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It is fair to say that Paul never got over the fact that he violently persecuted the church. Even though his rampage against the first followers of Jesus had ended over 20 years earlier, he still grieved because of what he had done. But when Paul was older, he was moved to celebration and praise because God’s mercy is always greater than sin. The Lord Jesus called Paul in the midst of his campaign against Him so that he became a public display of Jesus’ patient love. So, if we think somehow we are too far from God’s mercy, then we should think again.

18 Timothy, my dear child, I am placing before you a charge for the mission ahead. It is in total agreement with the prophecies once spoken over you. Here it is: with God’s message stirring and directing you, fight the good fight, 19 armed with faith and a good conscience. Some have tried to silence their consciences, wrecking their lives and ruining their faiths.

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Paul asks this young leader to shepherd a divided congregation through one problem after another. He points to a time when Jesus will arrive to set this world straight.

12 Fight the good fight of the faith! Cling to the eternal life you were called to when you confessed the good confession before witnesses.

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Reject worldly fables. Refuse old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself toward godliness.

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