ST. PAULíS First Epistle
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the commandment of God our Savior, and Christ Jesus our hope, To Timotheus my own son in the faith, grace, mercy, peace, from God our Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord.
As I exhorted thee when I was going into Macedonia, abide at Ephesus; that thou mayest charge some to teach no other doctrine, neither to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, that afford questions, and not godly edifying, which is through faith. Whereas the end of the commandment is love, out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned: From which some, having missed the mark, are turned aside to vain jangling: Desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither the things they say, nor those concerning which they confidently affirm. We know, the law is good, if a man use it lawfully, knowing this, that the law doth not lie against a righteous man; but against the lawless and disobedient, against the ungodly and sinners, the unholy and profane, against killers of their fathers or their mothers, against murderers, against whoremongers, sodomites, man stealers, liars, perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to wholesome doctrine. According to the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, with which I am entrusted. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, in that he accounted me faithful, having put me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and an oppressor; but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant, with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. Yet for this cause I obtained mercy that on me the chief, Jesus Christ might show all long-suffering, for a pattern to them who should hereafter believe in him to life everlasting. Now to the King of eternity, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
This charge I commit to thee, son Timotheus, according to the prophecies which went before concerning thee, that thou mightest by them war the good warfare: Holding fast faith and a good conscience; which some having thrust away, have made shipwreck of their faith: Of whom are Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
I exhort therefore, that first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men: For kings and all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who willeth all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified of in due season, whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth, I lie not,) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. I will therefore that men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting: Likewise that women adorn themselves in decent apparel, with modesty and sobriety, not with curled hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly raiment. But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all subjection. For I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived; but the woman, being deceived, transgressed. Yet she shall be saved in child bearing, if they continue in faith, and love, and holiness, with sobriety.
This is a faithful saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop therefore must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, prudent, of good behavior, hospitable, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not desirous of filthy gain, but gentle, patient, not loving money; ruling his own house well, having his children in subjection with all seriousness. For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? Not a new convert, lest being puffed up, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. He ought also to have a good report from them that are without, lest he fall into reproach, and the snare of the devil. Likewise the deacons must be serious, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not desirous of filthy gain; holding fast the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these be proved first, then let them minister, being blameless. In like manner their wives must be serious, not slanderers, vigilant, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling their children, and their own houses well. For they that have discharged the office of a deacon well, purchase to themselves a good degree, and much boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. These things I write to thee, hoping to come to thee shortly: But if I tarry, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave in the house of God, which is the church of the living God. The mystery of godliness is the pillar and ground of the truth, and without controversy a great thing: God was manifested in the flesh, was justified by the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, taken up into glory.
But the Spirit saith expressly, that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; by the hypocrisy of them that speak lies, having their own consciences seared as with a hot iron: Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by them that believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be rejected, being received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou remind the brethren of these things, thou wilt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourishing them with the words of faith, and of the good doctrine which thou hast accurately traced out. But avoid profane and old wivesí fables, and exercise thyself unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth a little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the present life, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of them that believe. These things command and teach. Let no one despise thy youth; but be a pattern to them that believe, in word, in behavior, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give thyself to reading, to exhortation, to teaching. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate on these things; be wholly in them, that thy profiting may appear in all things. Take heed to thyself, and to thy teaching: Continue in them, for in so doing thou shalt save both thyself and them that hear thee.
Rebuke not an aged man, but exhort him as a father, the younger men as brethren; the aged women as mothers, the younger as sisters, with all purity. Honor widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or grandchildren, let these learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers, night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure, is dead while she liveth. And enjoin these things, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own family, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let not a widow be chosen under threescore years old, having been the wife of one husband, well reported of for good works, if she hath brought up children, if she hath lodged strangers, if she hath washed the feet of the saints, if she hath relieved the afflicted, if she hath diligently followed every good work. But the younger widows refuse; for when they are waxed wanton against Christ, they want to marry; having condemnation, because they have rejected their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, going about from house to house; and not only idle, but triflers and busybodies, speaking what they ought not. I counsel therefore the younger women to marry, bear children, guide the family, give no occasion of reproach to the adversary. For some are already turned aside after Satan. If any believing man or woman hath widows, let them relieve them; and let not the church be burdened, that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.
Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and teaching. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn: And, The laborer is worthy of his reward. Against an elder receive not an accusation, unless by two or three witnesses. Those that sin rebuke before all, that the rest also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without prejudging, doing nothing by partiality. Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither partake of other menís sins; keep thyself pure. Drink water no longer, but use a little wine for thy stomachís sake and thy frequent infirmities. Some menís sins are manifest beforehand, going before to judgment: And some they follow after. In like manner the good works also of some are manifest and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
Let as many servants as are under the yoke, account their own masters worthy of all honor; lest the name of God and his doctrine be blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren: But rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any teach otherwise, and consent not to sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is after godliness, he is puffed up knowing nothing, but being sick of questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, contentions, evil speakings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: From such withdraw thyself. But godliness with content is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world: It is manifest that neither can we carry any thing out: Having then food and covering, with these let us be content. But they that desire to be rich, fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful desires, which plunge men into destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting, have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life, to which thou hast been called, and hast confessed the good confession before many witnesses. I charge thee before God, who quickeneth all things, and Christ Jesus, who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that thou keep the commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in his own times the blessed and only Potentate will show, the King of kings, and Lord of lords: Who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable, whom no man hath seen, neither can see; to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.
Charge the rich in this world not to be high-minded, neither to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy: To do good, to be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, treasuring up for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Timotheus, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane, empty babblings, and oppositions of knowledge, falsely so called: Which some professing have erred from the faith. Grace be with thee.