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Ephesians 4:1-16 (New International Reader's Version)

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The Body of Christ Is One

1 I am a prisoner because of the Lord. So I am asking you to live a life worthy of what God chose you for. 2 Don't be proud at all. Be completely gentle. Be patient. Put up with one another in love. 3 The Holy Spirit makes you one in every way. So try your best to remain as one. Let peace keep you together. 4 There is one body. There is one Spirit. You were appointed to one hope when you were chosen. 5 There is one Lord. There is one faith and one baptism. 6 There is one God and Father of all. He is over everything. He is through everything. He is in everything. 7 But each one of us has received a gift of grace, just as Christ wanted us to have it. 8 That is why Scripture says, "When he went up to his place on high, he led a line of prisoners. He gave gifts to people." #1(Psalm 68:18)#2 9 What does "he went up" mean? It can only mean that he also came down to the lower, earthly places. 10 The One who came down is the same as the One who went up higher than all the heavens. He did it in order to fill all of creation. 11 He is the One who gave some the gift to be apostles. He gave some the gift to be prophets. He gave some the gift of preaching the good news. And he gave some the gift to be pastors and teachers. 12 He did it so that they might prepare God's people to serve. If they do, the body of Christ will be built up. 13 That will continue until we all become one in the faith and in the knowledge of God's Son. Then we will be grown up in the faith. We will receive everything that Christ has for us. 14 We will no longer be babies in the faith. We won't be like ships tossed around by the waves. We won't be blown here and there by every new teaching. We won't be blown around by the cleverness and tricks of people who try to hide their evil plans. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love. We will grow up into Christ in every way. He is the Head. 16 He makes the whole body grow and build itself up in love. Under the control of Christ, each part of the body does its work. It supports the other parts. In that way, the body is joined and held together.
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