The Letter to the Ephesians


 1:1 ¶ TO Christ’s People AT EPHESUS who are faithful to him, | FROM Paul, by the will of God, an Apostle of Christ Jesus.

 2 | May God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ bless you and give you peace.


 1:3 ¶ Praise be to the God and Father of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who, through our union with Christ, bestowed upon us from on high every spiritual blessing.

 4 For in the person of Christ he chose us for himself before the creation of the world, intending that we should be holy and blameless in his sight, living in a spirit of love.

 5 From the first he marked us out for the privileges of his sons through Jesus Christ, in fulfilment of his loving purposes,

 6 and to win praise for that glorious blessing which he freely conferred upon us in his dear Son.

 7 For by union with Christ, and through his sacrifice of himself, we have found redemption in the pardon of our offenses. This is in accordance with the wealth of the blessings

 8 that God heaped upon us, which were accompanied by countless gifts of wisdom and discernment,

 9 when he made known to us his secret purpose. And it is also in accordance with the loving design which God planned from the first to carry out in Christ—

 10 the establishment of a New Order when the times were ripe for it, when he would make everything, both in Heaven and on earth, centre in the Christ. I say ‘in the Christ,’ by our union with whom

 11 we also became God’s own Possession, having from the first been marked out for this in the intention of him who, in all that happens, is executing his own fixed purpose.

 12 His intention is that we should win praise for his glorious Name—we who have been the first to rest our hopes on the Christ.

 13 For—to take your own case—after you had heard the Message of the Truth, the Good News of your Salvation, it was through union with the Christ that you who believed in him were marked as his by receiving the holy Spirit, which he had promised.

 14 And the Spirit is a fore-taste of what is in store for us, pointing forward to the full redemption of those who belong to God, that so praise may be won for his glorious Name.


 1:15For my part this is why, from the time when I heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus that prevails among you, and of your confidence in all Christ’s People,

 16 I have never omitted to give thanks on your behalf, making constant mention of you in my prayers.

 17 I have prayed the all-glorious Father, the God of Jesus Christ our Lord, to inspire you with wisdom and true insight through a fuller knowledge of himself.

 18 I have prayed that your mental vision may be made so clear that you may know how great a hope is given by God’s Call, what a wealth of glory there is in store for Christ’s People,

 19 and how surpassingly great is the power which he is able to exercise for us who believe in him. It is the same mighty power

 20 as that which he exerted upon the Christ, when he raised him from the dead and caused him to sit at his right hand on high,

 21 exalting him above all angelic Beings, whatever their power or rank, and conferring on him a Name above any name that can be mentioned, either in the present age, or in the age that is to come.

 22 And God put everything under Christ’s feet, and gave him to the Church as its supreme Head;

 23 for the Church is Christ’s Body, and is filled with the presence of him who fills all things everywhere with himself.

 2:1 To take your own case again. Once you were, so to speak, dead because of your offenses and sins.

 2 For at one time you lived in sin, after the way of the world, and in subjection to the Ruler of the Powers of the air—the Spirit who is now at work among the disobedient.

 3 It was among such people that we all once lived, indulging the cravings of our earthly nature, and carrying out the desires prompted by it and by our own thoughts. By our very nature we were exposed to the divine judgement, like the rest of mankind.

 4 Yet God, in his abundant compassion, and because of the great love with which he loved us,

 5 gave Life to us in giving Life to the Christ, even though at that time we were ‘dead’ because of our offenses. It is by God’s mercy that you have been saved.

 6 And through our union with Christ Jesus, God raised us to Life with him, and also caused us to sit with him on high,

 7 in order that, by his goodness to us in Christ Jesus, he might display in the ages to come the boundless wealth of his mercy.

 8 For it is by God’s mercy that you have been saved, through your faith. It is not due to yourselves; the gift is God’s.

 9 It is not due to anything that you have done—for fear any of you should boast.

 10 The truth is that we are the handiwork of God. By our union with Christ Jesus we were created for the purpose of doing the good actions which God had in readiness, so that we should devote our lives to them.


 2:11 ¶ Remember, therefore, how you were once heathens yourselves, as your bodies showed. You were called ‘The Uncircumcised’ by those who were called ‘The Circumcised’—their circumcision being a circumcision performed upon the body by the hand of man.

