1 Paul, a servant1 of God and aan apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and btheir knowledge of the truth, cwhich accords with godliness, 2 din hope of eternal life, which God, ewho never lies, fpromised gbefore the ages began2 3 and hat the proper time manifested in his word3 ithrough the preaching jwith which I have been entrusted kby the command of God our Savior;
nGrace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Qualifications for Elders
5 oThis is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and pappoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 qif anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife,4 and his children are believers5 and not open to the charge of rdebauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer,6 sas God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not tbe arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent uor greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, vand disciplined. 9 He must whold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in xsound7 doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
10 For there are many who are insubordinate, yempty talkers and deceivers, especially those of zthe circumcision party.8 11 They must be silenced, since athey are upsetting whole families by teaching bfor shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 cOne of the Cretans,9 a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”10 13 This testimony is true. Therefore drebuke them esharply, that they fmay be sound in the faith, 14 gnot devoting themselves to Jewish myths and hthe commands of people iwho turn away from the truth. 15 jTo the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and kunbelieving, nothing is pure; but both ltheir minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 mThey profess to know God, but they ndeny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, ounfit for any good work.
Teach Sound Doctrine
2 But as for you, teach what accords with psound11 doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, psound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 qOlder women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, rnot slanderers sor slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, tpure, uworking at home, kind, and vsubmissive to their own husbands, wthat the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge xthe younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be ya model of good works, and in your teaching zshow integrity, adignity, 8 and bsound speech that cannot be condemned, cso that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9 dBondservants12 are to be submissive to their own masters ein everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, fbut showing all good faith, gso that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
11 For hthe grace of God ihas appeared, bringing salvation jfor all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and kworldly passions, and lto live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in mthe present age, 13 nwaiting for our blessed ohope, the pappearing of the glory of our great qGod and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 rwho gave himself for us to sredeem us from all lawlessness and tto purify for himself ta people for his own possession who are uzealous for good works.
Be Ready for Every Good Work
3 Remind them xto be submissive to rulers and authorities, yto be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 zto speak evil of no one, ato avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and bto show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For cwe ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when dthe goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, enot because of works done by us in righteousness, but faccording to his own mercy, by gthe washing of regeneration and hrenewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he ipoured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that jbeing justified by his grace we might become kheirs laccording to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is mtrustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful nto devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 9 But oavoid foolish pcontroversies, qgenealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for rthey are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, safter warning him once and then twice, thave nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
Final Instructions and Greetings
12 When I send Artemas or uTychicus to you, do your best to come to me vat Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and wApollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14 And let our people learn xto devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not ybe unfruitful.
15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith.
zGrace be with you all.
Our Eyes Look to the Lord Our God
A Song of mAscents.
123 To you I qlift up my eyes,
O you who are renthroned in the heavens!
2 Behold, as the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he has mercy upon us.
3 sHave mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
for we have had more than enough of tcontempt.
4 Our soul has had more than enough
of the contempt of wthe proud.