Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the appointment of God our Saviour, and of Jesus Christ who is our hope,
to Timothy, my own son in the faith; Grace be thine, and mercy, and peace, from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
as thou fulfillest the charge I gave thee, when I passed on into Macedonia, to stay behind at Ephesus. There were some who needed to be warned against teaching strange doctrines,
against occupying their minds with legends and interminable pedigrees, which breed controversy, instead of building up God’s house, as the faith does.
The end at which our warning aims is charity, based on purity of heart, on a good conscience and a sincere faith.
There are some who have missed this mark, branching off into vain speculations;
who now claim to be expounding the law, without understanding the meaning of their own words, or the subject on which they pronounce so positively.
The law? It is an excellent thing, where it is applied legitimately;
but it must be remembered that the law is not meant for those who live innocent lives. It is meant for the lawless and the refractory; for the godless and the sinner, the unholy and the profane; for those who lay violent hands on father or mother, for murderers,
for those who commit fornication or sin against nature, the slave-dealer, the liar, the perjurer. All this and much else is the very opposite of the sound doctrine
contained in the gospel I have been entrusted with, that tells us of the blessed God and his glory.
How I thank our Lord Christ Jesus, the source of all my strength, for shewing confidence in me by appointing me his minister,
me, a blasphemer till then, a persecutor, a man of violence, author of outrage, and yet he had mercy on me, because I was acting in the ignorance of unbelief.
The grace of the Lord came upon me in a full tide of faith and love, the love that is in Christ Jesus.
How true is that saying, and what a welcome it deserves, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I was the worst of all,
and yet I was pardoned, so that in me first of all Christ Jesus might give the extreme example of his patience; I was to be the pattern of all those who will ever believe in him, to win eternal life.
Honour and glory through endless ages to the king of all the ages, the immortal, the invisible, who alone is God, Amen.
This charge, then, I give into thy hands, my son Timothy, remembering how prophecy singled thee out, long ago. Serve, as it bade thee, in this honourable warfare,
with faith and a good conscience to aid thee. Some, through refusing this duty, have made shipwreck of the faith;
among them, Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have made over to Satan, till they are cured of their blasphemy.