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1PAUL, Jesus Christ's messenger by command of God our saviour and Christ Jesus our hope,

2to Timothy my true son in the faith: grace, mercy and peace be to you from God the Father and Christ Jesus out Lord.

3I am repeating in this letter the advice I gave you just before I went to Macedonia and urged you to stay at Ephesus. I wanted you to do this so that you could order certain persons to stop inventing new doctrines

4and to leave hoary old myths and interminable genealogies alone. Such things lead men to speculation rather than to the ordered living which results from faith in God.

5The ultimate aim of the Christian ministry, after all, is to produce the love which springs from a pure heart, a good conscience and a genuine faith.

6Some seem to have forgotten this and to have lost themselves in endless words.

7They want a reputation as teachers of the Law, yet they fail to realize the meaning of their own words still less of the subject they are so dogmatic about.

8We know, of course, that the Law is good in itself and has a legitimate function.

9Yet we also know that the Law is not really meant for the good man, but for the man who has neither principles nor selfcontrol; for the man who is really wicked, who has neither scruples nor reverence. Yes, the Law is directed against the sort of people who attack their own parents, who kill their fellows,

10who are sexually uncontrolled or perverted, or who traffic in the bodies of others. It is against liars and perjurersin fact it is against any and every action which contradicts the wholesome teaching of the

11glorious gospel which the blessed God has given and entrusted to me.

12I am deeply grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord (to whom I owe all that I have accomplished) for trusting me enough to appoint me his minister,

13despite the fact that I had previously blasphemed his name, persecuted and insulted him. I believe he was merciful to me because what I did was done in the ignorance of a man without faith.

14Our Lord poured out his grace upon me, giving me faith in, and love for, Christ Jesus himself.

15This statement is completely reliable and should be universally accepted: "Christ Jesus entered the world to rescue sinners". I realize that I was the worst of them all,

16and that because of this very fact God was particularly merciful to me. It was a demonstration of the extent of Christ's patience towards the worst of men, to serve as an example to all who in the future should trust him for eternal life.

17So to the king of all the ages, the immortal, invisible, and only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever, amen!

18Timothy my son, I give you the following charge. It is in full accord with those prophecies made about you which sent you out to battle for the right armed only with your

19faith and a clear conscience. Some have laid these simple weapons contemptuously aside and, as far as their faith is concerned, have run their ships on the rocks.

20Hymenaeus and Alexander are men of this sort and as a matter of fact I had to hand them over to Satan to teach them not to blaspheme.

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