A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus
2 You then, wmy child, xbe strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and ywhat you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses zentrust to faithful men,1 awho will be able to teach others also. 3 bShare in suffering as ca good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier dgets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 eAn athlete is not fcrowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is gthe hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, hrisen from the dead, the ioffspring of David, jas preached in my gospel, 9 kfor which I am suffering, lbound with chains as a criminal. But mthe word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore nI endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain othe salvation that is in Christ Jesus with peternal glory. 11 The saying is qtrustworthy, for:
12 tif we endure, we will also reign with him;
uif we deny him, he also will deny us;
for xhe cannot deny himself.
A Worker Approved by God
14 Remind them of these things, and ycharge them before God2 znot to quarrel about words, awhich does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,3 a worker bwho has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But cavoid dirreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are eHymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, fsaying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: g“The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone hwho names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
20 Now in ia great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, jsome for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, kif anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable,4 he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, lready for every good work.
22 So mflee nyouthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with othose who call on the Lord pfrom a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant qcontroversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And rthe Lord's servant5 must not be quarrelsome but skind to everyone, table to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents uwith gentleness. God vmay perhaps grant them repentance wleading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from xthe snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Godlessness in the Last Days
3 But understand this, that yin the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be zlovers of self, alovers of money, bproud, barrogant, abusive, bdisobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 cheartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, dnot loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, eswollen with conceit, flovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but gdenying its power. hAvoid such people. 6 For among them are ithose who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to jarrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as kJannes and Jambres lopposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, mmen corrupted in mind and ndisqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, oas was that of those two men.
All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God
10 pYou, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me qat Antioch, rat Iconium, and sat Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet tfrom them all uthe Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to vlive a godly life in Christ Jesus wwill be persecuted, 13 while xevil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and ybeing deceived. 14 But as for you, zcontinue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom1 you learned it 15 and how afrom childhood you have been acquainted with bthe sacred writings, cwhich are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 dAll Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that ethe man of God2 may be complete, fequipped gfor every good work.
Preach the Word
4 hI charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, iwho is to judge the living and the dead, and by jhis appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; kreprove, rebuke, and lexhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 mFor the time is coming when people will not endure nsound1 teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and owill turn away from listening to the truth and pwander off into myths. 5 As for you, qalways be sober-minded, rendure suffering, do the work of san evangelist, tfulfill your ministry.
6 For uI am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my vdeparture has come. 7 wI have fought the good fight, xI have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is ylaid up for me zthe crown of righteousness, which the Lord, athe righteous judge, will award to me on bthat day, and not only to me but also to all cwho have loved his appearing.
9 dDo your best to come to me soon. 10 For eDemas, fin love with gthis present world, hhas deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia,2 iTitus to Dalmatia. 11 hLuke alone is with me. Get jMark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 kTychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 lAlexander the coppersmith did me great harm; mthe Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. nMay it not be charged against them! 17 But othe Lord stood by me and pstrengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and qall the Gentiles might hear it. So rI was rescued sfrom the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. tTo him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
19 Greet uPrisca and Aquila, and vthe household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left wTrophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. 21 xDo your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers.3
1 Paul, a servant1 of God and aan apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and btheir knowledge of the truth, cwhich accords with godliness, 2 din hope of eternal life, which God, ewho never lies, fpromised gbefore the ages began2 3 and hat the proper time manifested in his word3 ithrough the preaching jwith which I have been entrusted kby the command of God our Savior;
nGrace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Qualifications for Elders
5 oThis is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and pappoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 qif anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife,4 and his children are believers5 and not open to the charge of rdebauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer,6 sas God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not tbe arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent uor greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, vand disciplined. 9 He must whold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in xsound7 doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
10 For there are many who are insubordinate, yempty talkers and deceivers, especially those of zthe circumcision party.8 11 They must be silenced, since athey are upsetting whole families by teaching bfor shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 cOne of the Cretans,9 a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”10 13 This testimony is true. Therefore drebuke them esharply, that they fmay be sound in the faith, 14 gnot devoting themselves to Jewish myths and hthe commands of people iwho turn away from the truth. 15 jTo the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and kunbelieving, nothing is pure; but both ltheir minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 mThey profess to know God, but they ndeny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, ounfit for any good work.
Teach Sound Doctrine
2 But as for you, teach what accords with psound1 doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, psound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 qOlder women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, rnot slanderers sor slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, tpure, uworking at home, kind, and vsubmissive to their own husbands, wthat the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge xthe younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be ya model of good works, and in your teaching zshow integrity, adignity, 8 and bsound speech that cannot be condemned, cso that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9 dBondservants2 are to be submissive to their own masters ein everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, fbut showing all good faith, gso that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
11 For hthe grace of God ihas appeared, bringing salvation jfor all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and kworldly passions, and lto live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in mthe present age, 13 nwaiting for our blessed ohope, the pappearing of the glory of our great qGod and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 rwho gave himself for us to sredeem us from all lawlessness and tto purify for himself ta people for his own possession who are uzealous for good works.