1 So, may you, my son, be strengthened through the unearned favor that comes from [your fellowship with] Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, you should pass on to trustworthy men who will be able to teach other people also.
3 [Be willing to] suffer hardship with me like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier on active duty, gets himself involved in the affairs of civilian life, so that he can please the person who enlisted him [i.e., his commanding officer]. 5 And if a person competes as an athlete, he is not awarded the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules. 6 [And] the farmer who works hard should be the first one to receive a share of the crops. 7 Consider what I am saying, for the Lord will help you to understand everything.
8 [In the face of trouble] remember Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, who was raised from the dead according to my Gospel, 9 for which I am suffering difficulty [here] in prison, as [though I were] a criminal. But God's message is not "in prison." 10 So, I endure everything for the elect's sake [i.e., God's people], so that they can obtain the salvation which comes through Christ Jesus, with [its] never ending splendor. 11 This saying is trustworthy: For if we have died with Christ [i.e., stopped the practice of sin, See Rom. 6:1-11], we will also live with Him [i.e., both here and hereafter]. 12 If we endure [i.e., remain faithful through suffering], we will also rule with Him [i.e., both here and hereafter]. If we deny Him, He will also deny us. [See Matt. 10:33]. 13 If we prove to be unfaithful [i.e., to our commitment to Christ], He [still] remains faithful [to His word], for He cannot deny Himself. [Note: This verse refers to Christ remaining true to His promise of either accepting or rejecting us. See Matt. 10:32-33].
14 Remind them [Note: This probably refers to the "trustworthy men" there at Ephesus. See 2:2] of these things [i.e., the truths just mentioned. Verses 8-13], solemnly urging them, in the presence of the Lord, not to argue over words, [for] it is useless and brings [only] ruin to those who listen to it. 15 Do your best to present yourself as a worker who is approved by God [and] does not have to be ashamed, [because you are] accurately handling [i.e., explaining] the message of truth. 16 But avoid worldly, empty chatter, for those who practice it will become more and more ungodly, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among these people are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have strayed from the truth [by] saying that the resurrection [from the dead] has already happened and are undermining the faith of some people. 19 However, the solid foundation of God stands firm. [Note: This probably refers to the church. See I Tim. 3:15]. It is sealed with these words [i.e., certifying God's ownership and a commitment to Him]: "The Lord knows those who are His people," [See Num. 16:5], and "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord should stop practicing wickedness." [See Isa. 36:13].
20 Now in a large house there are utensils made, not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay. And some are for honorable uses [i.e., for special occasions] and some are for common, ordinary use. 21 If a person rids himself of the common ones [i.e., the influences of evil people and qualities], he will be an instrument for [God's] honor, dedicated, suitable for use by the Master, [and] prepared for [doing] every good deed.
22 But run from the evil desires of youth and pursue [the practice of] right living, faith, love and peace, along with those people who call on the Lord [i.e., in prayer] from a pure heart. 23 But refuse [to participate in] foolish and stupid arguments, knowing that they produce quarreling. 24 For the Lord's slave must not quarrel, but be kind toward everyone, capable of teaching, [and] patient [with difficult people and situations]. 25 [He must] gently correct those people who oppose [him], in hope that God will give them [opportunity for] repentance, leading to a [full] knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from being trapped by the devil, who had captured them to do what he wanted.