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For it is not the person who commends himself who is approved, but the person the Lord commends.
But if I build up again those things I once destroyed, 1 I demonstrate that I am one who breaks God’s law. 2
He himself is before all things and all things are held together 1 in him.
Now I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant 1 of the church in Cenchrea,
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? We don’t need letters of recommendation to you or from you as some other people do, do we? 1
But as God’s servants, 1 we have commended ourselves in every way, 2 with great endurance, in persecutions, 3 in difficulties, in distresses,
But if our unrighteousness demonstrates 1 the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is he? 2 (I am speaking in human terms.) 3
But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We are not trying to commend 1 ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, 2 so that you may be able to answer those who take pride 3 in outward appearance 4 and not in what is in the heart.
I have become a fool. You yourselves forced me to do it, for I should have been commended by you. For I lack nothing in comparison 1 to those “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing.
For they deliberately suppress this fact, 1 that by the word of God 2 heavens existed long ago and an earth 3 was formed out of water and by means of water.
Now Peter and those with him were quite sleepy, 1 but as they became fully awake, 2 they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
But we have rejected 1 shameful hidden deeds, 2 not behaving 3 with deceptiveness 4 or distorting the word of God, but by open proclamation of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience before God.
For see what this very thing, this sadness 1 as God intended, has produced in you: what eagerness, what defense of yourselves, 2 what indignation, 3 what alarm, what longing, what deep concern, 4 what punishment! 5 In everything you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.
For we would not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who recommend themselves. But when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. 1