1 Timothy 3:1-6:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Overseers and Deacons
3 This is a faithful and trustworthy saying: if any man [eagerly] seeks the office of [a]overseer (bishop, superintendent), he desires an excellent task. 2 Now an overseer must be blameless and beyond reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine, not [b]a bully nor quick-tempered and hot-headed, but gentle and considerate, free from the love of money [not greedy for wealth and its inherent power—financially ethical]. 4 He must manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity [keeping them respectful and well-behaved] 5 (for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?). 6 and He must not be a new convert, so that he will not [behave stupidly and] become conceited [by appointment to this high office] and fall into the [same] condemnation incurred by the devil [for his arrogance and pride]. 7 And he must have a good reputation and be well thought of by those outside the church, so that he will not be discredited and fall into the devil’s trap.
8 [c]Deacons likewise must be men worthy of respect [honorable, financially ethical, of good character], not double-tongued [speakers of half-truths], not addicted to wine, not greedy for dishonest gain, 9 but upholding and fully understanding the mystery [that is, the true doctrine] of the [Christian] faith with a clear conscience [resulting from behavior consistent with spiritual maturity]. 10 These men must first be tested; then if they are found to be blameless and beyond reproach [in their Christian lives], let them serve as deacons. 11 [d]Women must likewise be worthy of respect, not malicious gossips, but self-controlled, [thoroughly] trustworthy in all things. 12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons gain a high standing [having a good reputation among the congregation], and great confidence in the faith which is [founded on and centered] in Christ Jesus.
14 I hope to come to you before long, but I am writing these instructions to you 15 in case I am delayed, so that you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 And great, we confess, is the mystery [the hidden truth] of godliness:
He (Jesus Christ) who was revealed in human flesh,
4 But the [Holy] Spirit explicitly and unmistakably declares that in later times some will turn away from the faith, paying attention instead to deceitful and seductive spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 [misled] by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared as with a branding iron [leaving them incapable of ethical functioning], 3 who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from [certain kinds of] foods which God has created to be gratefully shared by those who believe and have [a clear] knowledge of the truth. 4 For everything God has created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified [set apart, dedicated to God] by means of the word of God and prayer.
A Good Minister’s Discipline
6 If you point out these instructions to the [e]brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished [through study] on the words of the faith and of the good [Christian] doctrine which you have closely followed. 7 But have nothing to do with irreverent folklore and silly myths. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness [keeping yourself spiritually fit]. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come. 9 This is a faithful and trustworthy saying worthy of full acceptance and approval. 10 It is for this that we labor and strive [often called to account], because we have fixed our [confident] hope on the living God, who is the [f]Savior of all people, especially of those who believe [in Him, recognize Him as the Son of God, and accept Him as Savior and Lord].
11 Keep commanding and teaching these things. 12 Let no one look down on [you because of] your youth, but be an example and set a pattern for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in [moral] purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to public reading [of Scripture], to preaching and to teaching [the sound doctrine of God’s word]. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, [that special endowment] which was intentionally bestowed on you [by the Holy Spirit] through prophetic utterance when the [g]elders laid their hands on you [at your ordination]. 15 Practice and work hard on these things; be absorbed in them [completely occupied in your ministry], so that your progress will be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself [concentrate on your personal development] and to your teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
5 Do not sharply reprimand an older man, but appeal to him as [you would to] a father, to younger men as brothers, 2 to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters, in all purity [being careful to maintain appropriate relationships].
3 Honor and help those widows who are truly widowed [alone, and without support]. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren [who are adults], see to it that these first learn to show great respect to their own family [as their religious duty and natural obligation], and to compensate their parents or grandparents [for their upbringing]; for this is acceptable and pleasing in the sight of God. 5 Now a woman who is really a widow and has been left [entirely] alone [without adequate income] trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 Whereas she who lives for pleasure and self-indulgence is spiritually dead even while she still lives. 7 Keep instructing [the people to do] these things as well, so that they may be blameless and beyond reproach. 8 If anyone fails to provide for his own, and especially for those of his own family, he has denied the faith [by disregarding its precepts] and is worse than an unbeliever [who fulfills his obligation in these matters].
9 A widow is to be put on the list [to receive regular assistance] only if she is over sixty years of age, [having been] the wife of one man, 10 and has a reputation for good deeds; [she is eligible] if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the feet of the saints (God’s people), if she has assisted the distressed, and has devoted herself to doing good in every way. 11 But refuse [to enroll the] younger widows, for when they feel their natural desires in disregard of Christ, they wish to marry again, 12 and so they incur condemnation for having set aside their [h]previous pledge. 13 Now at the same time, they also learn to be idle as they go from house to house; and not only idle, but also gossips and [i]busybodies [meddlers in things that do not concern them], talking about things they should not mention. 14 So I want younger widows to get married, have children, manage their households, and not give opponents of the faith any occasion for slander. 15 Some [widows] have already turned away [from the faith] to follow Satan. 16 If any believing woman has [dependent] widows [in her household], [j]she must assist them [according to her ability]; and the church must not be burdened [with them], so that it may assist those who are truly widows [those who are all alone and are dependent].
17 The elders who perform their leadership duties well are to be considered worthy of double honor (financial support), especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching [the word of God concerning eternal salvation through Christ]. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain [to keep it from eating],” and, “The worker is worthy of his wages [he deserves fair compensation].” 19 Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it is based on [the testimony of at least] two or three witnesses. 20 As for those [elders] who continue in sin, reprimand them in the presence of all [the congregation], so that the rest will be warned. 21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels that you guard and keep these rules without bias, doing nothing out of favoritism. 22 Do not hurry to lay hands on anyone [ordaining and approving someone for ministry or an office in the church, or in reinstating expelled offenders], and thereby share in the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.
23 No longer [k]continue drinking [only] water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
24 [l]The sins of some people are conspicuous, leading the way for them into judgment [so that they are clearly not qualified for ministry]; but the sins of others appear later [for they are hidden and follow behind them]. 25 Likewise, good deeds are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be hidden [indefinitely].
Instructions to Those Who Minister
6 All who are under the yoke as bond-servants (slaves) are to regard their own masters as worthy of honor and respect so that the name of God and the teaching [about Him] will not be spoken against. 2 Those who have believing masters are not to be disrespectful toward them because they are brothers [in Christ], but they should serve them even better, because those who benefit from their kindly service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these [duties and principles].
3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine and teaching which is in agreement with godliness (personal integrity, upright behavior), 4 he is conceited and woefully ignorant [understanding nothing]. He has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, which produces envy, quarrels, verbal abuse, evil suspicions, 5 and perpetual friction between men who are corrupted in mind and deprived of the truth, who think that godliness is a source of profit [a lucrative, money-making business—withdraw from them]. 6 But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God]. 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so [it is clear that] we cannot take anything out of it, either. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who [are not financially ethical and] crave to get rich [with a compulsive, greedy longing for wealth] fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction [leading to personal misery]. 10 For the love of money [that is, the greedy desire for it and the willingness to gain it unethically] is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves [through and through] with many sorrows.
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