v1 Your people must obey the rulers and the government. Tell them that they must remember that. They must obey everyone who has authority over them. They must be ready always to do what is good. v2 They should never say bad things about anyone. They should not quarrel with people, but instead they should be patient and friendly. They should always be polite and kind to everyone.
v3 Before we believed Christ, we ourselves were fools too. We did not obey God or anyone. We believed things that are not true. We wanted to do many kinds of bad things. We could not stop ourselves. We were always bad. We were always angry about other people because we wanted to be like them. Other people *hated us, and we *hated each other. v4 But then God, our *Saviour, did something to help us. He showed us how much he loves all people.
v5 God did not *save us because of any good things that we ourselves had done. Instead, he *saved us because he himself is very kind. God has washed us so that we are completely clean in our *spirits. His Spirit has caused us to be born again, so that we have become new people. v6 By Jesus Christ, our *Saviour, God gave his Spirit to us, to fill us. v7 God did that because he is very kind. He did it so that he could make us right with him. So then, we could hope certainly that we will live with God always. That is what God has promised to his people. v8 These words are certainly true.
I want you to teach these things strongly. I want you to be sure that the people understand these things. So then, the people who have believed God will be careful to do good things. They should think always about good things that they can do. Those good things will help everyone.
v9 But stay away from people who argue about silly questions and about lists of peopleís familiesí names from years ago. Refuse to quarrel. Refuse to argue about Godís rules. Those kinds of things are not good and they do not help anyone. v10 Some people may teach things that are different from the true message. Anyone who teaches false things like that can cause the Christians not to agree with each other. So, you must tell him that he must stop. If he does not stop, you must tell him one more time. Then, if he still does not stop, stay away from him. v11 You know that a person like that has chosen not to believe the true message. He is doing what is wrong. And he knows that. But he continues to do what is wrong.