Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.
Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.
(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)
He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.
He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.
Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.
They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.
They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.
Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that,
if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance
(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.
Command and teach these things.
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers,
older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.
The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.
But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.
Give the people these instructions, too, so that no one may be open to blame.
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband,
and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry.
Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge.
Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.
So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.
Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.
If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages."
Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.
Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.
I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.
Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them.
In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.