1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I serve God, and I am an apostle of Jesus Christ. God sent me to help his chosen people believe in Christ more and more. God sent me to help them understand even more the truth that leads to godly living. 2That belief and understanding lead to the hope of eternal life. Before time began, God promised to give that life. And he does not lie. 3Now, at just the right time, he has made his promise clear. He did this through the preaching that he trusted me with. God our Savior has commanded all these things.
4Titus, I am sending you this letter. You are my true son in the faith we share.
May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior give you grace and peace.
Choosing Elders Who Love What Is Good
5I left you on the island of Crete. I did this because there were some things that hadn’t been finished. I wanted you to put them in order. I also wanted you to appoint elders in every town. I told you how to do it. 6An elder must be without blame. He must be faithful to his wife. His children must be believers. They must not give anyone a reason to say that they are wild and don’t obey. 7A church leader takes care of God’s family. That’s why he must be without blame. He must not look after only his own interests. He must not get angry easily. He must not get drunk. He must not push people around. He must not try to get money by cheating people. 8Instead, a church leader must welcome people into his home. He must love what is good. He must control his mind and feelings. He must do what is right. He must be holy. He must control the desires of his body. 9The message as it has been taught can be trusted. He must hold firmly to it. Then he will be able to use true teaching to comfort others and build them up. He will be able to prove that people who oppose it are wrong.
Warning People Who Fail to Do Good
10Many people refuse to obey God. All they do is talk about things that mean nothing. They try to fool others. No one does these things more than the circumcision group. 11They must be stopped. They are making trouble for entire families. They do this by teaching things they shouldn’t. They do these things to cheat people. 12One of Crete’s own prophets has a saying. He says, “People from Crete are always liars. They are evil beasts. They don’t want to work. They live only to eat.” 13This saying is true. So give a strong warning to people who refuse to obey God. Then they will understand the faith correctly. 14Then they will pay no attention to Jewish stories that aren’t true. They won’t listen to the mere human commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15To people who are pure, all things are pure. But to those who have twisted minds and don’t believe, nothing is pure. In fact, their minds and their sense of what is right and wrong are twisted. 16They claim to know God. But their actions show they don’t know him. They are hated by God. They refuse to obey him. They aren’t fit to do anything good.