The Letter of Paul to the



11Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus1 and faithful in Christ Jesus:

2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

3Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places], 4just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unblemished before him. In love 5he predestined us2 for adoption [as sons] for himself through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of the glory of his grace which he freely gave us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of [our] trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8which he provided in abundance for us in all wisdom and insight. 9He has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him 10as a plan for the fulness of the times, to bring together all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth. [All this is] in him 11in whom also we become [God's] portion, since we were predestined according to the purpose of the One who works all things according to the intention of his will, 12in order that we who first hoped in Christ might be for the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed, were sealed (in him, [I say]) with the promised Holy Spirit, 14which is the down payment of our inheritance until the redemption of [God's] possession, to the praise of his glory.

Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Readers
(Col. 1:18-19)

15For this [reason] also, since I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and [your] love3 toward all the saints, 16I do not cease giving thanks for you, making mention [of you] in my prayers, 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of

1Other ancient authorities omit in Ephesus
2Or, before him in love. 0He predestined us
3Other ancient authorities omit [your] love

Ephesians 1

revelation in the knowledge of him, 18having the eyes of your heart enlightened, in order that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what [are] the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19and what [is] the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of the might of his strength, 20which he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made [him] sit at his right [hand] in the heavenly [places], 21far above every ruler and authority and power and lordship, and [above] every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the future one. 22And he has put all things in subjection under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fulness of the One who fills all in all.

Salvation by God's Grace
(Col. 2:13; 3:1)

21And you [he made alive], when you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, in accordance with the [present] age of this world, in accordance with the ruler of the domain of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. 3Among these also we all once conducted [ourselves] in the desires of our flesh, doing the wishes of flesh and mind, and we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest [of mankind] also. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in trespasses, made [us] alive together with Christ1 (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised [us] up with [him], and made [us] sit with [him] in the heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the surpassing riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this thing [is] not from you, [it is] the gift of God--9not because of works, lest anyone should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles in One Body
(Col. 1:20-22)

11Therefore keep remembering that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called "the circumcision," [referring to that] made in the flesh by hands--12[keep remembering] that you were at

1Other ancient authorities read in Christ

Ephesians 2

that time apart from Christ, alienated from the community2 of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace, who has made [us] both one, and has broken down the middle wall that [formed] a fence [between us], [that is], the hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new man out of the two, [so] making peace, 16and might reconcile [us] both to God in one body through the cross, having killed the hostility by means of it. 17And he came and proclaimed the gospel of peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18because through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

19So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and [members] of the household of God, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21in whom all the building is being joined together and growing into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are being built together with [us] into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

The Mystery of the Gentiles' Salvation
(Col. 1:25-27)

31For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles--2inasmuch as you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, 3that by revelation the mystery was made known to me, just as I have briefly written above. 4By it, when you read [it], you can understand my comprehension in the mystery of Christ, 5which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6[that is], that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow [members of the same] body, and fellow partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7Of this [gospel] I became a servant according to the gift of God's grace which was given me according to the working of his power. 8To me, [though I am] the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to proclaim to the Gentiles the gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to bring to light for all [people]1 what

2Or, commonwealth
1Other ancient authorities omit for all [people]

Ephesians 3

[is] the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10so that through the church the many-sided wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly [places]. 11[This was] according to the eternal purpose2 which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through [our] faith in him. 13Therefore I ask [you] not to3 lose heart in my tribulations on behalf of you, which is your glory.

Another Prayer for the Readers

14For this reason I bow my knees to the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner man, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have the strength to grasp with all the saints what [is] the width and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.

20Now to the One who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, in accordance with the power that works in us, 21to him [be] the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Unity of the Spirit and of the Faith

41I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, appeal to you to walk in a way worthy of the calling to which you were called, 2with all humility and meekness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, 3being diligent to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4[There is] one body and one Spirit, just as you were also called in one hope of your calling, 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism,1 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

7But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8Therefore he says,

2Lit., the purpose of the ages
3Or, I ask that [I] may not
1Greek baptisma means immersion

Ephesians 4

 "When he ascended on high he led captives into captivity,

[and] hei gave gifts to men."2
9(Now the [phrase], "he ascended," what does it mean except that he had also descended3 into the lower parts of the earth? 10The One who descended is himself also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11And [as gifts] he gave some [to be] apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some shepherds4 and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints to the work of service, [and] to the building up of the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge5 of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; 14so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by the waves and carried about with every wind of teaching, by the trickery of men, by [their] craftiness in deceptive scheming. 15But [he did this so that], speaking the truth in love, we may grow up in every [way] into him who is the head, [that is], Christ, 16from whom all the body, joined and knit together through every ligament of support, in accordance with the working of each single part in [its] measure, produces the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

The New Life in Christ
(Col. 3:5-15)

17Therefore I say this and testify in the Lord, [that] you [are] no longer to be walking as the Gentiles also walk, in the vanity of their mind. 18They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the callousness of their heart. 19They have become insensitive and have given themselves up to unrestrained sensuality, to work every kind of uncleanness in greed. 20But you did not so learn Christ, 21inasmuch as you have heard of him and were taught in him, just as the truth is in Jesus, 22[that] you [are] to put off the old man which was in accordance with [your] former way of life and is corrupt in accordance with deceitful desires, 23and to keep being renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and put on the new man that is created in accordance with God in true righteousness and devoutness.

