1So then, my son, grow strong in the grace of Christ Jesus. 2Take what you heard me say in front of many witnesses and share it with those who are trustworthy, who then can teach others as well. 3Suffer together with me like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4A soldier on active duty doesn't get caught up in the business of everyday life. He wants to please the one who enlisted him. 5Similarly athletes who compete in the games don't win a prize if they don't keep to the rules. 6The farmer that does all the hard work should be the first to benefit from the crop. 7Think about what I'm telling you. The Lord will help you to understand all this.
8Focus your mind on Jesus Christ, a descendant of David, who was raised from the dead. This is my good news, 9and I'm suffering imprisonment because of it as if I were a criminal—but the word of God is not imprisoned. 10Despite all this I'm willing to keep on going for the sake of God's people#2:10. Literally, “the elect.” so that they may gain the salvation of Christ Jesus that is eternal glory. 11This is a trustworthy saying: “If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12if we keep going, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us. 13If we are not trustworthy, he is still trustworthy, for he cannot be untrue to himself.”
14This is what you should remind people about, telling them before God that they shouldn't have meaningless arguments over words. To do this only harms those who listen.
15Make sure you work hard so you can present yourself to God and gain his approval. Be a worker that doesn't need to be embarrassed, using the word of truth correctly. 16Avoid pointless chatter because people who do this are heading away from God. 17Their teachings are as destructive as gangrene that destroys healthy flesh. Hymenaeus and Philetus are like this. 18They have deviated from the truth by saying that the resurrection has already happened, which has ruined some people's trust in God.
19But God's solid, trustworthy foundation stone stands firm, with this inscription, “The Lord knows those who belong to him,” and “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord should stay away from all that is evil.” 20A stately home doesn't just have cups and bowls#2:20. Literally, “vessels” or “utensils.” There seems to be no good English equivalent for “home containers.” made of gold and silver. It also has ones made from wood and clay. Some are made for special use; others for more commonplace functions. 21So if you get rid of what is evil, you will become a cup or bowl that is holy and special, useful to the Lord, ready to do all that's good.
22Run away from anything that fires up the desires of youth. Run after what is right and trustworthy, run after love and peace along with those who are true and pure Christians. 23Avoid foolish and childish debates, for you know they only lead to fights. 24For the Lord's minister must not fight, but be kind to everyone, able to teach, patient, 25gently correcting opponents. Perhaps God may help them to come to repent and to understand the truth. 26In this way they may come to their senses and escape the devil's trap. For he has captured them and made them do whatever he wants.