3 Remind God’s people to obey rulers and authorities. Remind them to be ready to do what is good. 2 Tell them not to speak evil things against anyone. Remind them to live in peace. They must consider the needs of others. They must always be gentle toward everyone.
3 At one time we too acted like fools. We didn’t obey God. We were tricked. We were controlled by all kinds of desires and pleasures. We were full of evil. We wanted what belongs to others. People hated us, and we hated one another. 4 But the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared. 5 He saved us. It wasn’t because of the good things we had done. It was because of his mercy. He saved us by washing away our sins. We were born again. The Holy Spirit gave us new life. 6 God poured out the Spirit on us freely. That’s because of what Jesus Christ our Savior has done. 7 His grace made us right with God. So now we have received the hope of eternal life as God’s children. 8 You can trust this saying. These things are important. Treat them that way. Then those who trust in God will be careful to commit themselves to doing good. These things are excellent. They are for the good of everyone.
9 But keep away from foolish disagreements. Don’t argue about family histories. Don’t make trouble. Don’t fight about what the law teaches. Don’t argue about things like that. It doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t help anyone. 10 Warn anyone who tries to get believers to separate from one another. Warn that person more than once. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You can be sure that people like this are twisted and sinful. Their own actions judge them.
12 I will send Artemas or Tychicus to you. Then do your best to come to me at Nicopolis. I’ve decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos. Send them on their way. See that they have everything they need.
14 Our people must learn to commit themselves to doing what is good. Then they can provide for people when they are in great need. If they do that, their lives won’t turn out to be useless.
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