[WRITTEN FROM ROME, A.D. 65.]
I.--PAUL, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, on account of the promise of life, which is by Christ Jesus: to Timothy, my beloved son: Favor, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
3.--I give thanks to God, (whom from my forefathers I serve with a pure conscience,) that I have unceasing remembrance of you in my prayers night and day; remembering your tears, I greatly desire to see you, that I may be filled with joy: calling to remembrance also the unfeigned faith which is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois, and in your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that it dwells in you also. For which cause I put you in mind to stir up the spiritual gift of God, which is in you through the imposition of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice; but of power, and of love, and of self-government. Wherefore, be not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but jointly suffer evil for the gospel, according to the power of God; who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling,--not on account of our works; but on account of his own purpose and favor, which was given us through Christ Jesus, before the times of the ages, and is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ; who has, indeed, vanquished death, and brought life and incorruptibility to light by the gospel; fo which I am appointed a herald, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles: for which cause I also suffer these things. Nevertheless, I am not ashamed; for I know in whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to preserve what I have committed in trust to him, till that day. The form of wholesome words, which you have heard from me, hold fast, with the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. The good deposit guard by the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us. You know this, that all they who are in Asia have turned me off; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the family of Onesiphorus; for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: but being in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. May the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord in that day! And how many services he rendered to me in Ephesus, you well know.
II.--Therefore, my son, be strong in the favor which is through Christ Jesus. And what things you have heard from me by many witnesses, these commit in trust to faithful men, who shall be fit also to teach others. Endure evil as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man who wars, entangles himself with the occupations of this life, that he may please him, who has chosen him to be a soldier. And also if one contend in the games, he is not crowned unelss he contend according to the laws. It becomes the husbandman to labor, before he partakes of the fruits. Consider what I say; and may the Lord give you understanding in all things! Remember, Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, has been raised from the dead, according to my gospel; for which I suffer evil as a malefactor, even to bonds; but the word of God is not bound. For this cause, I patiently bear all thigns on account of the elect; that they, indeed, may obtain the salvation which is by Christ Jesus with eternal glory. This saying is true, that if we die with him, we shall also live with him: if we suffer patiently, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us. Though we be unfaithful, he abides faithful; he cannot deny himself. Put them in remembrance of these things; earnestly testifying to them in the presence of the Lord, not to fight about words for nothing useful, but to the subverting of the hearers. Strive to exhibit yourself to God an approved workman, irreproachable, rightly dividing the word of truth. But profane empty babblings resist, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their word will eat as a gangrene: of whom are Hymeneus and Philetus; who, concerning the truth, have erred, affirming that the resurrection has already happened; and do subvert the faith of some. Nevertheless, the foundation of God stands firm, having this inscription, The Lord has made known them who are his:--and, Let every one who names the name of Christ, depart from iniquity. But, in a great house, there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earthen ware; some to honor, and some to dishonor. If, then, a man will cleanse himself well from these, he will be a vessel appointed to honor, sanctified, and very profitable for the master's use, prepared for every good work. Flee, therefore, youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with them who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Moreover, foolish and ignorant questions reject, knowing that they beget contentions; and the servant of the Lord must not be contentious, but gentle towards all men, fit to teach, patiently bearing evil; in meekness instructing those who set themselves in opposition; if, by any means, God will give them reformation to the acknowledgment of truth; and they may awake up out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
III.--This also know, that in latter days perilous times will come. For men will be self lovers, money-lovers, boasters, proud, defamers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, without natural affection, bargain-breakers, slanderers, incontinent, fierce, haters of good men, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it. Now, from these turn away. Of these indeed, are they who go into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away by divers lusts; always learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now, in the manner that James and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth; men wholly corrupted in mind, reprobate as to the faith. However, they shall not proceed further; for their foolishness shall be very plain to all, as theirs also was. But you have fully known my teaching, manner of life, purpose, faith, meekness, love, patience, persecutions, sufferings, such as befell me in Antioch, in Iconium, in Lystra: such persecutions I endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered me. And all, indeed, who will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall be persecuted: but wicked men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. In the mean time, do you continue in the things which you have learned, and with which you have been entrusted, knowing from whom you have learned them; and, that from a child you have known the sacred scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture, given by divine inspiration, is indeed profitable for doctrine, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect--completely fitted for every good work.
IV.--I charge you, in the presence of God, and of Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead, at his appearing in his kingdom: proclaim the word, be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching. For there will be a time, when they will not endure wholesome doctrine; but having itching ears, they will, according to their own lusts, heap up to themselves teachers: and they will, indeed, turn away their ears from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But do you watch at all times; bear evil treatment; do th work of an evangelist; fully perform your ministry. For I am shortly to be sacrificed, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have combatted the good combat, I have finished the race, I have continued faithful: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which th Lord, the righteous Judge, will deliver to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them who love his apparing. Make haste to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved the prsent world, has forsaken me, and is gone to Thessalonica; Crescens into Galatia, and Titus into Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark and bring him with ou, for he is very useful to me in the ministry. But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. The cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, bring when you come, and the books, especially the parchments. Alexander, the coppersmith, has done me many evil things; th Lord willr eward him according to his works: of whom beware, for he has greatly oposed our words. At my first answer, no one appeared with me, but all forsook me. May it not be laid to their charge! Howver, the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me, that through me the proclamation might be fully declared, and all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and preserve me to his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the family of Onesiphorus. erastus abode at Corinth; but Trophimus I left at Miletus sick. Make haste to come before winter. Eubulus salutes you, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren. The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Favor be with you.
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