1 Remind your people to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.
2 They must not speak evil of anyone, and they must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy. We hated others, and they hated us.
4 But then God our Savior showed us his kindness and love.
5 He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit.*1
6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us because of what Jesus Christ our Savior did.
7 He declared us not guilty because of his great kindness. And now we know that we will inherit eternal life.
8 These things I have told you are all true. I want you to insist on them so that everyone who trusts in God will be careful to do good deeds all the time. These things are good and beneficial for everyone.
9 Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees* or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These kinds of things are useless and a waste of time.2
10 If anyone is causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with that person.
11 For people like that have turned away from the truth. They are sinning, and they condemn themselves.
12 I am planning to send either Artemas or Tychicus to you. As soon as one of them arrives, do your best to meet me at Nicopolis as quickly as you can, for I have decided to stay there for the winter.
13 Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos with their trip. See that they are given everything they need.
14 For our people should not have unproductive lives. They must learn to do good by helping others who have urgent needs.
15 Everybody here sends greetings. Please give my greetings to all of the believers who love us. May God's grace be with you all.
Read Philemon 1