1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: 2Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. 8For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 10Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; 11Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
12For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 13For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; 14As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.
15And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit; 16And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea. 17When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay? 18But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. 19For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. 20For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 21Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 23Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. 24Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I am an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned. Timothy our brother joins me in writing.
We are sending this letter to you, the members of God’s church in Corinth. It is also for all God’s holy people everywhere in Achaia.
2May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Praise to the God Who Gives Comfort
3Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Father who gives tender love. All comfort comes from him. 4He comforts us in all our troubles. Now we can comfort others when they are in trouble. We ourselves receive comfort from God. 5We share very much in the sufferings of Christ. So we also share very much in his comfort. 6If we are having trouble, it is so that you will be comforted and renewed. If we are comforted, it is so that you will be comforted. Then you will be able to put up with the same suffering we have gone through. 7Our hope for you remains firm. We know that you suffer just as we do. In the same way, God comforts you just as he comforts us.
8Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the hard times we had in Asia Minor. We were having a lot of trouble. It was far more than we could stand. We even thought we were going to die. 9In fact, we felt as if we were under the sentence of death. But that happened so that we would not depend on ourselves but on God. He raises the dead to life. 10God has saved us from deadly dangers. And he will continue to do it. We have put our hope in him. He will continue to save us. 11You must help us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because of what will happen to us. They will thank God for his kindness to us in answer to the prayers of many.
Paul Changes His Plans
12Here is what we take pride in. Our sense of what is right and wrong tells us how we have acted. We have lived with honor and godly honesty. We have depended on God’s grace and not on the world’s wisdom. We lived that way most of all when we were dealing with you. 13We are writing only what you can read and understand. And here is what I hope. 14Up to this point you have understood some of the things we have said. But now here is what I hope for when the Lord Jesus returns. I hope that your pride in us will be the same as our pride in you. When this happens, you will understand us completely.
15Because I was sure of this, I wanted to visit you first. Here is how I thought you would be helped twice. 16I planned to visit you on my way to Macedonia. I would have come back to you from there. Then you would have sent me on my way to Judea. 17When I planned all this, was I ready to change my mind for no good reason? No. I don’t make my plans the way the world makes theirs. In the same breath the world says both, “Yes! Yes!” and “No! No!”
18But just as sure as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” 19Silas, Timothy and I preached to you about the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Our message did not say “Yes” and “No” at the same time. The message of Christ has always been “Yes.” 20God has made a great many promises. They are all “Yes” because of what Christ has done. So through Christ we say “Amen.” We want God to receive glory. 21He makes both us and you remain strong in the faith because we belong to Christ. He anointed us. 22He put his Spirit in our hearts and marked us as his own. We can now be sure that he will give us everything he promised us.
23I call God to be my witness. May he take my life if I’m lying. I wanted to spare you, so I didn’t return to Corinth. 24Your faith is not under our control. You remain strong in your own faith. But we work together with you for your joy.