1 TAKE strength, my son, from the grace of God which is ours in Christ Jesus. 2You heard my teaching in the presence of many witnesses; hand on that teaching to reliable men who in turn will be qualified to teach others.
3Take your share of hardship, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4A soldier on active service must not let himself be involved in the affairs of everyday life if he is to give satisfaction to his commanding officer. 5Again, no athlete wins a prize unless he abides by the rules. 6The farmer who does the work has first claim on the crop. 7Reflect on what I am saying, and the Lord will help you to full understanding.
8Remember the theme of my gospel: Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, born of David's line. 9For preaching this I am exposed to hardship, even to the point of being fettered like a criminal; but the word of God is not fettered. 10All this I endure for the sake of God's chosen ones, in the hope that they too may attain the glorious and eternal salvation which is in Christ Jesus.
11Here is a saying you may trust: If we died with him, we shall live with him; 12if we endure, we shall reign with him; if we disown him, he will disown us; 13if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
14Keep on reminding people of this, and charge them solemnly before God to stop disputing about mere words; it does no good, and only ruins those who listen. 15Try hard to show yourself worthy of God's approval, as a worker with no cause for shame; keep strictly to the true gospel, 16avoiding empty and irreligious chatter; those who indulge in it will stray farther and farther into godless ways, 17and the infection of their teaching will spread like gangrene. Such are Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18in saying that our resurrection has already taken place they are wide of the truth and undermine people's faith. 19But God has laid a foundation-stone, and it stands firm, bearing this inscription: ‘The Lord knows his own’ and ‘Everyone who takes the Lord's name upon his lips must forsake wickedness.’ 20Now in any great house there are not only utensils of gold and silver, but also others of wood or earthenware; the former are valued, the latter held cheap. 21Anyone who cleanses himself from all this wickedness will be a vessel valued and dedicated, a thing useful to the master of the house, and fit for any honourable purpose.
22Turn from the wayward passions of youth, and pursue justice, integrity, love, and peace together with all who worship the Lord in singleness of mind; 23have nothing to do with foolish and wild speculations. You know they breed quarrels, 24and a servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome; he must be kindly towards all. He should be a good teacher, tolerant, 25and gentle when he must discipline those who oppose him. God may then grant them a change of heart and lead them to recognize the truth; 26thus they may come to their senses and escape from the devil's snare in which they have been trapped and held at his will a 2:26 trapped … will: or trapped, and be made subject to God's will. .
a 2:26 trapped … will: or trapped, and be made subject to God's will.