Ephesians 3

Ephesians Illustration

Ephesians

Greeting

Paul, aan apostle of Christ Jesus bby the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and care faithful1 in Christ Jesus:

dGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

eBlessed be fthe God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing gin the heavenly places, heven as he ichose us in him jbefore the foundation of the world, that we should be kholy and blameless before him. In love lhe predestined us2 for madoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, naccording to the purpose of his will, oto the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in pthe Beloved. qIn him we have rredemption sthrough his blood, tthe forgiveness of our trespasses, uaccording to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight vmaking known3 to us the mystery of his will, naccording to his purpose, which he wset forth in Christ 10 as a plan for xthe fullness of time, yto unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained zan inheritance, ahaving been predestined baccording to the purpose of him who works all things according to cthe counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be dto the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard ethe word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, fwere sealed with the gpromised Holy Spirit, 14 who is hthe guarantee4 of our iinheritance until jwe acquire kpossession of it,5 lto the praise of his glory.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

15 For this reason, mbecause I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love6 toward all the saints, 16 I ndo not cease to give thanks for you, oremembering you in my prayers, 17 that pthe God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, qmay give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 rhaving the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is sthe hope to which he has called you, what are tthe riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, uaccording to the working of vhis great might 20 that he worked in Christ wwhen he raised him from the dead and xseated him at his right hand yin the heavenly places, 21 zfar above aall rule and authority and power and dominion, and above bevery name that is named, not only in cthis age but also in the one to come. 22 And dhe put all things under his feet and gave him as ehead over all things to the church, 23 fwhich is his body, gthe fullness of him hwho fills iall in all.

By Grace Through Faith

jAnd you were kdead in the trespasses and sins lin which you once walked, following the course of this world, following mthe prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in nthe sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in othe passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body1 and the mind, and pwere by nature qchildren of wrath, like the rest of mankind.2 But3 God, being rrich in mercy, sbecause of the great love with which he loved us, even twhen we were dead in our trespasses, umade us alive together with Christvby grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and wseated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable xriches of his grace in ykindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For zby grace you have been saved athrough faith. And this is bnot your own doing; cit is the gift of God, dnot a result of works, eso that no one may boast. 10 For fwe are his workmanship, gcreated in Christ Jesus hfor good works, iwhich God prepared beforehand, jthat we should walk in them.

One in Christ

11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called the uncircumcision by what is called kthe circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands 12 remember lthat you were at that time separated from Christ, malienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to nthe covenants of promise, ohaving no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were pfar off have been brought near qby the blood of Christ. 14 For rhe himself is our peace, swho has made us both one and has broken down tin his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in uordinances, that he might create in himself one vnew man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might wreconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and xpreached peace to you who were yfar off and peace to those who were znear. 18 For athrough him we both have baccess in cone Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer dstrangers and aliens,4 but you are efellow citizens with the saints and fmembers of the household of God, 20 gbuilt on the foundation of the hapostles and prophets, iChrist Jesus himself being jthe cornerstone, 21 kin whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into la holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him myou also are being built together ninto a dwelling place for God by5 the Spirit.

The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed

For this reason I, Paul, oa prisoner of Christ Jesus pon behalf of you Gentiles assuming that you have heard of qthe stewardship of rGod's grace that was given to me for you, show the mystery was made known to me tby revelation, uas I have written briefly. vWhen you read this, you can perceive my insight into wthe mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is1 that the Gentiles are xfellow heirs, ymembers of the same body, and zpartakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

aOf this gospel I was made ba minister according to the gift of cGod's grace, which was given me dby the working of his power. To me, ethough I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, fto preach to the Gentiles the gunsearchable hriches of Christ, and ito bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery jhidden for ages in2 God, kwho created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold lwisdom of God mmight now be made known to nthe rulers and authorities oin the heavenly places. 11 This was paccording to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have qboldness and raccess with sconfidence through our tfaith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering ufor you, vwhich is your glory.

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom wevery family3 in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to xthe riches of his glory yhe may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit zin your inner being, 17 aso that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faiththat you, being brooted and cgrounded in love, 18 may have strength to dcomprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and eheight and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ fthat surpasses knowledge, that gyou may be filled with all hthe fullness of God.

20 iNow to jhim who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, kaccording to the power at work within us, 21 lto him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Unity in the Body of Christ

I therefore, ma prisoner for the Lord, urge you to nwalk in a manner worthy of othe calling to which you have been called, with all phumility and qgentleness, with rpatience, sbearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in tthe bond of peace. There is uone body and vone Spiritjust as you were called to the one whope that belongs to your call xone Lord, yone faith, zone baptism, aone God and Father of all, bwho is over all and through all and in all. But cgrace was given dto each one of us eaccording to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says,

fWhen he ascended on high ghe led a host of captives,

and he gave gifts to men.1

(hIn saying, He ascended, what does it mean but that he had also descended into ithe lower regions, the earth?2 10 He who descended is the one who also jascended kfar above all the heavens, that he might lfill all things.) 11 And mhe gave the napostles, the prophets, the oevangelists, the pshepherds3 and teachers,4 12 qto equip the saints for the work of ministry, for rbuilding up sthe body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to tthe unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, uto mature manhood,5 to the measure of the stature of vthe fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, wtossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in xdeceitful schemes. 15 Rather, yspeaking the truth in love, we are to zgrow up in every way into him who is athe head, into Christ, 16 bfrom whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, cwhen each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

The New Life

17 Now this I say and dtestify in the Lord, ethat you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, fin the futility of their minds. 18 They gare darkened in their understanding, halienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to itheir hardness of heart. 19 They jhave become callous and khave given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you llearned Christ! 21 assuming that myou have heard about him and nwere taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to oput off pyour old self,6 which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through qdeceitful desires, 23 and rto be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on sthe new self, tcreated after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you uspeak the truth with his neighbor, for vwe are members one of another. 26 wBe angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and xgive no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather ylet him labor, zdoing honest work with his own hands, so athat he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 bLet no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give cgrace to those who hear. 30 And ddo not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, eby whom you were sealed for the day of fredemption. 31 gLet all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 hBe kind to one another, tenderhearted, iforgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Walk in Love

jTherefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And kwalk in love, las Christ loved us and mgave himself up for us, a nfragrant ooffering and sacrifice to God.

But psexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness qmust not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be rno filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, swhich are out of place, but instead tlet there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that ueveryone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (vthat is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. wLet no one xdeceive you with empty words, for because of these things ythe wrath of God comes upon zthe sons of disobedience. Therefore ado not become partners with them; for bat one time you were cdarkness, but now you are light in the Lord. dWalk as children of light (for ethe fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and ftry to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 gTake no part in the hunfruitful iworks of darkness, but instead jexpose them. 12 For kit is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when lanything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

mAwake, O sleeper,

and narise from the dead,

and oChrist will shine on you.

15 pLook carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 pmaking the best use of the time, because qthe days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what rthe will of the Lord is. 18 And sdo not get drunk with wine, for that is tdebauchery, but ube filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in vpsalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 wgiving thanks always and for everything to God the Father xin the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 ysubmitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives and Husbands

22 zWives, asubmit to your own husbands, bas to the Lord. 23 For cthe husband is the head of the wife even as dChrist is the head of the church, his body, and is ehimself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit fin everything to their husbands.

25 gHusbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and hgave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by ithe washing of water jwith the word, 27 so kthat he might present the church to himself in splendor, lwithout spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.1 28 In the same way mhusbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because nwe are members of his body. 31 oTherefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and pthe two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, qlet each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she rrespects her husband.