God our Savior and Christ Jesus commanded me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, who gives us hope.
2 Timothy, because of our faith, you are like a son to me. I pray that God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind and merciful to you. May they bless you with peace!
Warning against False Teaching
3When I was leaving for Macedonia, I asked you to stay on in Ephesus and warn certain people there to stop spreading their false teachings. 4You needed to warn them to stop wasting their time on senseless stories and endless lists of ancestors. Such things only cause arguments. They don't help anyone to do God's work that can only be done by faith.
5You must teach people to have genuine love, as well as a good conscience and true faith. 6There are some who have given up these for nothing but empty talk. 7They want to be teachers of the Law of Moses. But they don't know what they are talking about, even though they think they do.
8We know the Law is good, if it is used in the right way. 9We also understand it wasn't given to control people who please God, but to control lawbreakers, criminals, godless people, and sinners. It is for wicked and evil people, and for murderers, who would even kill their own parents. 10The Law was written for people who are sexual perverts or who live as homosexuals or are kidnappers or liars or won't tell the truth in court. It is for anything else that opposes the correct teaching 11of the good news the glorious and wonderful God has given me.
Being Thankful for God's Kindness
12I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me the strength for my work because he knew he could trust me. 13 I used to say terrible and insulting things about him, and I was cruel. But Christ had mercy on me because I didn't know what I was doing, and I had not yet put my faith in him. 14Christ Jesus our Lord treated me with undeserved grace and has greatly blessed my life with faith and love just like his own.
15“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” This saying is true, and it can be trusted. I was the worst sinner of all! 16But since I was worse than anyone else, God had mercy on me and let me be an example of the endless patience of Christ Jesus. He did this so that others would put their faith in Christ and have eternal life. 17I pray that honor and glory will always be given to the only God, who lives forever and is the invisible and eternal King! Amen.
18Timothy, my son, the instructions I am giving you are based on what some prophets once said about you. If you follow these instructions, you will fight like a good soldier. 19You will be faithful and have a clear conscience. Some people have made a mess of their faith because they didn't listen to their consciences. 20Two of them are Hymenaeus and Alexander. I have given these men over to the power of Satan, so they will learn not to oppose God.