1From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, 2to Timothy, my genuine child in the faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord!
Timothy’s Task in Ephesus
3As I urged you when I was leaving for Macedonia, stay on in Ephesus to instruct certain people not to spread false teachings, 4nor to occupy themselves with myths and interminable genealogies. Such things promote useless speculations rather than God’s redemptive plan that operates by faith. 5But the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 6Some have strayed from these and turned away to empty discussion. 7They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not understand what they are saying or the things they insist on so confidently.
8But we know that the law is good if someone uses it legitimately, 9realizing that law is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10sexually immoral people, practicing homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers – in fact, for any who live contrary to sound teaching. 11This accords with the glorious gospel of the blessed God that was entrusted to me.
12I am grateful to the one who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me faithful in putting me into ministry, 13even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I was treated with mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14and our Lord’s grace was abundant, bringing faith and love in Christ Jesus. 15This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them! 16But here is why I was treated with mercy: so that in me as the worst, Christ Jesus could demonstrate his utmost patience, as an example for those who are going to believe in him for eternal life. 17Now to the eternal king, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever! Amen.
18I put this charge before you, Timothy my child, in keeping with the prophecies once spoken about you, in order that with such encouragement you may fight the good fight. 19To do this you must hold firmly to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck in regard to the faith. 20Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.