1 So you, my son, must find strength in the blessing that comes through Christ Jesus. 2 The things you learned from me before many witnesses you must commit to trustworthy men who will be capable of teaching others.
3 Share my hardships like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 Anyone who is in the army keeps from being involved in business affairs, so as to please the officer who enlisted him. 5 No one who competes in the games is awarded a crown unless he obeys the rules. 6 The farmer who does the work ought to be the first to have some of the produce. 7 Think over what I say. For the Lord will help you to understand it perfectly.
8 Remember Jesus Christ as risen from the dead, and descended from David, as I preach the good news, 9 for the sake of which I even suffer imprisonment as a criminal. But God's message is not imprisoned! 10 For that reason I am ready to submit to anything for the sake of those whom God has chosen, so that they too may gain the salvation that comes through Christ Jesus and brings eternal glory. 11 How true those words are! "If we have died with him, we will live with him! 12 If we endure, we will reign with him! If we disown him, he will also disown us! 13 If we are unfaithful, he will remain faithful, for he cannot be false to himself!"
14 Remind men of these things. Charge them before God to avoid idle arguments which do no one any good and only bring destruction on those who listen to them. 15 Do your best to win God's approval as a workman who has nothing to be ashamed of, but rightly shapes the message of truth. 16 Leave worldly, empty phrases alone, for they lead people deeper and deeper into godlessness, 17 and their teaching spreads like a cancer; men like Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have missed the truth and say that the resurrection has taken place already, thus undermining people's faith. 19 Yet God's solid foundation stands unshaken, bearing this inscription, "The Lord knows those who belong to him," and "Everyone who uses the name of the Lord must give up evil."
20 In any large house there are not only gold and silver dishes but also wooden and earthen ones, some for great occasions and some for ordinary use. 21 So if a man will cleanse himself from these things, he will be put to great uses, consecrated and used by the master of the house himself, and ready for any good use.
22 Fly from the cravings of youth, and go in pursuit of uprightness, faith, love, and peace, in company with those who call upon the Lord with pure hearts. 23 Avoid foolish, crude speculations; you know they only lead to quarrels, 24 and a slave of the Lord must not quarrel, but treat everyone kindly; he must be persuasive and unresentful, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness; for God may possibly let them repent and acknowledge the truth, 26 and they may yet return to their senses and escape from the toils of the devil, who has caught them to make them do his will.