 12 At that time you were far from Christ; you were cut off from the privileges of Israel; and, as regards the Covenants founded on God’s Promise, you were outsiders; you were in the world without hope and without God.

 13 But now through your union with Christ Jesus, you who once were ‘far off’ have by his sacrifice of himself been brought ‘near.’

 14 It is he who is our Peace. He made the two divisions of mankind one, broke down the barrier which separated them,

 15 and in his human nature put an end to the cause of enmity between them—the Law with its rules and regulations. In doing this he sought to create out of the Jews and the heathen one New Man, and so make peace between them, by uniting both to himself.

 16 And when he had through the cross killed their mutual enmity, he sought by the cross to reconcile both to God, united in one Body.

 17 He came with the Good News of peace for you who were ‘far off,’ and of peace for those who were ‘near’;

 18 for it is through him that we, the Jews and the heathen, united in spirit, are now able to approach the Father.

 19 It follows, then, that you are no longer outsiders and aliens, but are fellow-citizens with Christ’s People and members of God’s Household.

 20 You have been built up upon the foundation laid by the Apostles and Prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the corner-stone.

 21 United in him, each separate part will be closely joined to the others, and will grow into a Temple, sacred through its union with the Lord.

 22 And through your union in him, you also are being built up together, to be a dwelling-place for God through his Spirit.


 3:1 ¶ This, then, is the reason why I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus, the Christ, for the sake of you the heathen—

 2 you heard, of course, of the responsible charge with which God entrusted me for your benefit,

 3 and also that it was by direct revelation that the secret purpose of God was made known to me, as I have already briefly told you.

 4 And by reading what I have written, you will be able to judge how far I understand this secret purpose of God in Christ.

 5 In former generations it was not made known to mankind as fully as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to his holy Apostles and Prophets.

 6 I mean the truth that, as the result of union with Christ Jesus and through the Good News, the heathen are joint-heirs with us and members of the same Body, and that they share with us in God’s Promise.

 7 It is of this Good News that I became a minister, by virtue of the charge with which God entrusted me in the exercise of his power.

 8 Yes, to me the least deserving of all Christ’s People this charge was entrusted! I was appointed to tell the heathen the Good News of the undreamt-of wealth that exists in the Christ,

 9 and to make clear what is God’s way of working out the secret purpose which for long ages has been lying hidden in the mind of the Creator of all things.

 10 And the object of this is that God’s many-sided wisdom should now, through the Church, be made known to the angelic Beings on high of every rank,

 11 in accordance with the purpose which he has had in view all through the ages and has now carried out in the person of Jesus, the Christ, our Master.

 12 And in union with Christ, and through our trust in him, we find courage to approach God with confidence.

 13 I, therefore, beg you not to be dismayed at the sufferings that I am undergoing for your sakes; for they are an honour to you.


 3:14This, then, is the reason why, when I kneel before the Father—

 15 from whom all ‘fatherhood’ in Heaven and on earth derives its name—

 16 I pray that, in the wealth of his glory, he will strengthen you with his power by breathing his Spirit into your very souls,

 17 so that, as the result, the Christ in his love may by means of your faith make his home in your hearts; and I ask that, when firmly rooted and established,

 18 you may, in company with all Christ’s People, have the power to grasp, in all its width and length and height and depth,

 19 and to understand—though it is beyond all understanding—what the love of the Christ is, so that you may be filled to the full with God himself.


 3:20To him who through his power which is at work within us is able to do far more than anything that we can ask or think of—

 21 to him be given praise through the Church and through Christ Jesus, for all generations, age after age. Amen.


 4:1 ¶ I urge you, then—I who am a prisoner for the Master’s sake—to live lives worthy of the Call that you have received.

 2 Be always humble and gentle, and always patient. Bear lovingly with one another,

 3 and try hard to maintain in the bond of peace the unity which the Spirit gives.

 4 There is but one Body and one Spirit, just as there was but one hope set before you when you received your Call.

 5 There is but one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism.

 6 There is but one God and Father of all—the God who rules over all, works through all, and lives in all.


 4:7 ¶ Every one of us, however, has been entrusted with some charge, each in accordance with the extent of the Christ’s gifts.

