[WRITTEN FROM MACEDONIA, A. D. 58.]
I.--PAUL, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our saviour, and of the Lord Jesus Christ our hope; to Timothy my own son in the faith: Favor, mercy, and peace from God our Father, and from Christ Jesus our Lord.
3.--As I entreated you to continue in Ephesus, when going into Macedonia, that you might charge some not to teach differently, nor to give heed to fables, and endless genealogies, which occasion disputes rather than godly edification, which is through faith; (now the end of the charge is love, from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and unfeigned faith: from which things some having swerved, have turned aside to foolish talking;) desiring to be teachers of the law, neither understanding what they say, nor the things about which they are so positive. We know, indeed, that the law is good, if one use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disorderly, the ungodly and sinners, the unholy and profane; murderers of fathers, and murderers of mothers, manslayers, fornicators, sodomites, manstealers, liars, false swearers, and if any other thing be opposite to wholesome doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I am entrusted. Now I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has qualified me, that he reckoned me faithful, appointing me to the ministry, who was formerly a defamer, and a persecutor, and an injurious person. But I received mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the favor of our Lord has superabounded, with the faith and love which is by Christ Jesus. Ths saying is true and worthy of all reception, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. Howver, for this cause I received mercy, that in me the chief of sinnrs, Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them who should hereafter belive on him, in order to everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God alone, be honor and glory, for ever and ever. Amen. This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before concerning you, that you may carry on through them the good warfare; holding fast faith and a good conscience; which some having put away, with respect to the faith have made shipwreck: of whom are Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to the adversary, that they might be taught by chastisement not to defame.
II.--Now I exhort, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings, be made for all men; for kings, and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who wills all men to be saved, and to come to an acknowledgment of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men,--the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all;--of which the testimony is in its proper season: for which I was appointed a herald and an Apostle, (I speak the truth, I do not falsify,) a teacher to the Gentiles in faith and truth. I will, therefore, that the men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and disputings. In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in decent apparel, with modesty and sobriety, not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly raiment: but (which becomes women professing godliness) with good works. Let a woman learn in silence wth all submission: for I do not allow a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over a man, but to be silent; for Adam was first formed, then Eve. Besides, Adam was not deceived: but the woman, being deceived, was in transgression. However, she shall be saved through child-bearing, if they live in faith, and love, and holiness, with sobriety.
III.--This saying is true. If one earnestly sek the office of a bishop, he desires an excellent work. The bishop, then, must be unblamed, the husband of one wife, vigilant, prudent, of comely behaviour, hospitable, fit to teach; not given to wine, nor striker, but gentle; not quarrelsome, nor a lover of money; one who rules well his own house, having his children in subjection to him with all gravity: for if one know not how to govern his own house, how shall he take care of the congregation of God? Not a new convert, lest being puffed up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must even have a good report from those without, that he may not fall into reproach, and the snare of the devil. The deacons, in like manner, must be grave, not double-tongued, not giving themselves to much wine, not persons who earn money by base methods; holding fast the secret of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also be first proved; then let them exercise the office of the deacon, being without blame. The women, in like manner, must be grave, not slanderers; but vigilant, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling well their children and their families. For they who have performed the office of a deacon well, procure to themselves an excellent degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Jesus Christ. These things I write to you, hoping to come to you soon. But if I tarry long, that you may know how to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the congregation of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.--And, confessedly, great is the secret of godlinss;--he who was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of messengers, proclaimed to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
IV.--But the Spirit expressly says, that in future times some will apostatize from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits, and to doctrines concerning demons: through the hypocrisy of liars, who are seared in thier own conscience; who forbid to marry, and command to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, who thoroughly know the truth;--that every creature of God is good, being received with thanksgiving, and nothing is to be rejected; for it is sanctified, by the word of God, and by prayer. Laying these things before the brethren, you will be a good servant of Jesus Christ, nourished by the words of the faith, and of the good doctrine, to the knowledge of which you have attained. But reject profane and old wifes' fables, and exercise yourself to godliness: for bodily exercise is profitable for little; but godlinss is profitable for all things, having the promise of the present life, and of that to come. This saying is true, and worthy of all reception. Besides, for this we both labor, and suffer reproach,--because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of believers. These things give in charge, and teach. Lt no one despise your youth; but be a pattern to the believers in speech, in behaviour, in love, in faith, in chastity. Till I come, apply yourself to reading, to exhortation, to teaching. Neglect not the spiritual gift which is in you, which was given you through prophecy, with the imposition of the hands of the eldership. Make these things your care. Be wholly employed in them, that your proficiency may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself, and to your doctrine; continue in them: for, in doing this, you will both save yourself, and them who bear you.
