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1 1Greetings from Paul, a servant of God and an apostle* of Jesus Christ. I was sent to help the faith of God's chosen people. I was sent to help those people to know the truth. And that truth shows people how to serve God. 2That faith and that knowledge come from our hope for life forever. God promised that life to us before time began--and God does not lie. 3At the right time God let the world know about that life. God did this through the telling of the [Good News] message.* And he trusted me with that work. I told people that message because God our Savior commanded me to. 4To Titus. You are [like] a true son to me in the faith we share together. Grace (kindness) and peace to you from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Titus' Work in Crete

5I left you in Crete so that you could finish doing the things that still needed to be done. And I also left you there so that you could choose men to be elders* in every town. 6To be an elder, a man must not be guilty of living in a wrong way. He must have only one wife. His children must be dependable.* They must not be known as children that are wild and don't obey. 7An elder* has the job of taking care of God's work. So people should not be able to say that he lives in a wrong way. He must not be a person who is proud and selfish or who becomes angry quickly. He must not drink too much wine. He must not be a person who likes to fight. And he must not be a person who always tries to get rich by cheating people. 8An elder must be ready to help people by accepting them into his home. He must love what is good. He must be wise. He must live right. He must be holy.* And he must be able to control himself. 9An elder must faithfully follow the truth the same as we teach it. An elder must be able to help people by using true and right teaching. And he must be able to show the people who are against the true teaching that they are wrong. 10There are many people who refuse to obey--people who talk about worthless things and lead other people into the wrong way. I am talking mostly about those people who say that all non-Jewish people must be circumcised.* 11An elder* must [be able to show that those people are wrong and] stop them from talking [about those worthless things]. Those people are destroying whole families by teaching things that they should not teach. They teach those things only to cheat people and make money. 12Even one of their own prophets (teachers) [from Crete] said, "Cretan people are always liars. They are evil animals and lazy people who do nothing but eat." 13The words that prophet said are true. So tell those people that they are wrong. You must be strict with them. Then they will become strong in the faith. 14Then those people will stop accepting Jewish stories. And they will stop following the commands of those people who don't accept the truth. 15To people that are pure, all things are pure. But to people who are full of sin and don't believe, nothing is pure. Really, those people's thinking has become evil and their knowledge of what is right has been ruined. 16Those people say they know God. But the [evil] things those people do show that they don't accept God. They are terrible people, they refuse to obey, and they are not useful for doing anything good.

apostle A person Jesus chose to represent him in a special way. Good News, message The news that God has made a way for people to have their sins forgiven and live with him forever. elder(s) A group of men chosen to lead a church. Also called "overseers" and "pastors" (shepherds), they have the work of caring for God's people (Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11; Tit. 1:7,9). dependable This word can also mean "believers". holy A holy person is pure and belongs only to God. circumcised To have the foreskin cut off. This was done to every Jewish baby boy. It was a mark of the agreement God made with Abraham (Gen. 17:9-14).

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