Section 8, Chapter 13
His raptures and revelations, His being buffeted by Satan. His fear for the Corinthians.
12:1. If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed) but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
12:2. I know a man in Christ: above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not: God knoweth), such a one caught up to the third heaven.
12:3. And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I know not: God knoweth):
12:4. That he was caught up into paradise and heard secret words which it is not granted to man to utter.
12:5. For such an one I will glory: but for myself I will glory nothing but in my infirmities.
12:6. For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish: for I will say the truth. But I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth in me, or any thing he heareth from me.
12:7. And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me.
12:8. For which thing, thrice I besought the Lord that it might depart from me.
12:9. And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Power is made perfect. . .The strength and power of God more perfectly shines forth in our weakness and infirmity; as the more weak we are of ourselves, the more illustrious is his grace in supporting us, and giving us the victory under all trials and conflicts.
12:10. For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am weak, then am I powerful.
12:11. I am become foolish. You have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended by you. For I have no way come short of them that are above measure apostles, although I be nothing.
12:12. Yet the signs of my apostleship have been wrought on you, in all patience, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.
12:13. For what is there that you have had less than the other churches but that I myself was not burthensome to you? Pardon me this injury.
12:14. Behold now the third time I am ready to come to you and I will not be burthensome unto you. For I seek not the things that are yours, but you. For neither ought the children to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
12:15. But I most gladly will spend and be spent myself for your souls: although loving you more, I be loved less.
12:16. But be it so: I did not burthen you: but being crafty, I caught you by guile.
12:17. Did I overreach you by any of them whom I sent to you?
12:18. I desired Titus: and I sent with him a brother. Did Titus overreach you? Did we not walk with the same spirit? Did we not in the same steps?
12:19. Of old, think you that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ: but all things, my dearly beloved, for your edification.
12:20. For I fear lest perhaps, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found by you such as you would not. Lest perhaps contentions, envyings, animosities, dissensions, detractions, whisperings, swellings, seditions, be among you.
12:21. Lest again, when I come, God humble me among you: and I mourn many of them that sinned before and have not done penance for the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness that they have committed.