Bible: Ephesians 1-5
1:1 From Paul, 1 an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints [in Ephesus], 2 the faithful 3 in Christ Jesus. 1:2 Grace and peace to you 4 from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
1:3 Blessed 5 is 6 the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed 7 us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. 1:4 For 8 he chose us in Christ 9 before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished 10 in his sight 11 in love. 12 1:5 He did this by predestining 13 us to adoption as his 14 sons 15 through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure 16 of his will – 1:6 to the praise of the glory of his grace 17 that he has freely bestowed on us in his dearly loved Son. 18 1:7 In him 19 we have redemption through his blood, 20 the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 1:8 that he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight. 1:9 He did this when he revealed 21 to us the secret 22 of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth 23 in Christ, 24 1:10 toward the administration of the fullness of the times, to head up 25 all things in Christ – the things in heaven 26 and the things on earth. 27 1:11 In Christ 28 we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, 29 since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will 1:12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope 30 on Christ, 31 would be to the praise of his glory. 1:13 And when 32 you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) – when you believed in Christ 33 – you were marked with the seal 34 of the promised Holy Spirit, 35 1:14 who is the down payment 36 of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, 37 to the praise of his glory.
Prayer for Wisdom and Revelation
1:15 For this reason, 38 because I 39 have heard 40 of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love 41 for all the saints, 1:16 I do not cease to give thanks for you when I remember you 42 in my prayers. 1:17 I pray that 43 the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, 44 may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation 45 in your growing knowledge of him, 46 1:18 – since the eyes of your 47 heart have been enlightened 48 – so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, 49 what is the wealth of his glorious 50 inheritance in the saints, 1:19 and what is the incomparable 51 greatness of his power toward 52 us who believe, as displayed in 53 the exercise of his immense strength. 54 1:20 This power 55 he exercised 56 in Christ when he raised him 57 from the dead and seated him 58 at his right hand in the heavenly realms 59 1:21 far above every rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 1:22 And God 60 put 61 all things under Christ’s 62 feet, 63 and he gave him to the church as head over all things. 64 1:23 Now the church is 65 his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 66
New Life Individually
2:1 And although you were 67 dead 68 in your transgressions and sins, 2:2 in which 69 you formerly lived 70 according to this world’s present path, 71 according to the ruler of the kingdom 72 of the air, the ruler of 73 the spirit 74 that is now energizing 75 the sons of disobedience, 76 2:3 among whom 77 all of us 78 also 79 formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath 80 even as the rest… 81
2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, 2:5 even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved! 82 – 2:6 and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 2:7 to demonstrate in the coming ages 83 the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward 84 us in Christ Jesus. 2:8 For by grace you are saved 85 through faith, 86 and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 2:9 it is not from 87 works, so that no one can boast. 88 2:10 For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them. 89
New Life Corporately
2:11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh – who are called “uncircumcision” by the so-called “circumcision” that is performed on the body 90 by human hands – 2:12 that you were at that time without the Messiah, 91 alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, 92 having no hope and without God in the world. 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 93 2:14 For he is our peace, the one who made both groups into one 94 and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, 2:15 when he nullified 95 in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man 96 out of two, 97 thus making peace, 2:16 and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed. 98 2:17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, 2:18 so that 99 through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 2:19 So then you are no longer foreigners and noncitizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, 2:20 because you have been built 100 on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, 101 with Christ Jesus himself as 102 the cornerstone. 103 2:21 In him 104 the whole building, 105 being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 2:22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Paul's Relationship to the Divine Mystery
3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus 106 for the sake of you Gentiles – 3:2 if indeed 107 you have heard of the stewardship 108 of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3:3 that 109 by revelation the divine secret 110 was made known to me, as I wrote before briefly. 111 3:4 When reading this, 112 you will be able to 113 understand my insight into this secret 114 of Christ. 3:5 Now this secret 115 was not disclosed to people 116 in former 117 generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by 118 the Spirit, 3:6 namely, that through the gospel 119 the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members 120 of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus. 3:7 I became a servant of this gospel 121 according to the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by 122 the exercise of his power. 123 3:8 To me – less than the least of all the saints 124 – this grace was given, 125 to proclaim to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ 3:9 and to enlighten 126 everyone about God’s secret plan 127 – a secret that has been hidden for ages 128 in God 129 who has created all things. 3:10 The purpose of this enlightenment is that 130 through the church the multifaceted wisdom 131 of God should now be disclosed to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms. 3:11 This was according to 132 the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 3:12 in whom we have boldness and confident access 133 to God 134 because of 135 Christ’s 136 faithfulness. 137 3:13 For this reason I ask you 138 not to lose heart because of what I am suffering for you, 139 which 140 is your glory. 141
Prayer for Strengthened Love
3:14 For this reason 142 I kneel 143 before the Father, 144 3:15 from 145 whom every family 146 in heaven and on the earth is named. 3:16 I pray that 147 according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, 3:18 you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 148 3:19 and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to 149 all the fullness of God.
