Grace to Overcome
2 Timothy, my dear son,[a] live your life empowered by God’s free-flowing grace, which is your true strength, found in the anointing of Jesus and your union with him! 2 And all that you’ve learned from me, confirmed by the integrity of my life,[b] pass on to faithful leaders who are competent to teach the congregations the same revelation.
3 Overcome every form of evil[c] as a victorious soldier of Jesus the Anointed One. 4 For every soldier called to active duty must divorce himself from the distractions of this world so that he may fully satisfy the one who chose him.
5 An athlete who doesn’t play by the rules will never receive the trophy, so remain faithful to God![d]
6 The farmer who labors to produce a crop should be the first one to be fed from its harvest.
7 Carefully consider all that I’ve taught you, and may our Lord inspire you with wisdom and revelation in everything you say and do. 8 But make Jesus, the Anointed One, your focus in life and ministry. For he came to earth as the descendant of David and rose from the dead, according to the revelation of the gospel that God has given me. 9 This is the reason I am persecuted and imprisoned by evildoers,[e] enduring the suffering of these chains—but the Word of God can never be chained! 10 I endure all these hardships for the benefit of the chosen ones[f] in Christ so that they may also discover the overcoming life that is in Jesus Christ, and experience a glory that lasts forever!
11 You can trust these words:
If we were joined with him in his death, then we are joined with him in his life! 12 If we are joined with him in his sufferings,[g] then we will reign together with him in his triumph. But if we disregard him, then he will also disregard us. 13 But even if we are faithless, he will still be full of faith, for he never wavers in his faithfulness to us![h]
14 Be committed to teach the believers all these things when you are with them in the presence of the Lord. Instruct them to never be drawn into meaningless arguments, or tear each other down with useless words that only harm others.
15 Always be eager[i] to present yourself before God as a perfect and mature minister, without shame, as one who correctly explains the Word of Truth.
Avoid False Teachings
16 And avoid empty chatter and worthless words,[j] for they simply add to the irreverence of those who converse in that manner. 17 For the words of Hymenaeus[k] and Philetus are like gangrene, they have already spread their poison to many. 18 They are lost to the truth and teach gross error when they teach that the resurrection of the dead has already passed.[l] They are guilty of subverting[m] the faith of some believers.
19 But the firm[n] foundation of God has written upon it these two inscriptions: “The Lord God recognizes those who are truly his!”[o] and, “Everyone who worships the name of the Lord Jesus[p] must forsake wickedness!”[q]
Be a Pure Container of Christ
20 In a palace you find many kinds of containers and tableware for many different uses. Some are beautifully inlaid with gold or silver, but some are made of wood or earthenware; some of them are used for banquets and special occasions, and some for everyday use. 21 But you, Timothy, must not see your life and ministry this way. Your life and ministry must not be disgraced, for you are to be a pure container of Christ and dedicated to the honorable purposes of your Master, prepared[r] for every good work that he gives you to do.
22 Run as fast as you can from all the ambitions and lusts[s] of youth; and chase after all that is pure. Whatever builds up your faith and deepens your love must become your holy pursuit. And live in peace with all those who worship our Lord Jesus with pure hearts.
23 Stay away from all the foolish arguments of the immature, for these disputes will only generate more conflict. 24 For a true servant of our Lord Jesus will not be argumentative[t] but gentle toward all and skilled in helping others see the truth, having great patience toward the immature. 25 Then with meekness you’ll be able to carefully enlighten those who argue with you so they can see God’s gracious gift of repentance and be brought to the truth. 26 This will cause them to rediscover themselves[u] and escape from the snare of Satan who caught them in his trap so that they would carry out his purposes.