1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints living in Ephesus,1 the faithful2 in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Saint’s Trinitarian Redemption
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as he chose us in him before the founding of the world, so that we would be holy and blameless3 before him. In love 5 he predestined4 us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, doing so in accordance with the good pleasure of his will, 6 and for the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed upon us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood: the forgiveness of sins, granted in accordance with the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us 9 in all wisdom and understanding when he made known5 to us the mystery of his will. This too was in accordance with his good pleasure, which he has now set forth in Christ6 10 for an administration of the fullness of the times: namely, the heading up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. 11In him we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined to it in accordance with the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his own will, 12 so that we who were the first to set our hope on Christ would be for the praise of his glory. 13 And when you heard and believed the message of the truth (the good news of your salvation), you too were sealed in him with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the down payment7 on our inheritance, given with a view to the full redemption of the purchased possession, for the praise of his glory.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
15 For this reason I myself—having heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus, and about your love for all the saints— 16 never cease to give thanks for you, always mentioning you in my prayers, 17 asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, would give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; 18 that the eyes of your heart would be enlightened, so that you would know the hope of his calling, the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 and the surpassing greatness of his power towards us who believe—a power that accords with the exertion of his mighty strength,8 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the age to come. 22 And he placed all things in subjection beneath his feet, and gave him—as head over all9—to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
- Some old mss omit in Ephesus, suggesting that this was a circular epistle, with Ephesus as the initial destination
- Lit. to the saints who are in Ephesus and the faithful
- Or unblemished
- Or before him in love. He predestined
- Or and insight, having made known
- Lit. him
- Or first installment, pledge, deposit
- Lit. of the might of his strength
- Or all things
Salvation by Grace Through Faith
2 And you were dead1 in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the pattern of this present world,2 according to the ruler of the domain3 of the air, the domain of the spirit now at work in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all formerly conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just like the rest.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved); 6 and he raised us together, and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the endless ages to come he might display the surpassing riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved, through faith. And this4 comes not from yourselves: It is the gift of God 9 (and not the fruit of works5), so that none can ever boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
The One New Man
11 So remember that formerly, you—“the Gentiles” with respect to the flesh, and a people referred to as “the Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision” (whose circumcision is merely in the flesh, performed by merely human hands)—12 remember that at that time you were without Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise made to Abraham, having no hope, and living without God in the world.
13 But now, in Christ Jesus, you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two peoples into one, having torn down the dividing wall, the source of the enmity that stood between them. 15 He did this by abolishing in his flesh the Law containing God’s commands in the form of ordinances,6 so that out of the two he might create in himself one new man—thereby making peace—16 and might also reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, by which he put the enmity to death. 17 And he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off, and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
19 So then: Now you are no longer foreigners and aliens,7 but fellow-citizens with the saints, and full members of the household of God. 20 For you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building, as it is fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you also are being built up, together with all the saints, so as to become8 a dwelling place of God by the Spirit.
- Lit. being dead
- Lit. according to the age of this world
- Lit. authority; sphere of influence
- The Greek for “faith” is feminine, the Greek for “this” is neuter
- Lit. is not from (based on, the result of) works
- Lit. the Law of commands in ordinances
- Lit. noncitizens living in a foreign land
- Lit. are being built up together unto (for)
The Mystery of the Christ
3 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus in behalf of you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard about the stewardship of God’s grace entrusted to me for your benefit, 3 how by divine revelation the mystery of Christ was made known to me, just as I briefly wrote you above.1 4 By reading this, you will be able to perceive my insight into this mystery,2 5 which in previous3 generations was not made known to the sons of men as it now has been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 namely, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs of the inheritance, fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7 of which I was made a servant according to the gift of God’s grace, given to me in accordance with the exertion of his power.
8 To me, the least of all the saints, this grace was given, so that I might proclaim to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and bring to light4 all that belongs5 to the administration of the mystery—a mystery that in ages past6 had remained hidden in God, who created all things— 10 so that now, through the Church, the many-sided wisdom of God might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 All of this accords with the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access to God through our faith in him.7 13 So then: I urge you not to lose heart over the things I suffer in your behalf, since this8 is your glory.
