2 To Timothy, a genuine child in faith.
Good will,[a] mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord are yours!
A Warning about False Teachers
3 When I was going to the province of Macedonia, I encouraged you to stay in the city of Ephesus. That way you could order certain people to stop teaching false doctrine 4 and occupying themselves with myths and endless genealogies. These myths and genealogies raise a lot of questions rather than promoting God’s plan, which centers in faith.
5 My goal in giving you this order is for love to flow from a pure heart, from a clear conscience, and from a sincere faith. 6 Some people have left these qualities behind and have turned to useless discussions. 7 They want to be experts in Moses’ Teachings. However, they don’t understand what they’re talking about or the things about which they speak so confidently.
8 We know that the laws in Moses’ Teachings are good if they are used as they were intended to be used. 9 For example, a person must realize that those laws are not intended for people who have God’s approval. Laws are intended for lawbreakers and rebels, for ungodly people and sinners, for those who think nothing is holy or sacred, for those who kill their fathers, their mothers, or other people. 10 Laws are intended for people involved in sexual sins, for homosexuals, for kidnappers, for liars, for those who lie when they take an oath, and for whatever else is against accurate teachings. 11 Moses’ Teachings were intended to be used in agreement with the Good News that contains the glory of the blessed God. I was entrusted with that Good News.
God’s Mercy to Paul
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord that he has trusted me and has appointed me to do his work with the strength he has given me. 13 In the past I cursed him, persecuted him, and acted arrogantly toward him. However, I was treated with mercy because I acted ignorantly in my unbelief. 14 Our Lord was very kind [b] to me. Through his kindness he brought me to faith and gave me the love that Christ Jesus shows people.
15 This is a statement that can be trusted and deserves complete acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and I am the foremost sinner. 16 However, I was treated with mercy so that Christ Jesus could use me, the foremost sinner, to demonstrate his patience. This patience serves as an example for those who would believe in him and live forever. 17 Worship and glory belong forever to the eternal king, the immortal, invisible, and only God. Amen.
Guidelines for the Church
18 Timothy, my child, I’m giving you this order about the prophecies that are still coming to you: Use these prophecies in faith and with a clear conscience to fight this noble war. 19 Some have refused to let their faith guide their conscience and their faith has been destroyed like a wrecked ship.[c] 20 Among these people are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan in order to teach them not to dishonor God.
- 1:2 Or “Grace.”
- 1:14 Or “gracious.”
- 1:19 Verses 18 and 19 have been rearranged to express the complex Greek sentence structure more clearly in English.