1Remind God's people to obey rulers and authorities. Remind them to be ready to do what is good.2Tell them not to speak evil things against anyone. Remind them to live in peace. They must consider the needs of others. They must be kind and gentle toward all people.3At one time we too acted like fools. We didn't obey God. We were tricked. We were controlled by all kinds of longings and pleasures. We were full of evil. We wanted what belongs to others. People hated us, and we hated one another.4But the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared.5He saved us. It wasn't because of the good things we had done. It was because of his mercy. He saved us by washing away our sins. We were born again. The Holy Spirit gave us new life.6God poured out the Spirit on us freely because of what Jesus Christ our Savior has done.7His grace made us right with God. So now we have received the hope of eternal life as God's children.8You can trust that saying. Those things are important. Treat them that way. Then those who have trusted in God will be careful to commit themselves to doing what is good. Those things are excellent. They are for the good of everyone.9But keep away from foolish disagreements. Don't argue about family histories. Don't make trouble. Don't fight about what the law teaches. Don't argue about things like that. It doesn't do any good. It doesn't help anyone.10Warn anyone who tries to get believers to take sides and separate into their own little groups. Warn him more than once. After that, have nothing to do with him.11You can be sure that someone like that is twisted and sinful. His own actions judge him.
12I will send Artemas or Tychicus to you. Then do your best to come to me at Nicopolis. I've decided to spend the winter there.13Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos. Send them on their way. See that they have everything they need.14Our people must learn to commit themselves to doing what is good. Then they will be able to provide for the daily needs of others. If they do that, their lives won't turn out to be useless.15Everyone who is with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. May God's grace be with you all.
English Standard Version
Be Ready for Every Good Work
1Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, (Ro 13:1; 2Ti 2:21; 1Pe 2:13)2to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Eph 4:31; 1Ti 3:3; 2Ti 2:25)3For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. (1Co 6:11)4But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, (Ro 2:4)5he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, (Joh 3:5; Ro 3:27; Ro 12:2; 1Co 6:11; Eph 2:4; 1Pe 1:3; 1Pe 3:21)6whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, (Joe 2:28; Ac 2:33; Ac 10:45; Ro 5:5)7so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Ro 8:17; Tit 1:2; Tit 2:11)8The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. (1Ti 1:15; Tit 2:14; Tit 3:14)9But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. (1Ti 1:4; 1Ti 6:4; 2Ti 2:14; 2Ti 2:16)10As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, (Mt 18:15; 2Jo 1:10)11knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
Final Instructions and Greetings
12When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. (2Ti 4:10; 2Ti 4:12)13Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. (Ac 18:24)14And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. (Php 1:11; Php 4:17; Col 1:10; Tit 3:8; 2Pe 1:8)15All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. (Col 4:18)