WRITTEN FROM ROME, A. D. 61.
3. I give thanks to God (whom from my forefathers I serve with a pure conscience) that I have unceasing remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; remembering thy tears, I greatly desire to see thee, that I may be filled with joy: calling to remembrance also the unfeigned faith which is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that it dwelleth in thee also. For which cause I put thee in mind to stir up the spiritual gift of God which is in thee through the imposition of my hands. For God hath not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power, and of love, and of self-government. Wherefore, be not thou ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but do thou jointly suffer evil for the gospel, according to the power of God, who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not on account of our works, but on account of his own purpose, and favour which was given us, through Christ Jesus before the times of the ages:*[App. No. LXVI.] and is now made manifest by the appearing of our saviour Jesus Christ, who hath indeed made death ineffectual, and hath made life and immortality clear through the gospel; for which I am appointed a herald, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For which cause I suffer even such 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 is committed in trust to him until that day. The form of wholesome words which thou hast heard from me, hold fast, with the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. The good deposite (sic), guard by the Holy Spirit, who dwelleth in us. Thou knowest this, that all they who are in Asia have turned me off; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grnt 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 things he ministered to me in Ephesus, thou knowest well.
II. Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the favour which is through Christ Jesus. And what things thou hast heard from me by many witnesses, these commit in trust to faithful men, who shall be fit also to teach others. Thou therefore, endure evil, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man who warreth, entangleth himself with the businesses of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And also if one contend in the games, he is not crowned unless he contend according to the laws. It becometh the husbandman to labour before he partaketh of the fruits. Consider what I say; and may the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Remember Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, raised from the dead according to my gospel; for which I suffer evil unto bonds, as a malefactor. But the word of God is not bound. For this cause I patiently bear all things on account of the elected, that they also 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 abideth 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 present thyself to God, an approved unshamed workman who rightly divideth 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 hath already happened, and overturn the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth firm, having this inscription,*[App. No. LXXXVIII.] "The Lord will make known them who are his." And "Let every one who nameth 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, and some to dishonour. If then a man will cleanse himself well from these things, he will be a vessel appointed to honour, 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 untaught questions reject, knowing that they beget fightings. And the servant of the Lord must not fight, but be 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 being caught alive by him out of the snare of the devil, they may awake to do the will of God.
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, covenant breakers, slanderers, incontinent, fierce, without any love to good men, betrayers, 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 they are 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 truth. Now in the manner that Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth; men wholly corrupted in mind, undiscerning concerning the faith. However, they shall not proceed farther. For their foolishness shall be very plain to all, as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my teaching, manner of life, purpose, faith, meekness, love, patience, persecutions, sufferings, such as befel me in Antioch, in Iconium, in Lystra: such persecutions I endured, but out of them all the Lord delivered me. And all indeed who wish to live godly in Christ Jesus, shall be persecuted. Now wicked men and imposters will wax worse and worse, decieving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and with which thou hast been entrusted, knowing from whom thou hast learned them: and that from a child thou hast known the sacred scriptures, which are able to make thee wise to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus. The whole scripture is divinely inspired, and is profitable for teaching, for confutation, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, and thoroughly fitted for every good work.
IV. I charge thee, therefore, in the presence of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead, at his appearing and his kingdom: proclaim the word, be instant in season, out of season, confute, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering, when teaching. For there will be a time when they will not endure wholesome teaching, but having itching ears, they will, according to their own lusts, heap up to themselves teachers. And from the truth indeed they will turn away their ears, and be turned aside to fables. But watch thou at all times; bear evil treatment; do the work of an evangelist; fully perform thy ministry. For I am already poured out, and the time of my departure hath come. I have combatted the good combat, I have finished the race, I have preserved the faith. Henceforth there is laid aside for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will deliver to me at that day, and not to me only, but to all them also who love his appearing. Make haste to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved the present world, hath 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 thee, 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 thou comest, and the books, especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith hath done me many evil things. The Lord will reward him according to his works. Of whom be thou also aware; for he hath greatly opposed our words. At my first answer, no one appeared with me, but all forsook me. May it not be laid to their charge! However, 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 will preserve me to his heavenly kingdom. To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the family of Onesiphorus. Eastus (sic) abode at Corinth; but Trophimus I left at Miletus, sick. Make haste to come before winter. Eubulus saluteth thee, and Pudens and Linus and Claudia, and all the brethren. The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Favour be with you. Amen.