V.--Do not severely rebuke an old man, but beseech him as a father, and the young men as brothers; the old women as mothers, and the young as sisters, with all chastity.
3.--Honor widows, who are really widows: but if any widow have children, or grand children, let these learn first piously to take care of their own family, and then to requite their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. Now she who is really a widow, and desolate, trusts in God, and continues in supplications and prayers, night and day. But she who lives in pleasure, is dead while she lives. Now these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. For if any one provide not for his own, and especially those of his own family, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let not a widow be taken into the number under sixty years old, having been the wife of one husband, eminent for good works;--that she has brought up children, that she has lodged strangers, that she has washed the saints' feet, that she has relieved the afflicted, that she has diligently followed every good work. But the young widows reject; for when they become impatient of the restraint of Christ, they will wish to marry, incurring blame for having violated their former engagement. And, at the same time also, they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also, and meddlers, speaking things which they ought not. I would, therefore, have young widows to marry, to bear children, to govern the house, to give no occasion to the adversary for reproach; for some are already turned aside after the adversary. If any believing man or woman have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the congregation be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows. Let the seniors who preside well, be counted worthy of double honor; especially those who labor in word and teaching. For the scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox treading out corn;" and, "The laborer is worthy of his wages."
19.--Against a senior receive not an accusation, unless by two or three witnesses. Those who sin, rebuke before all, that the others also may be afraid.
21.--I charge you in the presence of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the elect angels, that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality. Impose hands hastily on no one, neither partake of other men's sins. Keep yourself pure. No longer drink water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake, and your frequent infirmitites. The sins of some men are very manifest, going before to condemnation; but some, indeed, they follow after. In like manner also, the works of some are very manifest, and those that are otherwise cannot lie hid.
VI.--Let as many servants as are under the yoke, esteem their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not defamed. And let those who have believing masters, not despise them, because they are brethren; but let them serve them more, because they are believers, and beloved, who receive the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any one teach differently, and consent not to the wholesome dictates of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is puffed up with pride, knowing nothing; but is doting about questions, and verbal contentions, from which come envy, strife, evil speakings, unjust suspicions, perverse disputings of men wholly corrupted in mind, and destitute of the truth; who reckon gain to be godliness: from such, stand aloof. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and it is evident that we can carry nothing out. Wherefore, having food and raiment, with these let us be content. But they who will be rich, fall into temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which plunge men into destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil, which some eagerly desiring, have wholly erred from the faith, and pierced themselves all around with many sorrows. Therefore, do you, O man of God! flee these things, and pursue righteousness, piety, faith, love, patience, meekness. Combat the good comabt of faith: lay hold on eternal life; to which also you have been called, and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who makes all alive;--and of Christ Jesus, who witnessed to Pontius Pilate the good confession; that you keep this commandment without spot, unblamable, till the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; which appearance, at the proper season, the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords will exhibit; who only has immortality--dwelling in light inaccessible; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and might everlasting. Amen. Charge the rich in the present world, not to be elated in mind, nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who confers on us richly all things for enjoyment:--to do good, to be rich in lovely works, ready to distribute, communicative, providing for themselves a good foundation for hereafter, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, guard the thing committed to you in trust, avoiding profane vain babblings, and oppositiosn of knowledge, falsely so named; which some professing, have erred with respect to the faith. Favor be with you.
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