This will be the third time I have been on my way to see you. Every question, we read, must be settled by the voice of two or of three witnesses. I give you now, still absent, the warning of my second visit; I have told you before, and tell you now, both those who have sinned already and all the rest of you, that I will show no leniency next time I come. Must you have proof that it is Christ who speaks through me? In him at least you will find no weakness; he still exerts his power among you. Weakness brought him to the cross, but the power of God brought him life; and though it is in our weakness that we are united to him, you will find us too, as he is, alive with God's power. It is your own selves you should be testing, to make sure you are still true to your faith; it is your own selves you must put to the proof. Surely your own conscience will tell you that Christ is alive in you, unless, somehow, you fail at the test; I think you will recognize that we have not failed at ours. When we pray God to keep you from wrong, it is not that we wish to prove successful; our desire is that you should do what is right, even though we seem to have failed. The powers we have are used in support of the truths not against it; and we are best pleased when we have no power against you, and you are powerful yourselves. That is what we pray for, your perfection. I write this in absence, in the hope that, when I come, I may not have to deal severely with you, in the exercise of that authority which the Lord has given me to build up your faith, not to crush your spirits.
Finally, brethren, we wish you all joy. Perfect your lives, listen to the appeal we make, think the same thoughts, keep peace among yourselves; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with the kiss of saints. All the saints send you their greeting. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the imparting of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.