New Revised Standard Version
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessing of God for his blessings
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us
in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 just as he
chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless
before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through
Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of
his glorious grace that 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 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom
and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to
his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness
of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined
according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his
counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ,
might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard
the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were
marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our
inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.
Thanksgiving prayer for wisdom and power
15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the
saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I
remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you
come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may
know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his
glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable
greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his
great power. 20 God put this power to work 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 age to come. 22 And he has put all
things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the
church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
The old life contrasted with the new life
1 You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once lived,
following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the
air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3 All of
us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires
of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone
else. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he
loved us 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, 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 ages to come he might show the immeasurable 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 your own doing; it is the gift of God – 9 not the
result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us,
created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be
our way of life.
The unity of Jews and Gentiles in the church
11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called "the
uncircumcision" by those who are called "the circumcision" – a physical
circumcision made in the flesh by human hands – 12 remember that you were at
that time without Christ, being aliens 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 by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made
both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the
hostility between us. 15 He has abolished the law with its commandments and
ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the
two, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both groups to God in one body
through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 17 So he
came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were
near; 18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with
the saints and also members of the household of God, 20 built upon the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the
cornerstone. 21 In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a
holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together spiritually
into a dwelling place for God.
Paul reveals God's plan
1 This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake
of you Gentiles – 2 for surely you have already heard of the commission of
God's grace that was given me for you, 3 and how the mystery was made known to
me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4 a reading of which will
enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. 5 In former
generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been
revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6 that is, the
Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in
the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
7 Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God's grace
that was given me by the working of his power. 8 Although I am the very least
of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the
news of the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make everyone see what is the
plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10 so that
through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made
known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in
accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus
our Lord, 12 in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through
faith in him. 13 I pray therefore that you may not lose heart over my
sufferings for you; they are your glory.
Prayer for the church's maturity
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family
in heaven and on earth takes its name. 16 I pray that, according to the riches
of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being
with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts
through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18 I pray that
you may have the 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 that
surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish
abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21 to him be glory in the
church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ethical implications; appeal for unity amid diversity
1 I therefore, the prisoner in 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, bearing with one another in love, 3 making every effort to
maintain 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 of your calling, 5 one
Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all
and through all and in all.
7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8
Therefore it is said,
"When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;
he gave gifts to his people."
9 (When it says, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also
descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same
one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.)
11 The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some
evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of
ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until all of us come to the
unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the
measure of the full stature of Christ. 14 We must no longer be children,
tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's
trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth
in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with
which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's
growth in building itself up in love.
Appeal for a changed lifestyle
17 Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the
Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their
understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and
hardness of heart. 19 They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned
themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20
That is not the way you learned Christ! 21 For surely you have heard about him
and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to put away
your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, 23
and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to clothe yourselves
with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true
righteousness and holiness.
25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our
neighbors, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry but do not sin; do
not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not make room for the devil.
28 Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with
their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29 Let no
evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as
there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do
not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for
the day of redemption. 31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger
and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one
another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven
you. [Ephesians 5]
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved
children, 2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a
fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be
mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Entirely out of place is
obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. 5 Be
sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that
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 on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be
associated with them. 8 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you
are light. Live as children of light – 9 for the fruit of the light is found
in all that is good and right and true. 10 Try to find out what is pleasing to
the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead
expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do
secretly; 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for
everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."
15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making
the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but
understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 Do not get drunk with wine, for
that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 as you sing psalms and
hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the
Lord in your hearts, 20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for
everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Rules for household relationships
22 Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. 23 For the
husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the
body of which he is the Savior. 24 Just as the church is subject to Christ, so
also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself
up for her, 26 in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of
water by the word, 27 so as to present the church to himself in splendor,
without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind – yes, so that she may be
holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives
as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no
one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just
as Christ does for the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 "For
this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, and I am
applying it to Christ and the church. 33 Each of you, however, should love his
wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your
father and mother" – this is the first commandment with a promise: 3 "so that
it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."
4 And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in
the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of
heart, as you obey Christ; 6 not only while being watched, and in order to
please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7
Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women, 8
knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the
Lord, whether we are slaves or free.
9 And, masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that
both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no
Appeal for strength in spiritual battle
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on
the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of
the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but
against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this
present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to
withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14
Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on
the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever
will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these,
take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the
flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword
of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that
end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19
Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make
known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador
in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.
21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus will tell
you everything. He is a dear brother and a faithful minister in the Lord. 22 I
am sending him to you for this very purpose, to let you know how we are, and
to encourage your hearts.
23 Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who have an undying love for
our Lord Jesus Christ.