He Put Our Lives Together 3 1Remind the people to respect the government and be law–abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand. 2No insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous. 3It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. 4But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, 5he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. 6Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. 7God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! 8You can count on this. I want you to put your foot down. Take a firm stand on these matters so that those who have put their trust in God will concentrate on the essentials that are good for everyone. 9Stay away from mindless, pointless quarreling over genealogies and fine print in the law code. That gets you nowhere. 10Warn a quarrelsome person once or twice, but then be done with him. 11It’s obvious that such a person is out of line, rebellious against God. By persisting in divisiveness he cuts himself off. 12As soon as I send either Artemas or Tychicus to you, come immediately and meet me in Nicopolis. I’ve decided to spend the winter there. 13Give Zenas the lawyer and Apollos a hearty send–off. Take good care of them. 14Our people have to learn to be diligent in their work so that all necessities are met (especially among the needy) and they don’t end up with nothing to show for their lives. 15All here want to be remembered to you. Say hello to our friends in the faith. Grace to all of you.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About