1 Greetings from Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I was sent to help God’s chosen people have faith and understand the truth that produces a life of devotion to God.
2 This faith and knowledge make us sure that we have eternal life. God promised that life to us before time began—and God does not lie.
3 At the right time, God let the world know about that life. He did this through the telling of the Good News message, and he trusted me with that work. I told people that message because God our Savior commanded me to.
4 To Titus, a true son to me in the faith we share together.
Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Titus’ Work in Crete
5 I left you in Crete so that you could finish doing what still needed to be done. And I also left you there so that you could choose men to be elders in every town.
6 To be an elder, a man must not be guilty of living in a wrong way. He must be faithful to his wife, and his children must be faithful to God. They must not be known as children who are wild or don’t obey.
7 An elder has the job of taking care of God’s work. So people should not be able to say that he lives in a wrong way. He must not be someone who is proud and selfish or who gets angry quickly. He must not drink too much, and he must not be someone who likes to fight. He must not be a man who will do almost anything for money.
8 An elder must be ready to help people by welcoming them into his home. He must love what is good. He must be wise. He must live right. He must be devoted to God and pleasing to him. And he must be able to control himself.
9 An elder must be faithful to the same true message we teach. Then he will be able to encourage others with teaching that is true and right. And he will be able to show those who are against this teaching that they are wrong.
10 This is important, because there are many people who refuse to obey—people who talk about worthless things and mislead others. I am talking especially about those who say that men who are not Jews must be circumcised to please God.
11 These people must be stopped, because they are destroying whole families by teaching what they should not teach. They teach only to cheat people and make money.
12 Even one of their own prophets said, “Cretans are always liars. They are evil animals and lazy people who do nothing but eat.”
13 The words that prophet said are true. So tell those people that they are wrong. You must be strict with them. Then they will become strong in the faith,
14 and they will stop paying attention to the stories told by those Jews. They will stop following the commands of those who have turned away from the truth.
15 To people who are pure, everything is pure. But to those who are full of sin and don’t believe, nothing is pure. Really, their thinking has become evil and their consciences have been ruined.
16 They say they know God, but the evil things they do show that they don’t accept him. They are disgusting. They refuse to obey God and are not capable of doing anything good.