Paul says ‘Hello’ to Titus
1 This letter is from me, Paul. I am God's servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ. God has sent me to help his special people to understand his true message and to trust him. As a result they will live in a way that makes God happy. 2 They will also be sure that they will live with God for ever. Before the world began, God promised that his people will have life with him. And God never tells lies. 3 God is the one who saves us. Now, at the proper time, he has made his message clear. He has given his message to me so that I will tell it to people. That is what he has told me to do.
4 I am writing to you, Titus. I told you the message about Jesus and now we both believe in him. So you are like my own child.
I pray that God, the Father, and Christ Jesus, who saves us, will continue to help you. I pray that they will give you peace in your mind.
Titus's work on Crete
5 I left you there in Crete so that you could finish certain things. You should make right some things that were wrong. And you should choose leaders of the believers in every town, as I told you.
6 This is what a leader in the church must be like. Nobody should have a reason to say that he has done something wrong. He must be the husband of only one wife. He must have children who respect him. Nobody should say that they enjoy bad things or that they do not obey their parents. 7 A leader in the church serves the believers on God's behalf. For that reason, nobody should have a reason to say that he has done anything wrong. A leader must not be proud. He must not become angry easily. He should not like to drink too much wine. He must not be someone who likes to fight. He must not want to get a lot of money for himself. 8 Instead, he must be happy to have visitors in his home. He must want to do good things. He must be careful in how he lives. He must do what is right. He must want to serve God well. He must rule himself well.
1:6children who respect him OR: children who are believers.
9 A leader in the church must continue to believe the true message very well. That is the message which we have taught. Then he will be able to teach people what is true and right. He will also be able to show that people who speak against the true message are wrong.
10 I say this because there are many people who teach false things that have no value. They do not obey anyone and they want people to believe their false message. The people who want the believers to obey all the Jewish rules are like that. 11 You must not let those people continue to teach false things like that. They are causing whole families to believe their lies. They teach things that they should not teach, because they want people to give them money. 12 Many years ago, there was a certain man who lived on Crete. The people there called him their prophet. Even he said, ‘People who live on Crete are always telling lies and doing bad things. They are lazy and they eat too much food.’
1:10Some Jewish Christians may have taught that the Christians on Crete must obey the Jews' rules. They may have taught that all the Christians should be circumcised. The Jews circumcised their men and boys to show that they were God's special people. But the Bible does not say that Christians need to do that. We are God's people because Christ died for us, not because of what we do to our bodies.
13 What that man said is true. So, you must warn the people there so that they do not believe those false things. Help them to believe the true message about Jesus better and better. 14 They must stop listening to those Jewish stories that are not true. They must stop listening to human rules. Those things are the ideas of people who refuse to obey the true message.
15 If someone is clean and good inside, then everything is clean and good for them to enjoy. But if someone is not a believer and has a dirty mind, then nothing is clean or good for that person. Their minds have become spoiled. They no longer feel guilty when they do anything wrong. 16 People like that say that they know God. But they do bad things. This shows that they do not know him. They are completely bad. They refuse to obey God and they are unable to do anything good.