· Epistle to Titus ·

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CHAPTER 1
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1Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to bring God’s elect to faith and to the knowledge of the truth which leads to godliness, 2and also to the hope of eternal life, which God who cannot lie promised before the age began. 3In his own time, he revealed his word in the message I was entrusted with according to the commandment of God our Saviour. 4To Titus, my true child according to the faith which we share: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Titus’ commission in Crete – Requirement for Church offices

5I left you in Crete for this reason: that you would set in order the things that were amiss and appoint presbyters in every city, as I directed you: 6someone who is blameless, the husband of one wife, whose children believe and not accused of loose or unruly behaviour. 7Indeed, the bishop must be beyond reproach, as God’s steward; not self-pleasing, not easily angered, not someone who abuses wine, not violent and not greedy for dishonest gain. 8Instead, he should be hospitable, a lover of what is good, sensible, just, holy and self-controlled; 9holding fast to the sure word which is in harmony with what has been taught, so that he may be able to exhort in the sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

10There are also many who are rebellious, vain talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11whose mouths must be stopped. These men upset entire families, teaching things they should not, doing it for sordid gain. 12One of them, one of their own prophets, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons.” 13This testimony is true. For this reason, rebuke them sharply, so that they may be sound in the faith, 14not paying attention to Jewish fables and human commandments which distract from the truth. 15To the pure, everything is pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16They profess to know God, but by their works they deny him, being detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work.

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CHAPTER 2
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What Titus should teach

1Proclaim what is consistent with sound doctrine: 2that older men should be temperate, sensible, sober-minded, sound in faith, love and patience. 3Likewise, older women should be reverent in behaviour, not malicious gossips, nor addicted to much wine but teachers of what is good. 4They should instruct the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sober-minded, chaste, to work in the home, kind. Young women should be in subjection to their own husbands, so that God’s word may not be disgraced. 6Likewise, exhort the younger men to be sober-minded. 7Be an example of good works in everything. In your teaching, show integrity, seriousness, incorruptibility 8and soundness of speech that is irreproachable. This way, those who oppose you will be ashamed, having nothing bad to say about us. 9Exhort servants to be in subjection to their own masters and well-pleasing in everything. They should not be argumentative; 10they should not be stealing, but trustworthy, so that they may make the doctrine of God our Saviour attractive in every way. 11Truly, the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all. 12It has taught us that we should deny what is ungodly and worldly lusts, that we should live soberly, righteously, and in a godly way in this present world; 13waiting for the blessed hope: the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. 14He gave himself for us in order to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works. 15Teach these things, exhort and reprove with complete authority. Let no one despise you.

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CHAPTER 3
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1Remind the people to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient and ready for every good work, 2not speaking evil of anyone and not contentious. They should also be gentle, showing great humility towards everyone. 3Indeed, we used to be foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4But when the kindness of God our Saviour and his love towards mankind appeared, 5not by works of righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. 6Yes, God richly poured out this Spirit on us, through Jesus Christ our Saviour, 7so that being justified by his grace, we become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8This saying is sure. Concerning these things, I desire that you teach with confidence, so that those who have believed God may be careful to persevere in good works. These things are good and profitable to all. 9Avoid foolish questions, genealogies, dissensions and disputes about the law. These things are unprofitable and vain. 10After a first and second admonition, have nothing more to do with anyone who causes divisions, 11knowing that such a person is perverted, sinful and self-condemned.

Practical instructions and conclusion

12When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, do your utmost to meet me at Nicopolis, for I have determined to spend the winter there. 13Send Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollos on their journey speedily and see that they lack nothing. 14Make sure that our people also learn to maintain good works to meet urgent needs, so that they may not be unfruitful.

15All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.