Believers’ Conduct in Society
1Remind people to respect their governmental leaders on every level as law-abiding citizens and to be ready to fulfill their civic duty. 2And remind them to never tear down anyone with their words or quarrel, but instead be considerate, humble, and courteous to everyone. 3For it wasn’t that long ago that we behaved foolishly in our stubborn disobedience. We were easily led astray as slaves to worldly passions and pleasures. We wasted our lives in doing evil, and with hateful jealousy we hated others.
The Hymn of Salvation by Grace
4When the extraordinary compassion of God our Savior
and his overpowering love suddenly appeared in person,
as the brightness of a dawning day,
5he came to save us.
Not because of any virtuous deed that we have done
but only because of his extravagant mercy.
6He saved us,
resurrecting us through the washing of rebirth.
We are made completely new by the Holy Spirit,
whom he splashed over us richly
by Jesus, the Messiah, our Life Giver.
7So as a gift of his love,
and since we are faultless—
innocent before his face—
we can now become heirs of all things,
all because of an overflowing hope of eternal life.
8How true and faithful is this message!
Faith Produces Good Works
I want you to especially emphasize these truths, so that those who believe in God will be careful to devote themselves to doing good works. It is always beautiful and profitable for believers to do good works.
9But avoid useless controversies, genealogies, pointless quarrels, and arguments over the law, which will get you nowhere. 10After a first and second warning, have nothing more to do with a divisive person who refuses to be corrected. 11For you know that such a one is entwined with his sin and stands self-condemned.
12When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, be sure to meet me at the City of Victory, for I’ve decided to spend the winter there.
13Give a generous send-off to Zenas the scribe and Apollos, and send them on their journey with what they need.
14Encourage the believers to be passionately devoted to beautiful works of righteousness by meeting the urgent needs of others and not be unfruitful.
15Everyone here with me sends their loving greetings to you. Greet the believers who love us in the faith. May God’s wonderful grace be with you all!
Love in Christ,