Greetings from Paul
1This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.
I am writing to God’s church in Corinth and to all of his holy people throughout Greece.*1:1 Greek Achaia, the southern region of the Greek peninsula.
2May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
God Offers Comfort to All
3All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
8We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters,*1:8 Greek brothers. about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
Paul’s Change of Plans
12We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness*1:12 Some manuscripts read honesty. and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you. 13Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can’t understand. I hope someday you will fully understand us, 14even if you don’t understand us now. Then on the day when the Lord Jesus*1:14 Some manuscripts read our Lord Jesus. returns, you will be proud of us in the same way we are proud of you.
15Since I was so sure of your understanding and trust, I wanted to give you a double blessing by visiting you twice— 16first on my way to Macedonia and again when I returned from Macedonia.*1:16 Macedonia was in the northern region of Greece. Then you could send me on my way to Judea.
17You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? 18As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” 19For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas,*1:19 Greek Silvanus. Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says. 20For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.
21It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, 22and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.
23Now I call upon God as my witness that I am telling the truth. The reason I didn’t return to Corinth was to spare you from a severe rebuke. 24But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.