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C. By His Jealousy for Christ
1 I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you do bear with me.
2 For I am jealous over you with a jealousy of God; for I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.
3 But I fear lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your thoughts would be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity toward Christ.
4 For if indeed he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit, which you have not received, or a different gospel, which you have not accepted, you bear well with him.
5 But I count myself to be inferior to the super-apostles in nothing.
6 But even if I am a layman in speech, yet I am not in knowledge; indeed in every way we have made this manifest in all things to you.
7 Or did I commit a sin, abasing myself that you might be exalted, because I announced the gospel of God to you free of charge?
8 I robbed other churches, taking wages for the ministry to you.
9 And when I was present with you and lacked, I was not a burden to anyone; for the brothers who came from Macedonia filled up my lack, and in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and will keep myself.
10 The truthfulness of Christ is in me, that this boasting shall not be stopped as it regards me in the regions of Achaia.
11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows.
12 But what I do, I also will do, that I may cut off the opportunity of those desiring an opportunity, that in the thing in which they boast, they may be found even as we.
13 For such ones are false apostles, deceitful workers, transfiguring themselves into apostles of Christ.
14 And no wonder, for Satan himself transfigures himself into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if also his ministers transfigure themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
D. By His Compelled Boasting
1. Of His Status, Labor, and Afflictions
16 Again I say, Let no one think me to be foolish; but if otherwise, accept me even as if I were foolish, that I also may boast a little.
17 What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord but as if in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting.
18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast.
19 For you bear gladly with fools because you yourselves are wise.
20 For you bear it if anyone enslaves you, if anyone devours you, if anyone takes you, if anyone lifts himself up, if anyone beats you in the face.
21 By way of self-disparagement I say this, Supposedly we ourselves were weak. But in whatever anyone else is daring, I speak in foolishness, I also am daring.
22 Hebrews are they? I also. Israelites are they? I also. The seed of Abraham are they? I also.
23 Ministers of Christ are they? I speak as being beside myself, I more so! In labors more abundantly, in imprisonments more abundantly, in stripes excessively, in deaths often.
24 Under the hands of the Jews five times I received forty stripes less one;
25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep;
26 In journeys often, in dangers of rivers, in dangers of robbers, in dangers from my race, in dangers from the Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers in the sea, in dangers among false brothers;
27 In labor and hardship; in watchings often; in hunger and thirst; in fastings often; in cold and nakedness --
28 Apart from the things which have not been mentioned, there is this: the crowd of cares pressing upon me daily, the anxious concern for all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is stumbled, and I myself do not burn?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things of my weakness.
31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
32 In Damascus, the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me;
33 And in a basket I was lowered through a window, through the wall, and escaped his hands.