· Epistle to the Ephesians ·

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CHAPTER 1
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1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, faithful in Christ Jesus. 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

God’s purpose

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. 4He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, so that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love. 5He also foreordained us for adoption through Jesus Christ according to his purpose and will. 6This is to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely bestowed favour on us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of his grace 8which he showered upon us in all wisdom and insight. 9He has revealed to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he had determined beforehand in Christ. 10This came into effect when the times had been fulfilled, to bring together everything under Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth; yes, in him. 11In him, an inheritance was assigned to us, foreordained according to the purpose of him who works everything after the counsel of his will. 12And the end result is that we, who had hoped in Christ, should be to the praise of his glory. 13You also, when you heard the word of the truth which is the Good News of your salvation, and having believed in it, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. 14He is a pledge of our inheritance, until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of his glory.

15For this same reason, I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you and the love which you have towards all the saints, 16do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation to bring you to full knowledge of him. 18Having the eyes of your heart enlightened, may you experience the hope of his calling and know the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. 19May you also experience the exceeding greatness of his power towards us who believe, according to his power and might 20which he accomplished in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places. 21Yes, Christ now sits above all rule, authority, power, dominion, and every name that can be named, not only in this age, but also in the age to come. 22God put everything in subjection under his feet and granted him to be head over everything for the sake of the Church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

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CHAPTER 2
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The gift of God

1You were dead in transgressions and sins, 2and this was your lifestyle according to the age of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience. 3We used to live among them and we used to live in self-indulgence, doing the desires of the flesh and mind, and we were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4But God who is rich in mercy, on account of his great love by which he loved us, 5even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved. 6God raised us up with him, and granted us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come, he might show the overflowing treasure of his grace in kindness towards us, in Christ Jesus. 8Yes, by grace you have been saved through faith, not by yourselves. It is the gift of God, 9not of works, so that no one would boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for us to walk in them.

Reconciled with God – Members of God’s household

11Therefore, remember that you, the Gentiles in the flesh who are called ‘uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘circumcision’ in the flesh, made by hands; 12remember, I say, that you used to be separated from Christ. You were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now, in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. 14He is our peace, he who made both one and tore down the wall of separation. 15He abolished in his flesh the enmity which is the law of commandments with its decrees, so that he might create in himself one new humanity instead of two, making peace. 16He reconciled both to God in one body, through the cross, by which he destroyed that enmity. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far off and also to those who were near. 18Through him, we both have access to the Father in one Spirit. 19And so, you are no longer strangers and foreigners. Instead, you are fellow-citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, 20being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Christ Jesus himself is the chief cornerstone; 21in whom the whole building, fitted together, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord. 22In Christ, you too are built up into a dwelling-place of God in Spirit.

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CHAPTER 3
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Paul’s commission and prayer

1For this reason, I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles. 2Surely, you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given me towards you; 3how by revelation, the mystery was made known to me, as I wrote before in a few words. 4When you read them, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ, 5which in other generations was not made known to anyone as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit. 6I mean that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs and fellow-members of the body, yes, fellow-partakers of God’s promise in Christ Jesus through the Good News.

7Of this Good News, I was made a servant, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given me according to the working of his power. 8This grace was given to me, the very least of all saints, so that I might preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable treasures of Christ 9and make everyone see the dispensation of the mystery which had been hidden in God for so long, in him who created everything through Jesus Christ. 10This happened so that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11according to the eternal purpose which God had in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him, we have boldness and confident access through our faith in him. 13Therefore, I ask that you may not lose heart because of my troubles for you, as they are your glory.

14And so, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16asking that according to the riches of his glory, he would grant you to be inwardly strengthened with power through his Spirit. 17I also pray that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that you may be rooted and grounded in love. 18May you be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth 19of Christ’s love which is beyond knowledge; and that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20Now, to him who is able to accomplish much more than all we can ask or think according to the power that works in us, 21to him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, now and forever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

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CHAPTER 4
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Unity and oneness

1This is why, I, being the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, 2with complete lowliness and humility, with patience, bearing with one another in love; 3being eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, even as you also were called to one hope when you were called; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all. 7But grace has been granted to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8Therefore, God says, “When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” (Psalms 67[68]:18) 9Now, what does ‘he ascended’ mean, if not that he first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.

11He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some shepherds and teachers, 12for the perfecting of the saints, for a work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ. 13This is until we all attain to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, having reached the very fullness of Christ. 14The goal is that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about by every wind of doctrine through human trickery, according to clever deceits and mistaken schemes. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, may we grow up in everything into him who is the head, Christ. 16From him, the whole body, being fitted and knit together, as every joint supplies and according to the participation of each part, grows and builds itself in love.

