Copyright (c) Timothy E. Clontz 1999 All rights reserved.
The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus and faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 which he lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of the times, to unite all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth. In him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, would be for the praise of his glory. 13 In him, you also have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having also believed, you were sealed in him with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance, until the redemption of those who are God's possession-to the praise of his glory.
15 For this reason, ever since I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I do not cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of his might 20 which he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him to be the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we all once lived in the lusts of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and mind, and so we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the surpassing riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God-9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we would walk in them.
11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision" by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands-12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the hostility, which is the Law of commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, by which he put to death the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are members of God's household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
1 For this reason I, Paul, am the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles-2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs and members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose which he carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him. 13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations for you, which are your glory.
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore it says,
"When he ascended on high, he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men."
9 (In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean except that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also he who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of service, for the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to become mature, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into him, who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being joined and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each part, causes the growth of the body and builds itself up in love.
17 Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds, 18 they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, greedy for the practice of every kind of impurity. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former manner of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful lusts; 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, each one of you must speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but rather must labor, doing useful work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with those in need. 29 Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building others up according to the need of the moment, that it may impart grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind and tenderhearted to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 And there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather let there be thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure, that no immoral, impure, or covetous person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them; 8 for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it is said,
"Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."
15 Be careful, then, how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is himself the Savior. 24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the church to himself in all her glory, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a profound mystery; but I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you must also love his wife as himself, and the wife must see that she respects her husband.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother" (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 "that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth." 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not in the way of eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 Render service with good will, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and give up threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all this, taking up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and petition. And with this in view, keep alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and also pray for me, that in the opening of my mouth, utterance may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
21 Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.
23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.