Paul is caught up to the third heaven—The Lord gives men weaknesses that they may triumph over them—Paul manifests the signs of an Apostle.
1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to aglory. I will come to bvisions and crevelations of the Lord.
2 aI knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the bbody, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the cthird dheaven.
3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
4 How that he was caught up into aparadise, and heard bunspeakable words, which it is cnot dlawful for a man to utter.
5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not aglory, but in mine infirmities.
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7 And lest I should be aexalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a bthorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My agrace is sufficient for thee: for my bstrength is made perfect in cweakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may drest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in ainfirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in bpersecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am cweak, then am I dstrong.
11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very achiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
12 Truly the asigns of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not aburdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I aseek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
16 But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.
17 Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?
18 I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?
19 Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your aedifying.
20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, astrifes, bbackbitings, whisperings, swellings, ctumults:
21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.