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. Chapter 2.

A Good Soldier of Jesus Christ

1 Now therefore, my son, take strength from the grace of God which is ours in Christ Jesus. 2 You heard my teaching in the presence of many witnesses; put that teaching into the charge of men you can trust, such men as will be competent to teach others.

3 Take your share of hardship, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 A soldier on active service will not let himself be involved in civilian affairs; he must be wholly at his commanding officer's disposal. 5 Again, no athlete can win a prize unless he has kept the rules. 6 The farmer who gives his labour has first claim on the crop. 7 Reflect on what I say, for the Lord will help you to full understanding.

8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, born of David's line. 9 This is the theme of my gospel, in whose service I am exposed to hardship, even to the point of being shut up like a common criminal; but the word of God is not shut up. 10 And I endure it all for the sake of God's chosen ones, with this end in view, that they too may attain the glorious and eternal salvation which is in Christ Jesus.

11 Here are words you may trust:

An Approved Workman

14 GO ON REMINDING people of this, and adjure them before God to stop disputing about mere words; it does no good, and is the ruin of those who listen. 15 Try hard to show yourself worthy of God's approval, as a labourer who need not be ashamed; be straightforward, in your proclamation of the truth. 16 Avoid empty and worldly chatter; those who indulge in it will stray further and further into godless courses, 17 and the infection of their teaching will spread like a gangrene. 18 Such are Hymenaeus and Philetus; they have shot wide of the truth in saying that our resurrection has already taken place, and are upsetting people's faith. 19 [ Nu.16.5. ] But God has laid a foundation, and it stands firm, with this inscription: 'The Lord knows his own', and, 'Everyone who takes the Lord's name upon his lips must forsake wickedness.' 20 Now in any great house there are not only utensils of gold and silver, but also others of wood or earthenware; the former are valued, the latter held cheap. 21 To be among those which are valued and dedicated, a thing of use to the Master of the house, a man must cleanse himself from all those evil things; [Or: must separate himself from these persons.] then he will be fit for any honourable purpose.

22 Turn from the wayward impulses of youth, and pursue justice, integrity, love, and peace with all who invoke the Lord in singleness of mind. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish and ignorant speculations. You know they breed quarrels, 24 and the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome, but kindly towards all. 25 He should be a good teacher, tolerant, and gentle when discipline is needed for the refractory. The Lord may grant them a change of heart and show them the truth, 26 and thus they may come to their senses and escape from the devil's snare, in which they have been caught and held at his will. [Or: escape from the devil's snare, caught now by God and made subject to his will.]

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