2 As for you, my child, be strong by the grace that is in the Messiah[a] Jesus. 2 What you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. 3 Join me in suffering like a good soldier of the Messiah[b] Jesus. 4 No one serving in the military gets mixed up in civilian matters, for his aim is to please his commanding officer. 5 Moreover, no one who is an athlete wins a prize unless he competes according to the rules. 6 Furthermore, it is the hard working farmer who should have the first share of the crops. 7 Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you to understand all these things.
8 Meditate on[c] Jesus, the Messiah,[d] who was raised from the dead and is a descendant of David. This is the gospel I tell others.[e]9 Because of it I am experiencing trouble, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. However, God’s word is not chained. 10 For that reason, I endure everything for the sake of those who have been chosen so that they, too, may receive the salvation that is in the Messiah[f] Jesus, along with eternal glory. 11 This saying is trustworthy:[g]
In dying with the Messiah,[h] true life we gain.[i] 12 Enduring, we with him will reign. Who him denies, he will disclaim. 13 Our faith may fail, his never wanes— That’s who he is, he cannot change![j]
14 Remind others about these things, and warn them before God[k] not to argue over words. Arguing[l] does not do any good but only destroys those who are listening. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as an approved worker who has nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of truth with precision. 16 However, avoid pointless discussions. For people will become more and more ungodly, 17 and what they say will spread everywhere like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are like that. 18 They have abandoned the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place, and so they destroy the faith of others.
19 However, God’s solid foundation still stands. It has this inscription on it: “The Lord[m] knows those who belong to him,”[n] and “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord[o] must turn away from evil.”[p]20 In a large house there are not only utensils made of gold and silver, but also those made of wood and clay. Some are for special use, while others are for ordinary use. 21 Therefore, if anyone stops associating with[q] these people, he will become a special utensil, set apart for the owner’s use, prepared for every good action.
22 Flee from youthful passions. Instead, pursue righteousness, faithfulness,[r] love, and peace together with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart. 23 Do not have anything to do with foolish and stupid discussions, because you know they breed arguments. 24 A servant[s] of the Lord must not argue. Instead, he must be kind to everyone, teachable,[t] willing to suffer wrong, 25 and gentle when refuting opponents. After all, maybe God will allow them to repent and to come to a full knowledge of the truth, 26 so that they might escape from the Devil’s snare, even though they’ve been held captive by him to do his will.
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