3 Here is a trustworthy saying: if someone is eager for the work of overseeing God’s people, the task they seek is a fine one. 2 The bishop must be beyond reproach. He must not have more than one wife. He must be temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, a good teacher. 3 He must not be a heavy drinker, or violent, but must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not in love with money. 4 He must be good at managing his own household, with his children being subject to him with all godliness. (5 After all, if a man doesn’t know how to run his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, in case he gets puffed up and falls into the devil’s condemnation. 7 In addition, he must have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he may not incur reproach and fall into the devil’s snare.
The Character of Deacons
8 In the same way, deacons must be serious-minded, not the sort of people who say one thing today and another tomorrow, not heavy drinkers, not eager for shameful gain. 9 They must hold on to the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 They must first be tested; then, when they have been found without reproach, they may serve as deacons. 11 The womenfolk, too, should be serious-minded, not slanderers, but temperate and faithful in all things. 12 Deacons should have only one wife, and should be well in charge of their children and their own households. 13 Those who serve well as deacons, you see, gain a good platform for themselves to speak out boldly in the faith which is in King Jesus.
The Mystery of Godliness
14 I’m writing this to you in the hope that I’ll be able to come to you in the near future. 15 But, if I’m delayed, this will help you to know how people should behave in God’s household, which is the assembly of the living God, the pillar and firm foundation of the truth. 16 Indeed, the mystery of godliness is certainly great:
He was revealed in the flesh, and vindicated in the spirit; he appeared to angels, and was announced to Gentiles; he was believed in the world, and taken up in glory.
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