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Leaders in the Church

1What I say is true: If any person is trying hard to become an elder, that person is wanting a good work.

2An elder must be good enough that people cannot rightly criticize him. He must have only one wife. An elder must have self-control and be wise. He must be respected by other people. He must be ready to help people by accepting them into his home. He must be a good teacher.

3He must not drink too much wine, and he must not be a person who likes to fight. He must be gentle and peaceful. He must not be a person who loves money.

4He must be a good leader of his own family. This means that his children obey him with full respect.

5(If a man does not know how to be a leader over his own family, then he will not be able to take care of God’s church.)

6But an elder must not be a new believer. It might make a new believer be too proud of himself {if he were made an elder} . Then he would be judged (condemned) for his pride the same as the devil was.

7An elder must also have the respect of people who are not in the church. Then he will not be criticized by other people and be caught in the devil’s trap.

Helpers in the Church

8In the same way, the men who serve as special helpers must be men that people can respect. These men must not say things they don’t mean, and they must not use their time drinking too much wine. They must not be men who are always trying to get rich by cheating others.

9They must follow the faith (truth) that God made known to us and always do what they know is right.

10You should test those men first. If you find nothing wrong in them, then they can serve as special helpers.

11In the same way, the women must have the respect of other people. They must not be women who talk evil about other people. They must have self-control and be women who can be trusted in everything.

12The men who serve as special helpers must have only one wife. They must be good leaders of their children and their own families.

13Those persons who serve in a good way are making an honorable place for themselves. And they will feel very sure of their faith in Christ Jesus.

The Secret of Our Life

14I hope I can come to you soon. But I am writing these things to you now.

15Then, even if I cannot come soon, you will know about the things that people must do in the family of God. That family is the church of the living God. And God’s church is the support and foundation of the truth.

16Without any doubt, the secret of our life of worship is great: He (Christ) was shown to us in a human body; the Spirit proved that he was right; he was seen by angels.

men who serve as special helpers Literally, “deacons,” a Greek

word meaning “servants.” These people, it seems, were chosen to serve the church in special ways. women This can mean women who serve as special helpers, or it might mean the wives of the special helpers. family Literally, “house.” This could mean that God’s people are like God’s temple. Spirit, Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, he does God’s work among people in the world. {The Good News about him} was preached to the nations (non-Jews); people in the world believed in him; he was taken up to heaven in glory. A Warning About False Teachers

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