1 This is a trustworthy saying: If any man eagerly desires to be an overseer [i.e., an elder], he desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of [only] one wife, sober-minded [Note: When this word, used here figuratively, is used in its literal sense, it means to abstain from intoxicating drinks], sensible, respectable, hospitable, capable of teaching. 3 [He must] not be a drunkard or a fighter, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not wanting to get money by questionable [or, dishonest] means. 4 [He must] manage his own family well and, with dignity, keep his children in subjection [or, "respectful"]. 5 For if a man does not know how to manage his own family, how will he be able to take care of the church of God? 6 [He must] not be a new convert or else he could become conceited [i.e., over being in a leadership position] and fall into the [same] condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation among outsiders [i.e., non-Christians], or else he could fall into reproach [i.e., from worldly people] and [therefore] into the devil's trap.
8 Similarly, deacons should be serious-minded [i.e., dignified], not saying one thing while meaning another, not drinking a lot of wine [Note: The wine of Paul's day was used as a common drink, and was either non-intoxicating or far less intoxicating than wine today], not wanting to get money by questionable [or, dishonest] means. 9 They should keep holding on to the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And these [prospective deacons] should also first be tested, [and] then they should [be appointed to] serve [as deacons] if they are found to be above reproach. 11 Women [i.e., probably the deacons' wives], in the same way, should be serious-minded [i.e., dignified], not gossips, [but] sober-minded [see verse 2] and trustworthy in everything. 12 Deacons should be husbands of one wife, managing their children and their own family affairs well. 13 For those who have served well [as deacons] acquire for themselves a good standing [i.e., they are respected in the church], and the ability to speak boldly [or, to act confidently] in the faith that is in Christ Jesus [i.e., in the Christian faith].
14 Although I hope to visit you soon, I am writing these things [in this letter] 15 so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to behave themselves in God's family, which is the church of the living God, the [supporting] column and foundation of the truth. 16 And without question the revealed secret of godly living is great. [It is this]: He [i.e., Christ, or God], who appeared in a fleshly body [was] vindicated [of false charges] by the Holy Spirit; [He was] seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed in throughout the world [and finally] was taken up into glory [i.e., heaven].