2 Corinthians 12 - Legacy Standard Bible
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2 Corinthians 12

A Vision of Paradise

It is necessary to boast, though it is not profitable, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago⁠—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows⁠—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know how such a man⁠—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows⁠— 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. 5 On behalf of such a man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in weaknesses. 6 For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will consider me beyond what he sees in me or hears from me.

A Thorn in the Flesh

7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me⁠—to keep me from exalting myself!
8 Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions and hardships, for the sake of Christ, for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Concern for the Corinthian Church

11 I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most-eminent apostles, even if I am nothing.
12 The signs of a true apostle were worked out among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. 13 For in what respect were you treated as less than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong! 14 Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you. For children ought not to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 So I will most gladly spend and be fully spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself. Nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I took you in by deceit. 17 Have I taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you? 18 I encouraged Titus to go, and I sent the brother with him. Did Titus take any advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit⁠—in the very same steps? 19 All this time you think we are defending ourselves to you. We speak in Christ in the sight of God. And all these things, beloved, are for your building up. 20 For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances. 21 I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality which they have practiced.