1 I, a prisoner in the Lord, encourage you to live the kind of life which proves that God has called you. 2 Be humble and gentle in every way. Be patient with each other and lovingly accept each other. 3 Through the peace that ties you together, do your best to maintain the unity that the Spirit gives. 4 There is one body and one Spirit. In the same way you were called to share one hope. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over everything, through everything, and in everything. 7 God's favor has been given to each of us. It was measured out to us by Christ who gave it. 8 That's why the Scriptures say: "When he went to the highest place, he took captive those who had captured us and gave gifts to people." 9 Now what does it mean that he went up except that he also had gone down to the lowest parts of the earth? 10 The one who had gone down also went up above all the heavens so that he fills everything. 11 He also gave apostles, prophets, missionaries, as well as pastors and teachers as gifts [to his church]. 12 Their purpose is to prepare God's people, to serve, and to build up the body of Christ. 13 This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and in our knowledge about God's Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard. 14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed and carried about by all kinds of teachings that change like the wind. We will no longer be influenced by people who use cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray. 15 Instead, as we lovingly speak the truth, we will grow up completely in our relationship to Christ, who is the head. 16 He makes the whole body fit together and unites it through the support of every joint. As each and every part does its job, he makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. 17 So I tell you and encourage you in the Lord's name not to live any longer like other people in the world. Their minds are set on worthless things. 18 They can't understand because they are in the dark. They are excluded from the life that God approves of because of their ignorance and stubbornness. 19 Since they no longer have any sense of shame, they have become promiscuous. They practice every kind of sexual perversion with a constant desire for more. 20 But that is not what you learned from Christ's teachings. 21 You have certainly heard his message and have been taught his ways. The truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to change the way you were living. The person you used to be will ruin you through desires that deceive you. 23 However, you were taught to have a new attitude. 24 You were also taught to become a new person created to be like God, truly righteous and holy. 25 So then, get rid of lies. Speak the truth to each other, because we are all members of the same body. 26 Be angry without sinning. Don't go to bed angry. 27 Don't give the devil any opportunity [to work]. 28 Thieves must quit stealing and, instead, they must work hard. They should do something good with their hands so that they'll have something to share with those in need. 29 Don't say anything that would hurt [another person]. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you. 30 Don't give God's Holy Spirit any reason to be upset with you. He has put his seal on you for the day you will be set free [from the world of sin]. 31 Get rid of your bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing, and hatred. 32 Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ.
1 Imitate God, since you are the children he loves. 2 Live in love as Christ also loved us. He gave his life for us as an offering and sacrifice, a soothing aroma to God. 3 Don't let sexual sin, perversion of any kind, or greed even be mentioned among you. This is not appropriate behavior for God's holy people. 4 It's not right that dirty stories, foolish talk, or obscene jokes should be mentioned among you either. Instead, give thanks [to God]. 5 You know very well that no person who is involved in sexual sin, perversion, or greed (which means worshiping wealth) can have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Don't let anyone deceive you with meaningless words. It is because of sins like these that God's anger comes to those who refuse to obey him. 7 Don't be partners with them. 8 Once you lived in the dark, but now the Lord has filled you with light. Live as children who have light. 9 Light produces everything that is good, that has God's approval, and that is true. 10 Determine which things please the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the useless works that darkness produces. Instead, expose them for what they are. 12 It is shameful to talk about what some people do in secret. 13 Light exposes the true character of everything 14 because light makes everything easy to see. That's why it says: "Wake up, sleeper! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." 15 So then, be very careful how you live. Don't live like foolish people but like wise people. 16 Make the most of your opportunities because these are evil days. 17 So don't be foolish, but understand what the Lord wants. 18 Don't get drunk on wine, which leads to wild living. Instead, be filled with the Spirit 19 by reciting psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for your own good. Sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts. 20 Always thank God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Place yourselves under each other's authority out of respect for Christ. 22 Wives, place yourselves under your husbands' authority as you have placed yourselves under the Lord's authority. 23 The husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. It is his body, and he is its Savior. 24 As the church is under Christ's authority, so wives are under their husbands' authority in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it. 26 He did this to make the church holy by cleansing it, washing it using water along with spoken words. 27 Then he could present it to himself as a glorious church, without any kind of stain or wrinkle--holy and without faults. 28 So husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself. 29 No one ever hated his own body. Instead, he feeds and takes care of it, as Christ takes care of the church. 30 We are parts of his body. 31 That's why a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will be one. 32 This is a great mystery. (I'm talking about Christ's relationship to the church.) 33 But every husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and wives should respect their husbands.
1 Children, obey your parents because you are Christians. This is the right thing to do. 2 "Honor your father and mother 3 that everything may go well for you, and you may have a long life on earth." This is an important commandment with a promise. 4 Fathers, don't make your children bitter about life. Instead, bring them up in Christian discipline and instruction. 5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with proper respect. Be as sincere as you are when you obey Christ. 6 Don't obey them only while you're being watched, as if you merely wanted to please people. But obey like slaves who belong to Christ, who have a deep desire to do what God wants them to do. 7 Serve eagerly as if you were serving your heavenly master and not merely serving human masters. 8 You know that your heavenly master will reward all of us for whatever good we do, whether we're slaves or free people. 9 Masters, treat your slaves with respect. Don't threaten a slave. You know that there is one master in heaven who has authority over both of you, and he doesn't play favorites. 10 Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength. 11 Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil's strategies. 12 This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. 13 For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days. Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground. 14 So then, take your stand! Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God's approval as your breastplate. 15 Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace. 16 In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Also take salvation as your helmet and the word of God as the sword that the Spirit supplies. 18 Pray in the Spirit in every situation. Use every kind of prayer and request there is. For the same reason be alert. Use every kind of effort and make every kind of request for all of God's people. 19 Also pray that God will give me the right words to say. Then I will speak boldly when I reveal the mystery of the Good News. 20 Because I have already been doing this as Christ's representative, I am in prison. So pray that I speak about this Good News as boldly as I have to. 21 I'm sending Tychicus to you. He is our dear brother and a faithful deacon in the Lord's work. He will tell you everything that is happening to me so that you will know how I'm getting along. 22 That's why I'm sending him to you so that you may know how we're doing and that he may encourage you. 23 May God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give our brothers and sisters peace and love along with faith. 24 His favor is with everyone who has an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.