, Col 1:13 ; and raised up together (with Christ) and sitting together (with Christ) in heavenly places in Christ, Eph 2:6 . As Christ promised: To him that overcomes (sin and the world) will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. Rev 3:21. As the Amplified Bible reports, God commands us: Seek the Lord and His strength; yearn for and seek His face and to be in His presence continually! 1 Chron 16:11.
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