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1The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task. 2Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, 3no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. 4He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; 5for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s church? 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil; 7moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders, or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for gain; 9they must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10And let them also be tested first; then if they prove themselves blameless let them serve as deacons. 11The women likewise must be serious, no slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12Let deacons be the husband of one wife, and let them manage their children and their households well; 13for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

14I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, 15if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. 16Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion:

He was manifested in the flesh,

vindicated in the Spirit,

seen by angels,

preached among the nations,

believed on in the world,

taken up in glory.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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