He is forced to commend himself and his labours, lest the Corinthians should be imposed upon by the false apostles.
OULD to God you could bear with some little of my folly! But do bear with me.
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I fear lest, as the serpent seduced Eve by his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted and fall from the simplicity that is in Christ.
For if he that cometh preacheth another Christ, whom we have not preached; or if you receive another Spirit, whom you have not received; or another gospel, which you have not received: you might well bear with him.
For I suppose that I have done nothing less than the great apostles.
For although I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge: but in all things we have been made manifest to you.
Or did I commit a fault, humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached unto you the Gospel of God freely?
I have taken from other churches, receiving wages of them for your ministry.
And, when I was present with you and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was wanting to me, the brethren supplied who came from Macedonia. And in all things I have kept myself from being burthensome to you: and so I will keep myself.
The truth of Christ is in me, that this glorying shall not be broken off in me in the regions of Achaia.
Wherefore? Because I love you not? God knoweth it.
But what I do, that I will do: that I may cut off the occasion from them that desire occasion: that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
For such false apostles are deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
And no wonder: for Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers be transformed as the ministers of justice, whose end shall be according to their works.
I say again (Let no man think me to be foolish: otherwise take me as one foolish, that I also may glory a little):
That which I speak, I speak not according to God: but as it were in foolishness, in this matter of glorying.
Seeing that many glory according to the flesh, I will glory also.
For you gladly suffer the foolish: whereas yourselves are wise.
For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strike you on the face.
I seek according to dishonour, as if we had been weak in this part. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I dare also.
They are Hebrews: so am I. They are Israelites: so am I. They are the seed of Abraham: so am I.
They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise): I am more; in many more labours, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often.
Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes save one.
Thrice was I beaten with rods: once I was stoned: thrice I suffered shipwreck: a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea.
In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren:
In labour and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness:
Besides those things which are without: my daily instance, the solicitude for all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalized, and I am not on fire?
If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity.
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for ever, knoweth that I lie not.
At Damascus, the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes, to apprehend me.
And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall: and so escaped his hands.