 8 That is why it is said— | ‘When he went up on high, he led his captives into captivity. | And gave gifts to mankind.’

 9 Now surely this ‘going up’ must imply that he had already gone down into the world beneath.

 10 He who went down is the same as he who went up—up beyond the highest Heaven, for it is his aim to fill the whole universe with his presence.

 11 And he it is who gave to the Church Apostles, Prophets, Missionaries, Pastors, and Teachers,

 12 with a view to fitting his People for the work of the ministry, and so for building up the Body of the Christ.

 13 This work will continue until we all attain to that unity which comes from faith in the Son of God and from a fuller knowledge of him, and until we reach the perfection of manhood and that degree of development of which the ideal to be found in the Christ is the standard.

 14 We shall then no longer be like children, tossed backward and forward and blown about by every breath of human teaching, and driven towards the snares of error by the trickery and the craftiness of men;

 15 but by following truth in a spirit of love, we shall grow into complete union with our Head—Christ himself.

 16 For it is from him that the whole Body, which is closely joined and held together by means of every link in the system, derives its power to grow in proportion to the activity of each individual part; and so it is being built up in a spirit of love.


 4:17This, then, is what I say to you and urge upon you in the Lord’s name. Do not continue to live as the heathen are living in their perverseness.

 18 Owing to the ignorance existing among them and the hardening of their hearts, their powers of discernment are darkened, and they are cut off from the Life of God.

 19 For lost to all sense of shame, they have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, in order to practice every kind of impurity without restraint.

 20 But as for you, far different is the lesson that you learnt from the Christ—

 21 if, that is, you really listened to him, and by living in union with him were taught the Truth, as it is to be found in Jesus.

 22 For you learnt with regard to your former life that you must lay aside your old nature, which, owing to the passions fostered by Error, was in a corrupt state;

 23 and that you must undergo a mental and spiritual transformation,

 24 and once for all clothe yourselves with a new nature—one made to resemble God in the righteousness and holiness demanded by the Truth.


 4:25So then, now that you have laid aside what is false, you must every one of you speak the truth to your neighbours. For we are united to one another like the parts of a body.

 26 Be angry, yet do not sin. Do not let the sun go down upon your anger;

 27 and do not give any opportunity to the Devil.

 28 The man who used to steal must cease to do so, but, instead of that, must toil with his hands at honest work, so that he may have something to share with any one in want.

 29 Never let any bad word pass your lips, but as many good words as you please, as occasion requires, to be a help to those who hear them.

 30 And do not grieve God’s holy Spirit; for it was through that Spirit that God set his mark upon you, in preparation for the Day of Redemption.

 31 Banish from among you all bitterness, passion, anger, brawling, and abusive language, as well as all spitefulness.

 32 Be kind to one another and tender-hearted, and be ready to forgive each other, just as God, in Christ, forgave you.

 5:1 Learn, then, as his dearly loved children, to imitate God,

 2 and live a life of love just as the Christ did. He loved you and gave himself for you as an offering and a sacrifice to God, fragrant and acceptable to him.


 5:3 ¶ As for unchastity and every kind of impurity, or greed, it is unbecoming for you, as Christ’s People, even to mention them.

 4 So, too, with anything dishonourable, and with all foolish talk and jesting, for they are quite out of place. Substitute for them thanksgiving.

 5 For of this you may be sure—that no one who is unchaste or impure or greedy of gain (for to be greedy of gain is idolatry) has any place awaiting him in the Kingdom of the Christ and of God.


 5:6 ¶ Do not let any one deceive you with meaningless phrases. It is such sins that are bringing down God’s judgement upon the disobedient.

 7 Therefore have nothing to do with them.

 8 For although you were once in Darkness, now, as Christians, you are in the Light. Live as those who are at home in the Light;

 9 for the results of a life lived in the Light show themselves in every form of goodness, righteousness, and sincerity;

 10 and always be trying to find out what best pleases the Lord.

 11 Take no part in deeds of Darkness, from which nothing good can come, but on the contrary expose them.

 12 It is degrading, indeed, even to speak of the things continually done by these people in secret.

 13 All such actions, when exposed by the Light, have their true character made manifest. Everything which has its true character made manifest is as clear as light.

