4 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves 1 with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, 2 2 influenced by the hypocrisy of liars 3 whose consciences are seared. 4 3 They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creation of God is good and no food 5 is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. 5 For it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.
6 By pointing out such things to the brothers and sisters, 6 you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, having nourished yourself on the words of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 7 But reject those myths 8 fit only for the godless and gullible, 9 and train yourself for godliness. 8 For “physical exercise 10 has some value, but godliness is valuable in every way. It holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.” 9 This saying 11 is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. 10 In fact this is why 12 we work hard and struggle, 13 because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, 14 especially of believers.
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in your speech, conduct, love, faithfulness, 15 and purity. 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of scripture, 16 to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you have, 17 given to you and confirmed by prophetic words 18 when the elders laid hands on you. 19 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that everyone will see your progress. 20 16 Be conscientious about how you live and what you teach. 21 Persevere in this, because by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.
5 Do not address an older man harshly 1 but appeal to him as a father. Speak to younger men as brothers, 2 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters – with complete purity.
3 Honor 3 widows who are truly in need. 4 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn to fulfill their duty 5 toward their own household and so repay their parents what is owed them. 6 For this is what pleases God. 7 5 But the widow who is truly in need, and completely on her own, 8 has set her hope on God and continues in her pleas and prayers night and day. 6 But the one who lives for pleasure is dead even 9 while she lives. 7 Reinforce 10 these commands, 11 so that they will be beyond reproach. 8 But if someone does not provide for his own, 12 especially his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 No widow should be put on the list 13 unless 14 she is at least sixty years old, was the wife of one husband, 15 10 and has a reputation for good works: as one who has raised children, 16 practiced hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, helped those in distress – as one who has exhibited all kinds of good works. 17 11 But do not accept younger widows on the list, 18 because their passions may lead them away from Christ 19 and they will desire to marry, 12 and so incur judgment for breaking their former pledge. 20 13 And besides that, going around 21 from house to house they learn to be lazy, 22 and they are not only lazy, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things they should not. 23 14 So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household, in order to give the adversary no opportunity to vilify us. 24 15 For some have already wandered away to follow Satan. 25 16 If a believing woman 26 has widows in her family, 27 let her help them. The church should not be burdened, so that it may help the widows who are truly in need. 28
17 Elders who provide effective leadership 29 must be counted worthy 30 of double honor, 31 especially those who work hard in speaking 32 and teaching. 18 For the scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” 33 and, “The worker deserves his pay.” 34 19 Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 35 20 Those guilty of sin 36 must be rebuked 37 before all, 38 as a warning to the rest. 39 21 Before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, I solemnly charge you to carry out these commands without prejudice or favoritism of any kind. 40 22 Do not lay hands on anyone 41 hastily and so identify with the sins of others. 42 Keep yourself pure. 23 (Stop drinking just water, but use a little wine for your digestion 43 and your frequent illnesses.) 44 24 The sins of some people are obvious, going before them into judgment, but for others, they show up later. 45 25 Similarly good works are also obvious, and the ones that are not cannot remain hidden.