1 Timothy 3

1These are true words. If a man wants to be a leader of the church people, he seeks a good thing. 2For a man to be a church leader, people must speak well of him. He must have only one wife. He must be able to control himself. He must use good sense. He must behave himself well. He must be kind to strangers in his house. He must be a good teacher. 3He must not get drunk. He must not fight. But he must be kind. He must not quarrel. He must not love money. 4He must be a good leader for his own family. His children must obey him and respect him. 5If a man does not know how to lead his own family, how can he take care of the church of God? 6A church leader must not be a new believer. If he were a new believer, he might become proud and set himself up like the devil did. 7People who are not church people must also speak well of a church leader, so that he will not fall into the devil’s trap.

8In the same way, the leader’s helpers must be men whom people respect. They must not say one thing one time and something different another time. They must not drink too much wine. They must not try to get rich in wrong ways. 9They must know God’s plan and what we believe. They must do only what they know is right. 10Try these men first. Then let them help the church people if they have done nothing wrong. 11In the same way, their wives must be women whom people respect. They must not tell lies about anyone. They must be able to control themselves. They must live so that people can trust them in all things. 12The leader’s helpers must have only one wife. They must be good leaders for their children and family. 13When they have done the work of a helper well, people will respect them. If they do well, they will not fear to tell what they believe about Christ Jesus.

14I am writing to you about these matters even though I hope to come to you soon. 15Then if I do not come right away, you will know what people should do in God’s family. This family is the church of the living God. The church people hold what is true and keeps it strong. 16God’s plan is very great as we all know. Here it is: we saw God as a man; God’s Spirit proved he was right; angels saw him; the nations were told about him; people of the world believed in him; God took him up into heaven.

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