[WRITTEN FROM MACEDONIA, A. D. 56.]
I.--PAUL, a servant of God, and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, (according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledgment of the truth, which is according to godliness;--in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the times of th ages;--who has now manifested his word, at the proper season, by the proclamation with which I am entrusted, according to the appointment of God our Saviour;) to Titus, my genuine son, according to the common faith: Favor, mercy, and pece, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.
5.--For this purpose, I left you in Crete, that you might set in order the things left unfinished, and to ordain seniors in every city, as I commanded you. If any one be without blame, the husband of one wife, having believing children, not accused of riotous living, nor unruly.--For a bishop should be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not prone to anger, not given to wine, not a striker, not one who makes gain by base mehntods; but hospitable; a love of good men, prudent, just, holy, temperate; holding fast the true doctrine, as he has been taught; that he may be able by wholesome teaching, both to exhort and to confute the gain-sayers. For there are many unruly and foolish talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped; who subvert whole families, teching things which they ought not for the sake of sordid gain. One of themselves, a prophet of their own, has said, "The Cretans are always liars, evil wild beasts, lazy bodies." This testimony is true; for which cause rebuke them sharply, that they may be healthy in the faith,--not giving heed to Jewish fables, and precepts of men who pervert the truth. To the pure, all meats are pure; but to the polluted and unbelieving, nothing is pure; for both their understanding and conscience are polluted. They profess to know God; but by works they deny him, being abominable and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate.
II.--But do you inculcate the things, which become wholesome doctrine: that aged men be vigilant, grave, prudent, healthy by faith, love, patience. That aged women, in like manner, be in deportment as becomes sacred persons;--not slanderers, not enslaved to much wine, good teachers; that they may persuade the young women to be lovers of their husbands, lovers of their children;--to be calm, chaste, careful of their families, good, subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be defamed.--The young men, in like manner, exhort to govern their passions. In all thins make yourself a pattern of good works: in teaching show incorruptness, gravity, wholesome speech which cannot be condemned; that he, who is on the oppostie side, may be ashamed, having nothing bad to say concerning you. Exhort servants to be subject to their own masters, and in all things to be careful to please, not answering again, not secretly stealing, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctgrine of God our Saviour in all things. For the favor of God, which brings salvation, has appeared to all men; teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world;--expecting the blessed hope, namely, th appearing of the glory of the great God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things inculcate, and exhort, and reprove with all authority; let no one despise you.
III.--Put them in mind to be subject to governments and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work; to speak evil of no one; to be no fighters, but equitable, showing all meekness to all men. For even we ourselves were formerly foolish, disobedient, erring, slavishly serving divers inordinate desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the goodness and philanthropy of God our Saviour shone forth, he saved us,--not on account of works of righteousness which we had done,--but according to his own mercy, through the bath of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit; which he had poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour: that being justified by his favor, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This doctrine is true: and concerning these, I charge you to affirm strongly, that those who have believed in God, be studious to stand foremost in good works;--These are the things that are honorable and profitable to men. But foolish questions, and genealogies, and strifes, and fighting against the law, resist; for they are unprofitable and vain. A factionist, after a first and second admonition, reject; knowing that such a person is perverted, and sins, being self-condemned. When I shall send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, make haste to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have determined to winter there. Diligently help forward on their journey, Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollos, that nothing may be wanting to them. And let ours also learn to stand foremost in good works, for necesary uses, that they may not be unfruitful. all who are with me salute you. Salute them who love us in the faith. Favor be with you all.
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