Christians must obey people who have authority
1 Tell the believers there to respect the government and those who have authority. They must remember to obey their rulers. They must always be ready to help other people. 2 They must not say bad things against anyone. They must not quarrel with people. Instead, they should be kind and polite to everyone.
3 Before we believed in Christ, we ourselves were fools too. We did not obey God. We believed a false message. We wanted to do many kinds of bad things, and we could not stop doing them. Every day we did bad things. We were jealous of other people. People hated us, and we hated each other.
4 But then God saved us from our sins. He showed clearly that he is very kind. He showed that he loves all people. 5 God did not save us because of any good things that we ourselves had done. He saved us because he chose to forgive us. God has washed us so that we are clean inside. We have been born again, so that we live a new life. God's Holy Spirit has done this for us. 6 Jesus Christ died as a sacrifice to save us. So now God has poured his Holy Spirit into us, to fill us. 7 Because God is very kind, he has accepted us as right with himself. As a result, we know that we will receive the good things that God has prepared for us. We know that we will live with God for ever.
8 That message is certainly true. I want you to teach clearly the things that I have said in this letter. Make sure that the people understand them well. Then the people who have believed in God will be careful to do good things. Good things like that will help everyone.
9 But stay away from people who argue about silly things. They study long lists of their families' names from years ago. Refuse to quarrel with people like that. Refuse to argue about the rules in God's Law. All those kinds of things have no value and they do not help anyone. 10 If someone teaches a false message that causes trouble, warn him. If you warn him twice and he still does not stop, stay away from him. 11 You know that a person like that has chosen not to believe the true message. He knows that he is doing a bad thing, but he continues to do it.
Paul finishes his letter
12 I will send either Artemas or Tychicus to you. After one of them has arrived, please come as soon as possible to meet me in Nicopolis city. I have decided that I will stay at Nicopolis during the winter.
3:12Nicopolis was a city on the west coast of the country that we call Greece.
13 Please help Zenas (the lawyer) and Apollos as much as you can. They want to travel soon. Make sure that they have everything that they need for their journey.
14 Our Christian friends there must learn to do good things. They should supply things to people who need help. That will show that their lives really do help people.
15 Everyone who is here with me says ‘hello’ to you. Please say ‘hello’ on our behalf to the believers there who love us. I pray that God will continue to be very kind to all of you.