Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, 2 through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. 3 They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.
A Good Servant of Jesus Christ
6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and the good teaching that you have followed. 7 But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. 8 For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. 10 For this reason we labor and strive,[a] because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
Instructions for Ministry
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone despise your youth, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love,[b] in faith, and in purity. 13 Until I come, give your attention to public reading, exhortation, and teaching. 14 Don’t neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Don’t rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters with all purity.
The Support of Widows
3 Support[c] widows who are genuinely in need. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn to practice godliness toward their own family first and to repay their parents, for this pleases God. 5 The widow who is truly in need and left all alone has put her hope in God and continues night and day in her petitions and prayers; 6 however, she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. 7 Command this also, so that they will be above reproach. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own family, especially for his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 No widow is to be enrolled on the list for support unless she is at least sixty years old, has been the wife of one husband, 10 and is well known for good works—that is, if she has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the saints’ feet, helped the afflicted, and devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when they are drawn away from Christ by desire, they want to marry 12 and will therefore receive condemnation because they have renounced their original pledge. 13 At the same time, they also learn to be idle, going from house to house; they are not only idle, but are also gossips and busybodies, saying things they shouldn’t say. 14 Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us. 15 For some have already turned away to follow Satan. 16 If any[d] believing woman has widows in her family, let her help them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it can help widows in genuine need.
Honoring the Elders
17 The elders who are good leaders are to be considered worthy of double honor,[e] especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says: Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,[f] and “The worker is worthy of his wages.”
19 Don’t accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. 20 Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest will be afraid. 21 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels to observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing out of favoritism. 22 Don’t be too quick to appoint[g] anyone as an elder, and don’t share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. 23 Don’t continue drinking only water, but use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. 24 Some people’s sins are obvious, preceding them to judgment, but the sins of others surface[h] later. 25 Likewise, good works are obvious, and those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden.
All who are under the yoke as slaves should regard their own masters[i] as worthy of all respect, so that God’s name and his teaching will not be blasphemed. 2 Let those who have believing masters not be disrespectful to them because they are brothers, but serve them even better, since those who benefit from their service are believers and dearly loved.[j]
False Doctrine and Human Greed
Teach and encourage these things. 3 If anyone teaches false doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain.[k] 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and[l] we can take nothing out. 8 If we have food and clothing,[m] we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root[n] of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Fight the Good Fight
11 But you, man of God, flee from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called and about which you have made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the presence of God, who gives life to all, and of Christ Jesus, who gave a good confession before Pontius Pilate, I charge you 14 to keep this command without fault or failure until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 God will bring this about in his own time. He is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see, to him be honor and eternal power. Amen.
Instructions to the Rich
17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God,[o] who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, 19 storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life.
Guard the Heritage
20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding irreverent and empty speech and contradictions from what is falsely called knowledge. 21 By professing it, some people have departed from the faith.
Grace be with you all.