1 So you, my son, must keep renewing your strength in the spiritual blessing that comes through union with Christ Jesus. 2 The things you learned from me before many witnesses you must commit to trustworthy men who will be competent to teach others too.
3 Take your share of hardships like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier ever allows himself to be involved in the business affairs of life, so that he may please the officer who enlisted him. 5 No contestant in the games is crowned, unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The toiling farmer ought to be the first to share the crop. 7 Keep on thinking about what I am saying, for the Lord will grant you understanding of it in all its phases.
8 Continue to remember Jesus Christ as risen from the dead, and descended from David, in accordance with the good news that I preach, 9 for the sake of which I am suffering hardships even to the extent of wearing chains as though I were a criminal. But God's message is not in chains. 10 For this reason I am bearing anything for the sake of His chosen people, so that they too may obtain the salvation that comes through Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. 11 This message is to be trusted: "If we indeed have died with Him, we will live with Him too. 12 "If we patiently endure, we will reign with Him too. If we disown Him, He will disown us too. 13 If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful, for He cannot prove false to Himself."
14 Keep on reminding men of these things. Solemnly charge them before God to stop petty debating, which does no good at all but brings destruction on those who hear it. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God an approved workman who has nothing to be ashamed of, who properly presents the message of truth. 16 Continue shunning worldly, futile phrases, for they lead on to greater depths of godlessness, 17 and their message will spread like a cancer; men like Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have missed the truth by saying that the resurrection has already taken place, are undermining some people's faith. 19 But God's foundation stands unshaken, with these inscriptions: "The Lord knows the people who belong to Him" and "Everyone who bears the name of the Lord must abstain from evil."
20 In any great house there are not only gold and silver articles but also wooden utensils, some for honorable uses and some for lowly uses. 21 So if a man will cleanse himself from these things, he will be an instrument for honorable uses, consecrated, useful for the Master, and ready for any good service.
22 You must keep on fleeing from the evil impulses of youth, but ever strive for uprightness, faith, love, and peace, in association with those who call upon the Lord with pure hearts. 23 Always avoid foolish discussions with ignorant men, for you know that they breed quarrels, 24 and a slave of the Lord must not quarrel but must be gentle to everybody; he must be a skillful teacher, and not resentful under injuries. 25 With gentleness he must correct his opponents, for God might grant them repentance that would lead them to a full knowledge of the truth, 26 and they might recover their senses and escape from the devil's trap in which they have been caught by him to do his will.