2 Corinthians 1-4 American Standard Version

Salutation

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints that are in the whole of Achaia: 2  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul's Affliction

3  Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; 4  who comforteth us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort them that are in any affliction, through the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5  For as the sufferings of Christ abound unto us, even so our comfort also aboundeth through Christ. 6  But whether we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or whether we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which worketh in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer:

7  and our hope for you is stedfast; knowing that, as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so also are ye of the comfort. 8  For we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning our affliction which befell [us] in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9  yea, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead: 10  who delivered us out of so great a death, and will deliver: on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us; 11  ye also helping together on our behalf by your supplication; that, for the gift bestowed upon us by means of many, thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf.

The Postponement of Paul's Visit

12  For our glorifying is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 13  For we write no other things unto you, than what ye read or even acknowledge, and I hope ye will acknowledge unto the end: 14  as also ye did acknowledge us in part, that we are your glorying, even as ye also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.

15  And in this confidence I was minded to come first unto you, that ye might have a second benefit; 16  and by you to pass into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come unto you, and of you to be set forward on my journey unto Judaea. 17  When I therefore was thus minded, did I show fickleness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be the yea yea and the nay nay? 18  But as God is faithful, our word toward you is not yea and nay. 19  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, [even] by me and Silvanus and Timothy, was not yea and nay, but in him is yea. 20  For how many soever be the promises of God, in him is the yea: wherefore also through him is the Amen, unto the glory of God through us. 21  Now he that establisheth us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God; 22  who also sealed us, and gave [us] the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 23  But I call God for a witness upon my soul, that to spare you I forbare to come unto Corinth. 24  Not that we have lordship over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for in faith ye stand fast.

2 But I determined this for myself, that I would not come again to you with sorrow. 2  For if I make you sorry, who then is he that maketh me glad but he that is made sorry by me? 3  And I wrote this very thing, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is [the joy] of you all. 4  For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be made sorry, but that ye might know the love that I have more abundantly unto you.

Forgiveness for the Offender

5  But if any hath caused sorrow, he hath caused sorrow, not to me, but in part (that I press not too heavily) to you all. 6  Sufficient to such a one is this punishment which was [inflicted] by the many; 7  so that contrariwise ye should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his overmuch sorrow. 8  Wherefore I beseech you to confirm [your] love toward him. 9  For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye are obedient in all things. 10  But to whom ye forgive anything, I [forgive] also: for what I also have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, for your sakes [have I forgiven it] in the presence of Christ; 11  that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Paul's Anxiety at Troas

12  Now when I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ, and when a door was opened unto me in the Lord, 13  I had no relief for my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went forth into Macedonia.

Triumphant in Christ

14  But thanks be unto God, who always leadeth us in triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest through us the savor of his knowledge in every place. 15  For we are a sweet savor of Christ unto God, in them that are saved, and in them that perish; 16  to the one a savor from death unto death; to the other a savor from life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17  For we are not as the many, corrupting the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, speak we in Christ.

Ministers of the New Covenant

3 Are we beginning again to commend ourselves? or need we, as do some, epistles of commendation to you or from you? 2  Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men; 3  being made manifest that ye are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in tables [that are] hearts of flesh. 4  And such confidence have we through Christ to God-ward: 5  not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God;

6  who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7  But if the ministration of death, written, [and] engraven on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look stedfastly upon the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which [glory] was passing away: 8  how shall not rather the ministration of the spirit be with glory? 9  For if the ministration of condemnation hath glory, much rather doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10  For verily that which hath been made glorious hath not been made glorious in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasseth. 11  For if that which passeth away [was] with glory, much more that which remaineth [is] in glory.

12  Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech, 13  and [are] not as Moses, [who] put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel should not look stedfastly on the end of that which was passing away: 14  but their minds were hardened: for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remaineth, it not being revealed [to them] that it is done away in Christ. 15  But unto this day, whensoever Moses is read, a veil lieth upon their heart. 16  But whensoever it shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17  Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, [there] is liberty. 18  But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.

4 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, even as we obtained mercy, we faint not: 2  but we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish: 4  in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn [upon them]. 5  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6  Seeing it is God, that said, Light shall shine out of darkness, who shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Living by Faith

7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves;

8  [we are] pressed on every side, yet not straitened; perplexed, yet not unto despair; 9  pursued, yet not forsaken; smitten down, yet not destroyed; 10  always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body. 11  For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12  So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13  But having the same spirit of faith, according to that which is written, I believed, and therefore did I speak; we also believe, and therefore also we speak; 14  knowing that he that raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also with Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15  For all things [are] for your sakes, that the grace, being multiplied through the many, may cause the thanksgiving to abound unto the glory of God. 16  Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. 17  For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; 18  while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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