1 I am in prison because I belong to the Lord. God chose you to be his people, so I urge you now to live the life to which God called you. 2 Always be humble, gentle, and patient, accepting each other in love. 3 You are joined together with peace through the Spirit, so make every effort to continue together in this way. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, and God called you to have one hope. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. 6 There is one God and Father of everything. He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything. 7 Christ gave each one of us the special gift of grace, showing how generous he is. 8 That is why it says in the Scriptures, "When he went up to the heights, he led a parade of captives, and he gave gifts to people." 9 When it says, "He went up," what does it mean? It means that he first came down to the earth. 10 So Jesus came down, and he is the same One who went up above all the heaven. Christ did that to fill everything with his presence. 11 And Christ gave gifts to people -- he made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to have the work of caring for and teaching God's people. 12 Christ gave those gifts to prepare God's holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in the same faith and in the same knowledge of the Son of God. We must become like a mature person, growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection. 14 Then we will no longer be babies. We will not be tossed about like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from people who are trying to fool us. They make plans and try any kind of trick to fool people into following the wrong path. 15 No! Speaking the truth with love, we will grow up in every way into Christ, who is the head. 16 The whole body depends on Christ, and all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part does its own work to make the whole body grow and be strong with love. 17 In the Lord's name, I tell you this. Do not continue living like those who do not believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing. 18 They do not understand, and they know nothing, because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives. 19 They have lost all feeling of shame, and they use their lives for doing evil. They continually want to do all kinds of evil. 20 But what you learned in Christ was not like this. 21 I know that you heard about him, and you are in him, so you were taught the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to leave your old self -- to stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self becomes worse, because people are fooled by the evil things they want to do. 23 But you were taught to be made new in your hearts, 24 to become a new person. That new person is made to be like God -- made to be truly good and holy. 25 So you must stop telling lies. Tell each other the truth, because we all belong to each other in the same body. 26 When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day. 27 Do not give the devil a way to defeat you. 28 Those who are stealing must stop stealing and start working. They should earn an honest living for themselves. Then they will have something to share with those who are poor. 29 When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need -- words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you. 30 And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God's proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes. 31 Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. 32 Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.
1 You are God's children whom he loves, so try to be like him. 2 Live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us as a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God. 3 But there must be no sexual sin among you, or any kind of evil or greed. Those things are not right for God's holy people. 4 Also, there must be no evil talk among you, and you must not speak foolishly or tell evil jokes. These things are not right for you. Instead, you should be giving thanks to God. 5 You can be sure of this: No one will have a place in the kingdom of Christ and of God who sins sexually, or does evil things, or is greedy. Anyone who is greedy is serving a false god. 6 Do not let anyone fool you by telling you things that are not true, because these things will bring God's anger on those who do not obey him. 7 So have nothing to do with them. 8 In the past you were full of darkness, but now you are full of light in the Lord. So live like children who belong to the light. 9 Light brings every kind of goodness, right living, and truth. 10 Try to learn what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the things done in darkness, which are not worth anything. But show that they are wrong. 12 It is shameful even to talk about what those people do in secret. 13 But the light makes all things easy to see, 14 and everything that is made easy to see can become light. This is why it is said: "Wake up, sleeper! Rise from death, and Christ will shine on you." 15 So be very careful how you live. Do not live like those who are not wise, but live wisely. 16 Use every chance you have for doing good, because these are evil times. 17 So do not be foolish but learn what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you, but be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord. 20 Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Yield to obey each other because you respect Christ. 22 Wives, yield to your husbands, as you do to the Lord, 23 because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. And he is the Savior of the body, which is the church. 24 As the church yields to Christ, so you wives should yield to your husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it 26 to make it belong to God. Christ used the word to make the church clean by washing it with water. 27 He died so that he could give the church to himself like a bride in all her beauty. He died so that the church could be pure and without fault, with no evil or sin or any other wrong thing in it. 28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they love their own bodies. The man who loves his wife loves himself. 29 No one ever hates his own body, but feeds and takes care of it. And that is what Christ does for the church, 30 because we are parts of his body. 31 The Scripture says, "So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body." 32 That secret is very important -- I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 But each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and a wife must respect her husband.
1 Children, obey your parents as the Lord wants, because this is the right thing to do. 2 The command says, "Honor your father and mother." This is the first command that has a promise with it -- 3 "Then everything will be well with you, and you will have a long life on the earth." 4 Fathers, do not make your children angry, but raise them with the training and teaching of the Lord. 5 Slaves, obey your masters here on earth with fear and respect and from a sincere heart, just as you obey Christ. 6 You must do this not only while they are watching you, to please them. With all your heart you must do what God wants as people who are obeying Christ. 7 Do your work with enthusiasm. Work as if you were serving the Lord, not as if you were serving only men and women. 8 Remember that the Lord will give a reward to everyone, slave or free, for doing good. 9 Masters, in the same way, be good to your slaves. Do not threaten them. Remember that the One who is your Master and their Master is in heaven, and he treats everyone alike. 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his great power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil's evil tricks. 12 Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world's darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world. 13 That is why you need to put on God's full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing. 14 So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the protection of right living on your chest. 15 On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. 16 And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One. 17 Accept God's salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all God's people. 19 Also pray for me that when I speak, God will give me words so that I can tell the secret of the Good News without fear. 20 I have been sent to preach this Good News, and I am doing that now, here in prison. Pray that when I preach the Good News I will speak without fear, as I should. 21 I am sending to you Tychicus, our brother whom we love and a faithful servant of the Lord's work. He will tell you everything that is happening with me. Then you will know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this reason -- so that you will know how we are, and he can encourage you. 23 Peace and love with faith to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all of you who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love that never ends.