A new way of life

17Therefore, I say and testify in the Lord that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind. 18They are darkened in their understanding, cut off from God’s life because of their ignorance and because of the hardening of their hearts. 19Having become hardened, such people gave themselves up to lust and they pursue what is impure with greed. 20But you did not learn Christ that way, 21except if you failed to hear him and to be taught in him, since truth is in Jesus. 22You were to put away the old self which belongs to your former way of life, since it becomes ever more corrupt after the lusts of deceit. 23Moreover, you are to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and to put on the new self who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.

25Therefore, putting away what is false, speak the truth to each other, for we are members of one another. 26‘Be angry, and do not sin.’ (Psalms 4:4) Do not let the sun go down on your anger 27and do not leave any room for the devil. 28Those who used to steal should steal no more, but rather work hard, even with their own hands to do what is good, so that they may have something to give to those who have need. 29Do not allow any decadent speech to come out from your mouth, only what is good to build up as is needed, in a way that gives grace to those who hear. 30Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by which you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, shouting and slander be put away from you, along with evil thoughts. 32Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other just as God also forgave you in Christ.

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CHAPTER 5
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1Be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you and gave himself up for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God, a sweet-smelling fragrance. 3But sexual immorality and all forms of impurity and greed should not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting for saints. 4The same is true regarding filthy and foolish conversations as well as jokes which are not appropriate; instead, give thanks.

5Know this for sure: no one who is sexually immoral, involved in impurity, greedy, or an idolater has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God.

6Let no one deceive you with empty words; because of these things, the wrath of God is coming on the children of disobedience. 7Therefore, do not share in their lot. 8Indeed, you used to be in darkness, but now, you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, 9for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness and truth. 10Discern what is well- pleasing to the Lord. 11Have no fellowship with the vain works of darkness, but rather, expose them for what they are. 12It is a shame even to speak about the things which these people do in secret. 13But all things are revealed when they are exposed to the light. 14Therefore, it is said, ‘Awake, you sleeper, arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ 15Therefore, watch carefully how you live, not as unwise, but as wise, 16making good use of time, because the days are evil. 17Do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18Do not get drunk with wine – this is reckless living – but be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and chant to the Lord in your heart; 20always giving thanks for everything in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, even to God the Father. 21Be in mutual subjection in the fear of God.

Wives, Husbands, Christ and the Church

22Wives, be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church, being himself the saviour of the body. 24As the Church is subject to Christ, wives should likewise be subject to their own husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her 26in order to sanctify her, having purified her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the Church to himself in glory, without any spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and flawless. 28In the same way, a husband should love his wife as his own body. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29No man ever hates his own body but feeds it and cares for it, as the Lord also does for the Church. 30Yes, we are members of his body, his very flesh and bones.

31This is why a man will leave his father and mother
and will be joined to his wife;
and the two will become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

32This is a great mystery: I speak concerning Christ and the Church. 33Now concerning you: each one of you must also love his own wife even as his own self; and the wife must respect her husband.

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CHAPTER 6
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Children and parents

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

2“Honour your father and mother,”
which is the first commandment with a promise,
3“that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.” (Deuteronomy 5:16)

4Fathers, do not drive your children to anger, but nurture them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Servants and masters

5Servants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, with deep loyalty, as to Christ. 6Do not serve only when eyes are on you in order to please human masters, but as servants of Christ. Do God’s will from the heart; 7serve with a good attitude, as if you were serving the Lord and not men. 8Know that for whatever good we do, we shall receive the same in return from the Lord, no matter if we are slave or free.

9You masters, do likewise to them: do not resort to threats but recognise that you both have the same Master in heaven, and there is no discrimination with him.

The armour of God

10Finally, be strong in the Lord, with the strength of his power. 11Put on the complete armour of God, so that you may be able to resist the devil’s tactics. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities, powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness and against the evil spiritual forces of the supernatural realms. 13Therefore, put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to resist when the evil day comes. Having accomplished everything, may you stand your ground. 14Yes, stand, having the belt of truth around your waist, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15having fitted shoes on your feet so as to be ready in the Good News of peace. 16Above all, take up the shield of faith which will enable you to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. 17Take also the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is what God has said.

Unceasing prayer

18Pray at all times in the spirit with intercessions and requests; never get tired of this and persevere in your requests for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, so that I may be given an opportunity to proclaim with boldness the mystery of the Good News. 20For this cause, I am an ambassador in chains; so pray that I may proclaim it boldly, as I should.

21I also want you to know my affairs, how I am doing. Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything. 22I have sent him to you for this very purpose, to let you know about our condition and to comfort your hearts.

23Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24May grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ, even with unfading love. Amen.