3 What I say is true: If anyone wants to become an overseer, he is wanting a good work. 2 An overseer must be so good that people cannot rightly criticize him. He must have only one wife. He must have self-control and be wise. He must be respected by other people and must be ready to help people by accepting them into his home. He must be a good teacher. 3 He must not drink too much wine, and he must not be a man who likes to fight. He must be gentle and peaceful. He must not love money. 4 He must be a good leader of his own family so that his children obey him with full respect. 5 (If a man does not know how to be a leader over his own family, he will not be able to take care of God’s church.) 6 But an elder must not be a new believer. A new believer might be too proud of himself. Then he would be judged guilty for his pride just as the devil was. 7 An elder must also have the respect of people who are not in the church. Then he will not be criticized by others and caught in the devil’s trap.
Helpers in the Church
8 In the same way, deacons must be men that people can respect. They must not say things they do not mean. They must not use their time drinking too much wine, and they must not be men who are always trying to get rich by cheating others. 9 They must follow the faith that God made known to us and always do what they know is right. 10 You should test those men first. If you find nothing wrong in them, then they can serve as deacons. 11 In the same way, the women[a] must have the respect of other people. They must not be women who repeat evil gossip about other people. They must have self-control and be women who can be trusted in everything. 12 Deacons must have only one wife. They must be good leaders of their children and their own families. 13 Those who serve well as deacons are making an honorable place for themselves. And they will feel very sure of their faith in Christ Jesus.
The Secret of Our Life
14 I hope I can come to you soon. But I am writing these things to you now. 15 Then, even if I cannot come soon, you will know about the things that people must do in the family of God. That family is the church of the living God, the support and foundation of the truth. 16 Without doubt, the secret of our life of worship is great:
He[b] was shown to us in a human body, proved right by the Spirit, and seen by angels. He was preached to the nations, believed in by the world, and taken to heaven in glory.
3:11women This might mean the wives of the deacons, or it might mean women who serve in the same way as deacons.
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