17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia.19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents.20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you.27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God,[a] which he bought with his own blood.[b]
3 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect.5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
8 In the same way, deacons[b] are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
11 In the same way, the women[c] are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well.13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
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