1Paul, by the wil of God an apostle of Christ Jesus, and Timothy, our brother, to the church of God inCorinth and to al God's holy people in the whole of Achaia. 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merciful Father and the God who givesevery possible encouragement; 4he supports us in every hardship, so that we are able to come to the support of others, in everyhardship of theirs because of the encouragement that we ourselves receive from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow into our lives; so too does the encouragement we receive through Christ. 6So if we have hardships to undergo, this wil contribute to your encouragement and your salvation; if wereceive encouragement, this is to gain for you the encouragement which enables you to bear with perseverancethe same sufferings as we do. 7So our hope for you is secure in the knowledge that you share the encouragement we receive, no lessthan the sufferings we bear. 8So in the hardships we underwent in Asia, we want you to be quite certain, brothers, that we wereunder extraordinary pressure, beyond our powers of endurance, so that we gave up al hope even of surviving. 9In fact we were carrying the sentence of death within our own selves, so that we should be forced totrust not in ourselves but in God, who raises the dead. 10He did save us from such a death and will save us -- we are relying on him to do so. 11Your prayer for us wil contribute to this, so that, for God's favour shown to us as the result of theprayers of so many, thanks too may be given by many on our behalf. 12There is one thing that we are proud of, namely our conscientious conviction that we have alwaysbehaved towards everyone, and especial y towards you, with that unal oyed holiness that comes from God,relying not on human reasoning but on the grace of God. 13In our writing, there is nothing that you cannot read clearly and understand; 14and it is my hope that, just as you have already understood us partial y, so you wil understand fullythat you can be as proud of us as we shal be of you when the Day of our Lord Jesus comes. 15It was with this assurance that I had been meaning to come to you first, so that you would benefitdoubly; 16both to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and then to return to you again from Macedonia, so thatyou could set me on my way to Judaea. 17Since that was my purpose, do you think I lightly changed my mind? Or that my plans are based onordinary human promptings and I have in my mind Yes, yes at the same time as No, no? 18As surely as God is trustworthy, what we say to you is not both Yes and No. 19The Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us, that is, by me and by Silvanus andTimothy, was never Yes-and-No; his nature is al Yes. 20For in him is found the Yes to al God's promises and therefore it is 'through him' that we answer'Amen' to give praise to God. 21It is God who gives us, with you, a sure place in Christ 22and has both anointed us and marked us with his seal, giving us as pledge the Spirit in our hearts. 23By my life I cal on God to be my witness that it was only to spare you that I did not come to Corinthagain. 24We have no wish to lord it over your faith, but to work with you for your joy; for your stand in the faith isfirm.
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