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Ephesians 4 (Today's New International Version)

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Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

1 As a prisoner1 for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy2 of the calling3 you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another4 in love.5 3 Make every effort to keep the unity6 of the Spirit through the bond of peace.7 4 There is one body8 and one Spirit,9 just as you were called to one hope when you were called10; 5 one Lord,11 one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all,12 who is over all and through all and in all.13 7 But to each one of us14 grace15 has been given16 as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why ita says: "When he ascended on high, he took many captives17 and gave gifts to his people."b18 9 (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regionsc ? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended19 higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)20 11 So Christ himself gave21 the apostles,22 the prophets,23 the evangelists,24 the pastors and teachers,25 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ26 may be built up27 13 until we all reach unity28 in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God29 and become mature,30 attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.31 14 Then we will no longer be infants,32 tossed back and forth by the waves,33 and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.34 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love,35 we will in all things grow up into him who is the head,36 that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows37 and builds itself up38 in love,39 as each part does its work.

Instructions for Christian Living

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer40 live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.41 18 They are darkened in their understanding42 and separated from the life of God43 because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.44 19 Having lost all sensitivity,45 they have given themselves over46 to sensuality47 so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. 20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off48 your old self,49 which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;50 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;51 24 and to put on52 the new self,53 created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.54 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully55 to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.56 26 "In your anger do not sin"d:57 Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.58 28 Those who have been stealing must steal no longer, but must work,59 doing something useful with their own hands,60 that they may have something to share with those in need.61 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,62 but only what is helpful for building others up63 according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,64 with whom you were sealed65 for the day of redemption.66 31 Get rid of67 all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.68 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another,69 forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.70
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