1From Paul, who is an apostle of Jesus Christ by the command of God our savior and of Christ Jesus our hope.
2To Timothy, my true child in the faith.
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
Timothy’s purpose in Ephesus
3When I left for Macedonia, I asked you to stay behind in Ephesus so that you could instruct certain individuals not to spread wrong teaching. 4They shouldn’t pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. Their teaching only causes useless guessing games instead of faithfulness to God’s way of doing things. 5The goal of instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 6Because they missed this goal, some people have been distracted by talk that doesn’t mean anything. 7They want to be teachers of Law without understanding either what they are saying or what they are talking about with such confidence. 8Now we know that the Law is good if used appropriately. 9We understand this: the Law isn’t established for a righteous person but for people who live without laws and without obeying any authority. They are the ungodly and the sinners. They are people who are not spiritual, and nothing is sacred to them. They kill their fathers and mothers, and murder others. 10They are people who are sexually unfaithful, and people who have intercourse with the same sex. They are kidnappers,#Or slave dealers liars, individuals who give false testimonies in court, and those who do anything else that is opposed to sound teaching. 11Sound teaching agrees with the glorious gospel of the blessed God that has been trusted to me.
12I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength because he considered me faithful. So he appointed me to ministry 13even though I used to speak against him, attack his people, and I was proud. But I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and without faith. 14Our Lord’s favor poured all over me along with the faithfulness and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15This saying is reliable and deserves full acceptance: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"—and I’m the biggest sinner of all. 16But this is why I was shown mercy, so that Christ Jesus could show his endless patience to me first of all. So I’m an example for those who are going to believe in him for eternal life. 17Now to the king of the ages, to the immortal, invisible, and only God, may honor and glory be given to him forever and always! Amen.
Importance of faith and a good conscience
18Timothy, my child, I’m giving you these instructions based on the prophecies that were once made about you. So if you follow them, you can wage a good war 19because you have faith and a good conscience. Some people have ruined their faith because they refused to listen to their conscience, 20such as Hymenaeus and Alexander. I’ve handed them over to Satan so that they can be taught not to speak against God.