2Ps. 68:18
3Other ancient authorities insert first
4Or, pastors
5Or, full knowledge

Ephesians 4

25Therefore, putting away lying, "each of you must keep speaking the truth with his neighbor,"6 because we are members of one another. 26"Be angry and [yet] do not sin;"7 the sun must not go down on your anger, 27nor must you be giving a chance to the devil. 28The one who has been stealing must no longer be stealing, but rather he must be laboring, doing work that is good with [his] own hands, so that he may have [something] to share with the one who has need. 29Not any bad word must proceed out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up, as there is need, so that it may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not be grieving the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were seale for the day of redemption. 31All bitterness and anger and wrath and shouting and slander must be put away from you, with all malice. 32And keep being kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also forgave you.8

51Therefore keep being imitators of God, as beloved children. 2And keep walking in love, just as Christ also loved us1 and gave himself up for us,1 an offering and sacrifice to God for a fragrant aroma.

3But fornication and all uncleanness or greed must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints. 4And [neither must there be] obscenity and foolish talk, or course joking, which are not proper; but rather [there must be] thanksgiving. 5For you know this for sure, that not any fornicator or unclean [acting person], or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Children of Light
(Col. 3:16-17; 4:5)

6No one must be deceiving you with empty words, for [it is] because of these things [that] the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore quit becoming fellow partners with them, 8for once you were darkness, but now [you are] light in the Lord. Keep walking as children of light 9(for the fruit of light2 [is found] in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10as you try to discover what is pleasing to the Lord. 11And do not be having fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even be exposing [them]. 12For it is shameful even to speak of the things

6Zech. 8:16 7Ps. 4:4
8Other ancient authorities read us
1Other ancient authorities read you both times; others only the first
2Other ancient authorities read the Spirit

Ephesians 5

that are done by them in secret; 13but all things that are exposed by the light are made apparent, for everything that is made apparent is light. 14That is why [the song] says,

"Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."3

15Therefore look carefully how you walk, not as unwise [people] but as wise, 16making the most4 of the opportunity, because the days are evil. 17For this [reason] quit being senseless, but [rather] start comprehending what the will of the Lord [is]. 18And do not be getting drunk with wine, in which is debauchery; but keep being filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual5 songs, singing and chanting psalms with your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to [our] God and Father, 21being subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Wives and Husbands
(Col. 3:18-19)

22Wives, [be subject] to [your] own husbands, as to the Lord. 23Because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ [is] also the head of the church, [and is] himself the Savior of the body. 24But as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives [should be subject] to [their] husbands in everything. 25Husbands, keep loving [your] wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26so that he might sanctify her, having cleansed [her] by the bath of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself [as] glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but so that she might be holy and without blemish. 28So also husbands ought to keep loving their wives as their [own] bodies. The one who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his [own] flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also [does] the church, 30because we are members of his body.6 31"For this [reason] a man shall leave [his] father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh."7 32This is a great mystery, but I am speaking in regard to Christ and to the church. 33However,

3Cf. Is. 26:19; 60:1
4Lit., redeeming
5A few ancient authorities omit spiritual
6Other ancient authorities add of his flesh and of his bones; cf. Gen. 2:23
7Gen. 2:24

Ephesians 5

each and every one of you must also in this way keep loving his wife as himself, and the wife should keep respecting [her] husband.

Children and Parents
(Col. 3:20-21)

61Children, keep obeying your parents in the Lord,1 for this is right. 2"Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3"so that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth."2 4And fathers, do not be provoking your children to anger, but be bringing them up in the discipline and admonition of the Lord.

Slaves and Masters
(Col. 3:22-4:1)

5Slaves, keep obeying those who are [your] masters3 according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6not by way of eyeservice, as menpleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the soul, 7with good will serving as to the Lord and not to men, 8knowing that whatever good each [one] does, this he will get back from the Lord, whether [he is] a slave or free. 9And [you] masters,3 keep doing the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that the One who is both their Master4 and yours is in heaven, and [that] there is no partiality with him.

Christian Warfare
(Col. 4:2-4)

10Finally, keep growing strong in the Lord and in the might of his strength. 11Put on the whole armor of God, in order that you may be able to stand against the schemings of the devil. 12Because our combat is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-powers of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places]. 13Therefore take the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your waist tied about with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having [your] feet fitted with

1Other ancient authorities omit in the Lord
2Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16
3Lit., lords
4Lit., Lord

Ephesians 6

preparation for the gospel of peace; 16[and] with all [these], taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery arrows of the evil [one]. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and petition. And to that end keep alert with all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints, 19and [also] for me, that speech may be given to me in opening my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly,5 as I ought to speak.

Final Greetings
(Col. 4:7-8)

21Now so that you also may know my situation, what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord will make known to you everything. 22I have sent him to you for this very [purpose], so that you may know the [facts] about us, and [that] he may encourage your hearts.

23Peace [be] to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24Grace [be] with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with imperishable [love].

5A few ancient authorities read that I may speak it boldly
Page last modified Jan. 7, 2010
Page maintained by Bruce Terry
Copyright © 1981 Ralph Bruce Terry. All rights reserved.
Permission granted to print for personal use only.