Some Will Depart from the Faith
4 Now xthe Spirit expressly says that yin later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to zdeceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of aliars whose consciences are seared, 3 bwho forbid marriage and crequire abstinence from foods dthat God created eto be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For feverything created by God is good, and gnothing is to be rejected if it is ereceived with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy hby the word of God and prayer.
A Good Servant of Christ Jesus
6 iIf you put these things before the brothers,1 you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have jfollowed. 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, ksilly myths. Rather ltrain yourself for godliness; 8 for while mbodily training is of some value, godliness nis of value in every way, as oit holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is ptrustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive,2 because we have our hope set on the living God, qwho is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach rthese things. 12 sLet no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers tan example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 uDo not neglect the gift you have, which was given you vby prophecy when the council of elders wlaid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them,3 so that xall may see your progress. 16 yKeep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save zboth yourself and ayour hearers.
Instructions for the Church
3 Honor widows dwho are truly widows. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn eto show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for fthis is pleasing in the sight of God. 5 She gwho is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and hcontinues in supplications and prayers night and day, 6 but ishe who is self-indulgent is jdead even while she lives. 7 kCommand these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for lmembers of his household, he has mdenied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been nthe wife of one husband,4 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has nshown hospitality, ohas washed the feet of the saints, has pcared for the afflicted, and has qdevoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when rtheir passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also sgossips and tbusybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have uyounger widows marry, bear children, vmanage their households, and wgive the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 xFor some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those ywho are truly widows.
17 Let the elders zwho rule well be considered worthy of adouble honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, b“You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, c“The laborer deserves his wages.” 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except don the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, erebuke them in the presence of all, fso that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels gI charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, hdoing nothing from partiality. 22 iDo not be hasty in the jlaying on of hands, nor ktake part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23 (No longer drink only water, but luse a little wine mfor the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous, and neven those that are not cannot remain hidden.
6 oLet all who are under a yoke as bondservants5 regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, pso that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are qbrothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.
False Teachers and True Contentment
rTeach and urge these things. 3 If anyone steaches a different doctrine and does not agree with tthe sound6 words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching uthat accords with godliness, 4 vhe is puffed up with conceit and wunderstands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for xcontroversy and for yquarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people zwho are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, aimagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But bgodliness cwith contentment is great gain, 7 for dwe brought nothing into the world, and7 we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But eif we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But fthose who desire to be rich fall into temptation, ginto a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that hplunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of iall kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Fight the Good Fight of Faith
11 But as for you, jO man of God, kflee these things. lPursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 mFight the good fight of the faith. nTake hold of the eternal life oto which you were called and about which you made pthe good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 qI charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, rwho in his testimony before8 Pontius Pilate made pthe good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until sthe appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will display tat the proper time—he who is uthe blessed and only Sovereign, vthe King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 wwho alone has immortality, xwho dwells in yunapproachable light, zwhom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
17 As for the rich in athis present age, charge them bnot to be haughty, nor cto set their hopes on dthe uncertainty of riches, but on God, ewho richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, fto be rich in good works, to be generous and gready to share, 19 thus hstoring up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may itake hold of jthat which is truly life.
Deliver Me, O Lord
A Song of mAscents.
120 In my distress I called to the Lord,
and he answered me.
2 Deliver me, O Lord,
from lying lips,
from a deceitful tongue.
3 What shall be given to you,
nand what more shall be done to you,
you deceitful tongue?
with glowing qcoals of the broom tree!
5 Woe to me, that I sojourn in rMeshech,
6 Too long have I had my dwelling
among those who hate peace.
7 uI am for peace,
but when I speak, they are for war!