The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed
3 For this reason I, Paul, oa prisoner of Christ Jesus pon behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of qthe stewardship of rGod's grace that was given to me for you, 3 show the mystery was made known to me tby revelation, uas I have written briefly. 4 vWhen you read this, you can perceive my insight into wthe mystery of Christ, 5 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. 6 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.
7 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. 8 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, 9 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 faith—that 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
4 I therefore, ma prisoner for the Lord, urge you to nwalk in a manner worthy of othe calling to which you have been called, 2 with all phumility and qgentleness, with rpatience, sbearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in tthe bond of peace. 4 There is uone body and vone Spirit—just as you were called to the one whope that belongs to your call— 5 xone Lord, yone faith, zone baptism, 6 aone God and Father of all, bwho is over all and through all and in all. 7 But cgrace was given dto each one of us eaccording to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore it says,
and he gave gifts to men.”1
9 (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
3 But psexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness qmust not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be rno filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, swhich are out of place, but instead tlet there be thanksgiving. 5 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. 6 wLet no one xdeceive you with empty words, for because of these things ythe wrath of God comes upon zthe sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore ado not become partners with them; 8 for bat one time you were cdarkness, but now you are light in the Lord. dWalk as children of light 9 (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,
m“Awake, 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 o“Therefore 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.
Children and Parents
6 sChildren, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 t“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, ubut bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Bondservants and Masters
5 vBondservants,1 obey your earthly masters2 with fear and trembling, wwith a sincere heart, xas you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as ypeople-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 zknowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, awhether he is a bondservant or is free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, band stop your threatening, knowing that che who is both their Master3 and yours is in heaven, and that dthere is no partiality with him.
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, ebe strong in the Lord and in fthe strength of his might. 11 gPut on hthe whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against ithe schemes of the devil. 12 For jwe do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against kthe rulers, against the authorities, against lthe cosmic powers over mthis present darkness, against nthe spiritual forces of evil oin the heavenly places. 13 Therefore ptake up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in qthe evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, rhaving fastened on the belt of truth, and shaving put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, tas shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up uthe shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all vthe flaming darts of wthe evil one; 17 and take sthe helmet of salvation, and xthe sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying yat all times zin the Spirit, awith all prayer and supplication. To that end, bkeep alert with all perseverance, making csupplication for all the saints, 19 and dalso for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth eboldly to proclaim fthe mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I gam an ambassador hin chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
21 iSo that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, jTychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may kencourage your hearts.
1 Paul and Timothy, servants1 of Christ Jesus,
2 dGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 eI thank my God fin all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 gbecause of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began ha good work in you iwill bring it to completion at jthe day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you kin my heart, for you are all lpartakers with me of grace,4 both min my imprisonment and in nthe defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For oGod is my witness, phow I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that qyour love may abound more and more, rwith knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, sand so be pure and blameless tfor the day of Christ, 11 filled uwith the fruit of righteousness that comes vthrough Jesus Christ, wto the glory and praise of God.
The Advance of the Gospel
12 I want you to know, brothers,5 that what has happened to me has really xserved to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard6 and yto all the rest that zmy imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold ato speak the word7 without fear.
15 bSome indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, cknowing that I am put here for dthe defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ eout of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
To Live Is Christ
Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that fthrough your prayers and gthe help of hthe Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope ithat I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full jcourage now as always Christ kwill be honored in my body, lwhether by life or by death. 21 For to me mto live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 nI am hard pressed between the two. My desire is oto depart and pbe with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 qConvinced of this, rI know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your sprogress and tjoy in the faith, 26 so that in me uyou may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
27 Only vlet your manner of life be wworthy8 of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you xthat you are standing firm in one spirit, with yone mind zstriving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is aa clear sign to them of their destruction, but bof your salvation, and that from God. 29 For cit has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also bsuffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same dconflict that eyou saw I had and now hear that I still have.