 14 And that is why it is said— | ‘Sleeper, awake! | Arise from the dead, | And the Christ shall give thee light!’


 5:15Be extremely careful, then, as to your daily lives. Do not live unwisely but wisely,

 16 making the most of every opportunity; for these are evil days.

 17 For the same reason do not grow thoughtless, but try to understand what the Lord’s will is.

 18 Do not drink wine to excess, for that leads to profligacy; but seek to be filled with God’s Spirit,

 19 and speak to one another in psalms and hymns and sacred songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord.

 20 Always give thanks for everything to our God and Father, as followers of Jesus Christ, our Lord;

 21 and out of reverence for Christ submit to one another.


 5:22 ¶ Wives should show the same submission to their husbands as they do to the Lord.

 23 For a man is the Head of his wife in the same way as the Christ is the Head of his Body, the Church—he being indeed its Saviour.

 24 But as the Church submits to the Christ, so also should wives submit to their husbands in everything.

 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as the Christ loved the Church; yes, and he gave himself for her,

 26 in order to make her holy, after purifying her by the Washing with the Water, according to his promise.

 27 His intention is himself to bring the Church in all her beauty into his own presence with no spot or wrinkle or blemish of any kind, but, on the contrary, holy and faultless.

 28 That is how husbands ought to love their wives—as if they were their own bodies. A man who loves his wife is really loving himself;

 29 for no one ever yet hated his own body. But every one feeds his body and takes care of it, just as the Christ does with the Church.

 30 We are members of his Body.

 31 ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and be closely united to his wife; and the man and his wife shall become one.’

 32 There is a deep truth here—I am speaking now with reference to Christ and the Church.

 33 But, as for you, you must each of you love his own wife exactly as if she were yourself; and the wife, for her part, should show respect for her husband.


 6:1 ¶ Children, obey your parents as Christian children should; for it is but right.

 2 ‘Honour thy father and mother’—this is the first Commandment that has a promise attached—

 3 ‘so that thou mayest prosper and have a long life on earth.’

 4 And you fathers should not irritate your children, but should bring them up with Christian training and advice.


 6:5 ¶ Slaves, obey your earthly masters, and hold them in respect and awe, giving them undivided service, as you would the Christ.

 6 Do not do this only when their eyes are on you, as if you had but to please men, but do it as slaves of Christ, who are trying to carry out the will of God.

 7 Give your service heartily and cheerfully, as if you were working for the Master and not for men;

 8 for you know that every one will be rewarded by the Master for any honest work he has done, no matter whether he is a slave or a free man.

 9 And you masters should treat your slaves in the same spirit. Give up threatening them; for you know that their Master, who is yours also, is in Heaven, and that he recognizes no distinctions between one man and another.


 6:10For the future, find your strength in union with the Lord, and in the power which comes from his might.

 11 Put on all the armour of God, so that you may be able to stand your ground against the stratagems of the Devil.

 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of flesh and blood, but against the Powers of Evil, against those that hold sway in the Darkness around us, and against the Spirits of Wickedness on high.

 13 Therefore take all the armour of God in order that when the evil day comes, you may be able to withstand the attack, and having carried the struggle through, still to stand your ground.

 14 Stand your ground, then, with truth for your belt, and with righteousness for your breast-plate,

 15 and with the firm foothold of the Good News of Peace as shoes for your feet.

 16 And besides all these, take faith for your shield; for with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming darts of Evil.

 17 And accept the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is God’s truth.

 18 Do this with continual prayer and supplication. Pray in your hearts at all times. Be intent upon this, with unwearying perseverance and with supplication for all Christ’s People,

 19 and on my behalf also, that, when I begin to speak, words may be given me, so that I may courageously make known the secret truths of the Good News.

 20 It is on behalf of the Good News that I am an Ambassador—though in chains! Pray then, that, when telling it, I may have the courage to speak as I ought.


 6:21 ¶ I wish you, as well as others, to know all that concerns me and what I am doing. So Tychicus, our dear Brother and faithful helper in the Master’s service, will tell you everything.

 22 For I am sending him to you on purpose that you may learn all about us, and that he may cheer your hearts.


 6:23 ¶ May God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ give our Brothers peace and love, and faith as well.

 24 May God’s blessing be with all whose love for Jesus Christ, our Lord, never fails.