3:20 Now to him who by the power that is working within us 150 is able to do far beyond 151 all that we ask or think, 3:21 to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Live in Unity
4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, 152 urge you to live 153 worthily of the calling with which you have been called, 154 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, 155 with patience, bearing with 156 one another in love, 4:3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 4:8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he captured 157 captives; he gave gifts to men
Live in Holiness
4:17 So I say this, and insist 174 in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility 175 of their thinking. 176 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding, 177 being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. 4:19 Because they are callous, they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 178 4:20 But you did not learn about Christ like this, 4:21 if indeed you heard about him and were taught in him, just as the truth is in Jesus. 4:22 You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside 179 the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, 4:23 to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 4:24 and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image 180 – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth. 181
4:25 Therefore, having laid aside falsehood, each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, 182 for we are members of one another. 4:26 Be angry and do not sin; 183 do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger. 184 4:27 Do not give the devil an opportunity. 4:28 The one who steals must steal no longer; rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who has need. 4:29 You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, 185 that it may give grace to those who hear. 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 4:31 You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk. 4:32 Instead, 186 be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. 187
Live in Love
5:1 Therefore, be 188 imitators of God as dearly loved children 5:2 and live 189 in love, just as Christ also loved us 190 and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering 191 to God. 5:3 But 192 among you there must not be either sexual immorality, impurity of any kind, 193 or greed, as these are not fitting for the saints. 194 5:4 Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting – all of which are out of character – but rather thanksgiving. 5:5 For you can be confident of this one thing: 195 that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Live in the Light
5:6 Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 196 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them, 197 5:8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are 198 light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light – 5:9 for the fruit of the light 199 consists in 200 all goodness, righteousness, and truth – 5:10 trying to learn 201 what is pleasing to the Lord. 5:11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather 202 expose them. 203 5:12 For the things they do 204 in secret are shameful even to mention. 5:13 But all things being exposed by the light are made evident. 5:14 For everything made evident is light, and for this reason it says: 205
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you!” 208
5:15 Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, 5:16 taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 5:17 For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise 209 by understanding 210 what the Lord’s will is. 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, which 211 is debauchery, 212 but be filled by the Spirit, 213 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music 214 in 215 your hearts to the Lord, 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for each other 216 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:21 and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 217
Exhortations to Households 218
5:22 Wives, submit 219 to your husbands as to the Lord, 5:23 because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church – he himself being the savior of the body. 5:24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 5:25 Husbands, love your 220 wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her 5:26 to sanctify her by cleansing her 221 with the washing of the water by the word, 5:27 so that he 222 may present the church to himself as glorious – not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. 223 5:28 In the same way 224 husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 5:29 For no one has ever hated his own body 225 but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, 5:30 for we are members of his body. 226 5:31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become 227 one flesh. 228 5:32 This mystery is great – but I am actually 229 speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 5:33 Nevertheless, 230 each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself, 231 and the wife must 232 respect 233 her husband.