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Sunday, August 18, 2019
II Chronicles 1-5
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness,
in hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised ages ago
and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by command of God our Savior;
To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you,
if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate.
For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,
but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled;
he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it.
For there are many insubordinate men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially the circumcision party;
they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for base gain what they have no right to teach.
One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."
This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
instead of giving heed to Jewish myths or to commands of men who reject the truth.
To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are corrupted.
They profess to know God, but they deny him by their deeds; they are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good deed.
But as for you, teach what befits sound doctrine.
Bid the older men be temperate, serious, sensible, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.
Bid the older women likewise to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good,
and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,
to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind, and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be discredited.
Likewise urge the younger men to control themselves.
Show yourself in all respects a model of good deeds, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity,
and sound speech that cannot be censured, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us.
Bid slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to be refractory,
nor to pilfer, but to show entire and true fidelity, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men,
training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world,
awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work,
to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men.
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by men and hating one another;
but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit,
which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
The saying is sure. I desire you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to apply themselves to good deeds; these are excellent and profitable to men.
But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile.
As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him,
knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.
When I send Artemas or Tych'icus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicop'olis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apol'los on their way; see that they lack nothing.
And let our people learn to apply themselves to good deeds, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not to be unfruitful.
All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.
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