1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I serve God. I am an apostle of Jesus Christ. God sent me to help his chosen people believe in Christ. I have been sent to help them understand the truth that leads to godly living. 2Faith and understanding rest on the hope of eternal life. Before time began, God promised to give that life. And he does not lie. 3At just the right time he made his word plain. He did it through the preaching that he trusted me with. God our Savior has commanded all those things.
4Titus, I am sending you this letter. You are my true son in the faith we share. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior give you grace and peace.
The Work of Titus on Crete
5I left you on the island of Crete. There were some things that hadn't been finished. You needed to sort them out. You also had to appoint elders in every town. I told you how to do it.
6An elder must be without blame. He must be faithful to his wife. His children must be believers. They must not give anyone a reason to say that they are wild and don't obey.
7A church leader is trusted with God's work. That's why he must be without blame. He must not look after only his own interests. He must not get angry easily. He must not get drunk. He must not push people around. He must not try to get money by cheating people.
8Instead, he must welcome people into his home. He must love what is good. He must control his mind and feelings. He must do what is right. He must be holy. He must control what his body longs for. 9The message as it has been taught can be trusted. He must hold firmly to it. Then he will be able to use true teaching to comfort others and build them up. He will be able to prove that people who oppose it are wrong.
10Many people refuse to obey God. All they do is talk a lot. They try to fool others. No one does these things more than the circumcision group. 11They must be stopped. They are destroying entire families. They are teaching things they shouldn't. They do it to get money by cheating people.
12Even one of their own prophets has said, "People from Crete are always liars. They are evil beasts. They don't want to work. They live only to eat." 13What I have just said is true. So give them a strong warning. Then they will understand the faith correctly. 14They will pay no attention to Jewish stories that aren't completely true. They won't listen to the commands of those who turn away from the truth.
15To people who are pure, all things are pure. But to those who have twisted minds and don't believe, nothing is pure. In fact, their minds and their sense of what is right and wrong are twisted. 16They claim to know God. But their actions show they don't know him. They are hated by God. They refuse to obey him. They aren't fit to do anything good.