1 Paul, servant of God and emissary[a] of Jesus, the Anointed One, on behalf of the faith that is accepted by God’s chosen people and the knowledge of the undeniable truth that leads to godliness.
Paul is ready to defend the truth. He knows it is pure and honorable. He knows that it comes from and leads back to God. In contrast, Paul perceives the constant threat of false teaching that produces chaos, overturns entire families, and is filled with myths and instructions taught by those outside the faith. This counter-truth is filled with lusts and passions that tear down others, and it results in petty debates over family trees with fights and disagreements over the law. The line is clearly drawn between them. Paul leaves no room to sit on the fence; there is no partial truth—the future of the church is at stake.
2 We rest in this hope we’ve been given—the hope that we will live forever with our God—the hope that He proclaimed ages and ages ago (even before time began). And our God is no liar; He is not even capable of uttering lies. 3 So we can be sure that it is in His exact right time that He released His word into the world—through the preaching that God our Savior has commanded into my care.
His word brings into the world the absolute clarity of God’s perspective and life-saving knowledge.
4 To you, Titus, my dear son birthed through our shared faith: may grace and peace rest upon you from God the Father and Jesus the Anointed, our Savior.
5 I left you on Crete so you could sort out the chaos and the unfinished business and appoint elders over communities in each and every city according to my earlier orders. 6 Here’s what you should look for in an elder: he should be above suspicion; if he is married, he should be the husband of one wife, raise children who believe, and be a person who can’t be accused of rough and raucous living. 7 It is necessary that any overseer you appoint be blameless, as he is entrusted with God’s mission. Look for someone who isn’t pompous or quick to anger, who is not a drunkard, violent, or chasing after seedy gain or worldly fame. 8 Find a person who lovingly opens his home to others; who honors goodness; who is thoughtful, fair, devout, self-controlled; and 9 who clings to the faithful word that was taught because he must be able, not only to encourage people with sound teaching, but also to challenge those who are against it.
10 You see antagonists everywhere; they are rebellious, loose-lipped, and deceitful (especially those who are from the circumcised lot). 11 Their talk must be quashed—their mouths sealed up because impure teaching is flying out of their lips and overturning entire families for the sake of their own squalid gain. 12 I’ll tell you, even their own prophet was heard saying, “Chronic liars, foul beasts, and lazy gluttons—that’s who you’ll meet in Crete.”13 And he’s right! This is why we have to scold them, sometimes severely, so they will be sound in the faith 14 and be able to ignore Jewish myths as well as any commandments given by those who turn away from the truth.
15 Listen: to those who are pure, all things are pure. But to those who are tainted, stained, and unbelieving, nothing is pure because their minds and their consciences are polluted. 16 They claim, “I know God,” but their actions are a slap to His face. They are wretched, disobedient, and useless to any worthwhile cause.
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