1I am a prisoner because of the Lord. So I am asking you to live a life worthy of what God chose you for.2Don't be proud at all. Be completely gentle. Be patient. Put up with one another in love.3The Holy Spirit makes you one in every way. So try your best to remain as one. Let peace keep you together.4There is one body. There is one Spirit. You were appointed to one hope when you were chosen.5There is one Lord. There is one faith and one baptism.6There is one God and Father of all. He is over everything. He is through everything. He is in everything.7But each one of us has received a gift of grace, just as Christ wanted us to have it.8That is why Scripture says, "When he went up to his place on high, he led a line of prisoners. He gave gifts to people." (Psalm 68:18)9What does "he went up" mean? It can only mean that he also came down to the lower, earthly places.10The 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.11He 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.12He did it so that they might prepare God's people to serve. If they do, the body of Christ will be built up.13That 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.14We 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.15Instead, we will speak the truth in love. We will grow up into Christ in every way. He is the Head.16He 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.17Here is what I'm telling you. I am speaking for the Lord as I warn you. You must no longer live like those who aren't Jews. Their thoughts don't have any purpose.18They can't understand the truth. They are separated from the life of God. That is because they don't know him. And they don't know him because their hearts are stubborn.19They have lost all feeling for what is right. They have given themselves over to the evil pleasures of their bodies. They take part in every kind of unclean act. And they always long for more.20But that is not what you have learned about Christ.21I'm sure you heard of him. I'm sure you were taught by him. What you learned was the truth about Jesus.22You were taught not to live the way you used to. You must get rid of your old way of life. That's because it is polluted by longing for things that lead you down the wrong path.23You were taught to be made new in your thinking.24You were taught to start living a new life. It is created to be truly good and holy, just as God is.25So each of you must get rid of your lying. Speak the truth to your neighbor. We are all parts of one body.26Scripture says, "When you are angry, do not sin."(Psalm 4:4) Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.27Don't give the devil a chance.28Those who have been stealing must never steal again. Instead, they must work. They must do something useful with their own hands. Then they will have something to give to people in need.29Don't let any evil talk come out of your mouths. Say only what will help to build others up and meet their needs. Then what you say will help those who listen.30Do not make God's Holy Spirit sad. He marked you with a seal for the day when God will set you completely free.31Get rid of all hard feelings, anger and rage. Stop all fighting and lying. Put away every form of hatred.32Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive each other, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.
1You are the children that God dearly loves. So be just like him.2Lead a life of love, just as Christ did. He loved us. He gave himself up for us. He was a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God.3There should not be even a hint of sexual sin among you. Don't do anything unclean. And do not always want more and more. Things like that are not what God's holy people should do.4There must not be any unclean speech or foolish talk or dirty jokes. All of them are out of place. Instead, you should give thanks.5Here is what you can be sure of. Those who give themselves over to sexual sins are lost. So are people whose lives are not pure. The same is true of those who always want more and more. People who do those things might as well worship statues of gods. No one who does them will receive a share in the kingdom of Christ and of God.6Don't let anyone fool you with words that don't mean anything. Because of things like that, God is angry with those who don't obey.7So don't go along with people like that.8At one time you were in the dark. But now you are in the light because of what the Lord has done. Live like children of the light.9The light produces what is completely good, right and true.10Find out what pleases the Lord.11Have nothing to do with the acts of darkness. They don't produce anything good. Show what they are really like.12It is shameful even to talk about what people who don't obey do in secret.13But everything the light shines on can be seen.14Light makes everything clear. That is why it is said, "Wake up, sleeper. Rise from the dead. Then Christ will shine on you."15So be very careful how you live. Do not live like people who aren't wise. Live like people who are wise.16Make the most of every opportunity. The days are evil.17So don't be foolish. Instead, understand what the Lord wants.18Don't fill yourself up with wine. Getting drunk will lead to wild living. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.19Speak to each other with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.20Always give thanks to God the Father for everything. Give thanks to him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.21Follow the lead of one another because of your respect for Christ.22Wives, follow the lead of your husbands as you follow the Lord.23The husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church. The church is Christ's body. He is its Savior.24The church follows the lead of Christ. In the same way, wives should follow the lead of their husbands in everything.25Husbands, love your wives. Love them just as Christ loved the church. He gave himself up for her.26He did it to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her with water and the word.27He did it to bring her to himself as a brightly shining church. He wants a church that has no stain or wrinkle or any other flaw. He wants a church that is holy and without blame.28In the same way, husbands should love their wives. They should love them as they love their own bodies. Any man who loves his wife loves himself.29After all, people have never hated their own bodies. Instead, they feed and care for their bodies. And that is what Christ does for the church.30We are parts of his body.31Scripture says, "That's why a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The two will become one."(Genesis 2:24)32That is a deep mystery. But I'm talking about Christ and the church.33A husband also must love his wife. He must love her just as he loves himself. And a wife must respect her husband.
1Children, obey your parents as believers in the Lord. Obey them because it's the right thing to do.2Scripture says, "Honor your father and mother." That is the first commandment that has a promise.3"Then things will go well with you. You will live a long time on the earth."(Deuteronomy 5:16)4Fathers, don't make your children angry. Instead, train them and teach them the ways of the Lord as you raise them.5Slaves, obey your masters here on earth. Respect them and honor them with a heart that is true. Obey them just as you would obey Christ.6Don't obey them only to please them when they are watching. Do it because you are slaves of Christ. Be sure your heart does what God wants.7Serve your masters with all your heart. Work as if you were not serving people but the Lord.8You know that the Lord will give you a reward. He will give to each of you in keeping with the good you do. It doesn't matter whether you are slaves or free.9Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. When you warn them, don't be too hard on them. You know that the One who is their Master and yours is in heaven. And he treats everyone the same.10Finally, let the Lord make you strong. Depend on his mighty power.11Put on all of God's armor. Then you can stand firm against the devil's evil plans.12Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world.13So put on all of God's armor. Evil days will come. But you will be able to stand up to anything. And after you have done everything you can, you will still be standing.14So stand firm. Put the belt of truth around your waist. Put the armor of godliness on your chest.15Wear on your feet what will prepare you to tell the good news of peace.16Also, pick up the shield of faith. With it you can put out all of the flaming arrows of the evil one.17Put on the helmet of salvation. And take the sword of the Holy Spirit. The sword is God's word.18At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit. Pray all kinds of prayers. Be watchful, so that you can pray. Always keep on praying for all of God's people.19Pray also for me. Pray that when I open my mouth, the right words will be given to me. Then I can be bold as I tell the mystery of the good news.20Because of the good news, I am being held by chains as the Lord's messenger. So pray that I will be bold as I preach the good news. That's what I should do.21Tychicus is a dear brother. He is faithful in serving the Lord. He will tell you everything about me. Then you will know how I am and what I am doing.22That's why I am sending him to you. I want you to know how we are. And I want him to cheer you up.23May God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give peace to the brothers and sisters. May they also give them love and faith.24May grace be given to everyone who loves our Lord Jesus Christ with a love that will never die.