Paul's Relationship to the Divine Mystery
3 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus 1 for the sake of you Gentiles – 2 if indeed 2 you have heard of the stewardship 3 of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that 4 by revelation the divine secret 5 was made known to me, as I wrote before briefly. 6 4 When reading this, 7 you will be able to 8 understand my insight into this secret 9 of Christ. 5 Now this secret 10 was not disclosed to people 11 in former 12 generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by 13 the Spirit, 6 namely, that through the gospel 14 the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members 15 of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus. 7 I became a servant of this gospel 16 according to the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by 17 the exercise of his power. 18 8 To me – less than the least of all the saints 19 – this grace was given, 20 to proclaim to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ 9 and to enlighten 21 everyone about God’s secret plan 22 – a secret that has been hidden for ages 23 in God 24 who has created all things. 10 The purpose of this enlightenment is that 25 through the church the multifaceted wisdom 26 of God should now be disclosed to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms. 11 This was according to 27 the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access 28 to God 29 because of 30 Christ’s 31 faithfulness. 32 13 For this reason I ask you 33 not to lose heart because of what I am suffering for you, 34 which 35 is your glory. 36
Prayer for Strengthened Love
14 For this reason 37 I kneel 38 before the Father, 39 15 from 40 whom every family 41 in heaven and on the earth is named. 16 I pray that 42 according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, 18 you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 43 19 and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to 44 all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who by the power that is working within us 45 is able to do far beyond 46 all that we ask or think, 21 to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Live in Unity
4 I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, 1 urge you to live 2 worthily of the calling with which you have been called, 3 2 with all humility and gentleness, 4 with patience, bearing with 5 one another in love, 3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he captured 6 captives; he gave gifts to men.” 7 9 Now what is the meaning of “he ascended,” except that he also descended 8 to the lower regions, 9 namely, the earth? 10 10 He, the very one 11 who descended, is also the one who ascended above all the heavens, in order to fill all things. 11 It was he 12 who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 13 12 to equip 14 the saints for the work of ministry, that is, 15 to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God – a mature person, attaining to 16 the measure of Christ’s full stature. 17 14 So 18 we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes. 19 15 But practicing the truth in love, 20 we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. 16 From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together 21 through every supporting ligament. 22 As each one does its part, the body grows in love.
Live in Holiness
17 So I say this, and insist 23 in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility 24 of their thinking. 25 18 They are darkened in their understanding, 26 being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. 19 Because they are callous, they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 27 20 But you did not learn about Christ like this, 21 if indeed you heard about him and were taught in him, just as the truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside 28 the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image 29 – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth. 30
25 Therefore, having laid aside falsehood, each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, 31 for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; 32 do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger. 33 27 Do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 The one who steals must steal no longer; rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who has need. 29 You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, 34 that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk. 32 Instead, 35 be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. 36
Live in Love
5 Therefore, be 1 imitators of God as dearly loved children 2 and live 2 in love, just as Christ also loved us 3 and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering 4 to God. 3 But 5 among you there must not be either sexual immorality, impurity of any kind, 6 or greed, as these are not fitting for the saints. 7 4 Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting – all of which are out of character – but rather thanksgiving. 5 For you can be confident of this one thing: 8 that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Live in the Light
6 Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 9 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them, 10 8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are 11 light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light – 9 for the fruit of the light 12 consists in 13 all goodness, righteousness, and truth – 10 trying to learn 14 what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather 15 expose them. 16 12 For the things they do 17 in secret are shameful even to mention. 13 But all things being exposed by the light are made evident. 14 For everything made evident is light, and for this reason it says: 18
“Awake, 19 O sleeper! 20
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you!” 21
15 Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, 16 taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise 22 by understanding 23 what the Lord’s will is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, which 24 is debauchery, 25 but be filled by the Spirit, 26 19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music 27 in 28 your hearts to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for each other 29 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 30
Exhortations to Households 31
22 Wives, submit 32 to your husbands as to the Lord, 23 because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church – he himself being the savior of the body. 24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your 33 wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her 26 to sanctify her by cleansing her 34 with the washing of the water by the word, 27 so that he 35 may present the church to himself as glorious – not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. 36 28 In the same way 37 husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one has ever hated his own body 38 but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 for we are members of his body. 39 31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become 40 one flesh. 41 32 This mystery is great – but I am actually 42 speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, 43 each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself, 44 and the wife must 45 respect 46 her husband.