1 All those people who are under the reins of slavery [i.e., in subjection to someone] should consider their own masters as deserving of full respect, so that God's name and [His] teaching will not be spoken against [i.e., by unbelievers]. 2 And those slaves who have believing masters should not despise them, since they are [Christian] brothers, but rather they should serve them all the more [faithfully]. For those [masters] who benefit from their service are believers and dearly loved [by them and God]. Teach and exhort people regarding these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine [i.e., from what has been urged above], and does not agree to [proclaim the] sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and to teaching that is godly [i.e., in harmony with godliness], 4 that person is conceited. He does not understand anything, but has an unhealthy concern for controversy and arguments over words, which produce envy, dissension, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5 [and] continual wranglings between people with corrupt minds, who are deprived of the truth. They think that [professing] godliness is a way to obtain [financial] gain. 6 But godliness [itself] is great gain, [when it is] accompanied by contentment.
7 For we did not bring anything into the world, and we cannot take anything out of it either. 8 But if we have [enough] food and clothing, we will [i.e., should] be content with that.
9 But those people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and [spiritual] destruction. 10 For, loving money is a source of all kinds of evil, [and] some people who crave it have been led astray from the faith, and have stabbed themselves [in the heart] with many sorrows.
11 But you, man of God, run from these things [See verses 3-10], and pursue right living and godliness, having faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good battle of the faith; take hold of never ending life, to which you were called [i.e., by the Gospel. See II Thess. 2:14], [when] you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. [Note: This "confession" probably refers to a person's acknowledgment of Jesus as Lord and Christ prior to his immersion. See Acts 2:36; Rom. 10:9-10].
13 I [solemnly] urge you in the presence of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who made the good confession when He testified in front of Pontius Pilate [See John 18:37; Matt. 27:17], 14 to obey this command without [moral] blemish or blame. [Note: This "command" probably refers to Timothy's responsibility to fulfill his ministry. See verses 11-12; II Tim. 4:1-2]. [Do this] until our Lord Jesus Christ returns, 15 which God will bring about in its [or, "His"] own time. [For] He is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. 16 He alone possesses immortality [Note: That is, only God possesses an eternal existence, with neither beginning nor ending. See John 5:26], and lives in unapproachable light. No one has seen Him, or can see Him. May there be honor and never ending power to Him. May it be so.
17 [Solemnly] urge those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant, nor to place their hope in the uncertainty of [their] wealth, but in God, who generously supplies us with everything to enjoy. 18 [Urge them] to do what is good, to be rich in [the practice of] good deeds, to be generous and willing to share [with others]. 19 [In that way] they will store up for themselves a treasure [of never ending rewards] for providing a solid foundation for the future, so that they can take hold of the true life [i.e., in heaven].
20 [So], Timothy, guard [the Gospel message] which has been entrusted to you, while avoiding worldly, empty chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called "knowledge," 21 which some people have claimed [to have], and in doing so have strayed from the faith. May [God's] unearned favor be upon you.