Greetings and a prayer for Titus
1From Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ.
I encourage God's own people to have more faith and to understand the truth about religion. 2Then they will have the hope of eternal life that God promised long ago. And God never tells a lie! 3So, at the proper time, God our Saviour gave this message and told me to announce what he had said.
4 # 2 Cor 8.23; Gal 2.3; 2 Tim 4.10. Titus, because of our faith, you are like a son to me. I pray that God our Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!
Instructions for church officials
What Titus was to do in Crete
5I left you in Crete to do what had been left undone and to appoint leaders#1.5 leaders: Or “elders” or “presbyters” or “priests”. for the churches in each town. As I told you, 6#1 Tim 3.2–7.they must have a good reputation and be faithful in marriage.#1.6 be faithful in marriage: Or “be the husband of only one wife” or “have never been divorced”. Their children must be followers of the Lord and not have a reputation for being wild and disobedient.
7Church officials#1.7 Church officials: Or “Bishops”. are in charge of God's work, and so they must also have a good reputation. They must not be bossy, quick-tempered, heavy drinkers, bullies, or dishonest in business. 8Instead, they must be friendly to strangers and enjoy doing good things. They must also be sensible, fair, pure, and self-controlled. 9They must stick to the true message they were taught, so that their good teaching can help others and correct everyone who opposes it.
10There are many who don't respect authority, and they fool others by talking nonsense. This is especially true of some Jewish followers. 11But you must make them be quiet. They are after money, and they upset whole families by teaching what they should not. 12It is like one of their own prophets once said,
“The people of Crete
always tell lies.
They are greedy and lazy
like wild animals.”
13That is a true saying. And you should be hard on such people, so you can help them grow stronger in their faith. 14Don't pay any attention to any of those senseless Jewish stories and human commands. These are made up by people who won't obey the truth.
15Everything is pure for someone whose heart is pure. But nothing is pure for an unbeliever with a dirty mind. That person's mind and conscience are destroyed. 16Such people claim to know God, but their actions prove that they really don't. They are disgusting. They won't obey God, and they are too worthless to do anything good.