Titus 1 1I, Paul, am God’s slave and Christ’s agent for promoting the faith among God’s chosen people, getting out the accurate word on God and how to respond rightly to it. 2My aim is to raise hopes by pointing the way to life without end. This is the life God promised long ago—and he doesn’t break promises! 3And then when the time was ripe, he went public with his truth. I’ve been entrusted to proclaim this Message by order of our Savior, God himself. 4Dear Titus, legitimate son in the faith: Receive everything God our Father and Jesus our Savior give you! A Good Grip on the Message 5I left you in charge in Crete so you could complete what I left half–done. Appoint leaders in every town according to my instructions. 6As you select them, ask, “Is this man well–thought–of? Is he committed to his wife? Are his children believers? Do they respect him and stay out of trouble?” 7It’s important that a church leader, responsible for the affairs in God’s house, be looked up to—not pushy, not short–tempered, not a drunk, not a bully, not money–hungry. 8He must welcome people, be helpful, wise, fair, reverent, have a good grip on himself, 9and have a good grip on the Message, knowing how to use the truth to either spur people on in knowledge or stop them in their tracks if they oppose it. 10For there are a lot of rebels out there, full of loose, confusing, and deceiving talk. Those who were brought up religious and ought to know better are the worst. 11They’ve got to be shut up. They’re disrupting entire families with their teaching, and all for the sake of a fast buck. 12One of their own prophets said it best: The Cretans are liars from the womb, barking dogs, lazy bellies. 13He certainly spoke the truth. Get on them right away. Stop that diseased talk of Jewish make–believe and made–up rules 14so they can recover a robust faith. 15Everything is clean to the clean–minded; nothing is clean to dirty–minded unbelievers. They leave their dirty fingerprints on every thought and act. 16They say they know God, but their actions speak louder than their words. They’re real creeps, disobedient good–for–nothings.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About