1So you, my son, be strong [constantly strengthened] and empowered in the grace that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus. 2 The things [the doctrine, the precepts, the admonitions, the sum of my ministry] which you have heard me teach in the presence of many witnesses, entrust [as a treasure] to reliable and faithful men who will also be capable and qualified to teach others. 3 Take with me your share of hardship [passing through the difficulties which you are called to endure], like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier in active service gets entangled in the [ordinary business] affairs of civilian life; [he avoids them] so that he may please the one who enlisted him to serve. 5 And if anyone competes as an athlete [in competitive games], he is not crowned [with the wreath of victory] unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hard-working farmer [who labors to produce crops] ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. 7 Think over the things I am saying [grasp their application], for the Lord will grant you insight and understanding in everything.
8 Remember Jesus Christ [the ever-living Lord who has] risen from the dead, [as the prophesied King] descended from David [king of Israel], according to my gospel [the good news that I preach], 9 for that [gospel] I am suffering even to [the point of] wearing chains like a criminal; but the word of God is not chained or imprisoned! 10 For this reason I [am ready to] patiently endure all things for the sake of those who are the elect (God’s chosen ones), so that they too may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it the reward of eternal glory. 11 This is a faithful and trustworthy saying:
If we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He will also deny us;
If we are faithless, He remains faithful [true to His word and His righteous character], for He cannot deny Himself.
An Unashamed Workman
14 Remind the people of these facts, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God to avoid petty controversy over words, which does no good, and [upsets and undermines and] ruins [the faith of] those who listen. 15 Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth. 16 But avoid all irreverent babble and godless chatter [with its profane, empty words], for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their teaching will spread like gangrene. So it is with Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have deviated from the truth. They claim that the resurrection has already taken place, and they undermine the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God [which He has laid] stands [sure and unshaken despite attacks], bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord stand apart from wickedness and withdraw from wrongdoing.”
20 Now in a large house there are not only vessels and objects of gold and silver, but also vessels and objects of wood and of earthenware, and some are for honorable (noble, good) use and some for dishonorable (ignoble, common). 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things [which are dishonorable—disobedient, sinful], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified [set apart for a special purpose and], useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Run away from youthful lusts—pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those [believers] who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But have nothing to do with foolish and ignorant speculations [useless disputes over unedifying, stupid controversies], since you know that they produce strife and give birth to quarrels. 24 The servant of the Lord must not participate in quarrels, but must be kind to everyone [even-tempered, preserving peace, and he must be], skilled in teaching, patient and tolerant when wronged. 25 He must correct those who are in opposition with courtesy and gentleness in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and be led to the knowledge of the truth [accurately understanding and welcoming it], 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.