1 Do you, then, my Child, find strength in the help which comes from the union with Christ Jesus; 2 and what you learnt from me, in the presence of many listeners, entrust to reliable men, who will be able in their turn to teach others.
3 Share hardships with me, as a true soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 A soldier on active service, to please his superior officer, always avoids entangling himself in the affairs of ordinary life. 5 No athlete is ever awarded the wreath of victory unless he has kept the rules. 6 The labourer who does the work should be the first to receive a share of the fruits of the earth. 7 Reflect upon what I say; the Lord will always help you to understand.
8 Keep before your mind Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David, as told in the Good News entrusted to me; 9 in the service of which I am suffering hardships, even to being put in fetters as a criminal. But the Message of God is not fettered; 10 and that is why I submit to anything for the sake of God's People, that they also may obtain the Salvation which comes from union with Christ Jesus, and imperishable glory. 11 How true this saying is-- 'If we have shared his death, we shall also share his life. 12 If we continue to endure, we shall also share his throne. If we should ever disown him, he, too, will disown us. 13 If we lose our trust, he is still to be trusted, for he cannot be false to himself!'
14 Remind people of all this; urge them solemnly, as in the sight of God, to avoid controversy, a useless thing and the ruin of those who listen to it. 15 Do your utmost to show yourself true to God, a workman with no reason to be ashamed, accurate in delivering the Message of the Truth. 16 Avoid profane prattle. Those who indulge in it only get deeper into irreligious ways, 17 and their teaching will spread like a cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are instances of this. 18 They have gone completely astray as regards the Truth; they say that a resurrection has already taken place, and so upset some people's faith. 19 Yet God's firm foundation still stands unmoved, and it bears this inscription-- 'THE LORD KNOWS THOSE WHO ARE HIS'; and this-- 'LET ALL THOSE WHO USE THE NAME OF THE LORD TURN AWAY FROM WICKEDNESS.'
20 Now in a large house there are not only things of gold and silver, but also others of wood and earthenware, some for better and some for common use. 21 If, then, a man has escaped from the pollution of such errors as I have mentioned, he will be like a thing kept for better use, set apart, serviceable to its owner, ready for any good purpose.
22 Flee from the passions of youth, but pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, in the company of those who, with a pure heart, invoke the Lord. 23 Shun foolish and ignorant discussions, for you know that they only breed quarrels; 24 and a Servant of the Lord should never quarrel. He ought, on the contrary, to be courteous to every one, a skillful teacher, and forbearing. 25 He should instruct his opponents in a gentle spirit; for, possibly, God may give them a repentance that will lead to a fuller knowledge of Truth, 26 and they may yet come to a sober mind, and escape from the snares of the Devil, when captured by the Lord's Servant to do the will of God.