Prayer for Strength, Wisdom, and Love
14 For this reason, I bend my knees before the Father, 15 from whom the whole9 family in heaven and earth receives its name; 16 and I pray that in accordance with the riches of his glory you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that10 Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be enabled to grasp, together with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height— 19 and so to know the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think, in accordance with the power that is now at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
- Or before, earlier
- Lit. the mystery of Christ
- Lit. other
- Some ancient mss make all to see
- Lit. what is
- Lit. from the ages
- Or possibly through his faithfulness
- Lit. which
- Or every
- Or and that
A Plea for Unity
4 So then: I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling by which you were called: 2 in all humility and gentleness, with great patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 and making every effort to guard the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit—just as you also were called to the one hope that belongs to your calling1— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
A Recognition of Diversity
7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 This is why he2 says, “When he ascended on high, he led3 captivity captive and gave gifts to men.”4 9 (Now this expression, “He ascended”—what does it mean, if not that he also5 descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 But he who descended is the very one who also ascended far above all the heavens, in order that he might fill all things!)
11 And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, for the building up of the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and the unity of the knowledge of the Son of God: to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. 14 And he has done this so that we will no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves, and swept along with every wind of doctrine, by means of the trickery of men who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes.6 15 Rather, as we speak7 the truth in love, we are meant to grow up in every respect into him who is the head—into Christ himself. 16 From him the whole body—being joined and knit together by every supporting ligament8 as each individual member does his part9—effects its own growth,10 and so builds itself up in love.11
New Life in Christ
17 This I say, then, and solemnly testify in the Lord: You must no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind; 18 for they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God due to the ignorance that is in them because of the hardness of their heart. 19 Having grown callous, they have given themselves over to unbridled lust, with the result that they practice every kind of impurity with insatiable greed.
20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard him and been taught by him (since12 truth is found in Jesus), 22 that with respect to your former manner of life you must lay aside the old man, who grows more and more corrupt as he yields to deceptive lusts; 23 but that instead you must be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new man, who was created in the likeness of God,13 in the righteousness and holiness that are proper to the truth.14
25 For this reason, laying aside all falsehood, let each of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin.”15 Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and leave no room for the devil to do his work. 28 Let him who stole steal no more; instead, let him work, doing what is honorable16 with his own hands, that he might have something to give to the one who stands in need. 29 Let no corrupt17 communication come out of your mouth, but only such as serves to meet a present need,18 that it might impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander be put away from you, together with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God, in Christ, has also forgiven you.
- Lit. called in one hope of your calling
- Or it
- Or took
- Ps. 68:18
- Many mss also first
- Lit. by the trickery of men, by craftiness with the scheme of deceit
- Or as we practice
- Or what every joint supplies; lit. every joint of supply
- Lit. according to the working in measure of each individual part
- Lit. causes the growth of the body
- Lit. unto the building up of itself in love
- Lit. just as
- Or after the image of God; lit. according to God
- Or in true righteousness and holiness; lit. in righteousness and holiness of the truth
- Ps. 4:4
- Or useful
- Or rotten, worthless
- Lit. but whatever is good for the building up of the need
Walk in Love
5 So then: As beloved children, be imitators of God. 2 And walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us: an offering and a sacrifice to God, a fragrance well-pleasing to him.1 3 But sexual immorality and impurity of any kind, or greed—such things must not even be mentioned2 among you, as is proper for saints. 4 Nor should there be obscene and foolish talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather the giving of thanks. 5 For of this you may be sure: no immoral, impure, or covetous person (who is actually an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.
Walk in Light
7 Therefore you must not partner with them in sin, 8 for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light is seen in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 striving to discern3 what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead you should actually expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed to the light, it is seen for what it is;4 for all that is thus seen5 is light. 14 Therefore he6 says, “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead; and Christ will shine on you!”
15 See to it, then, that you walk circumspectly—not as unwise, but as wise—16 redeeming the time, for the days are evil. 17 For this reason, do not be foolish, but understand what7 the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which there is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks for all things to God the Father8 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting yourselves one to another out of reverence for Christ.9
The Mystery of Marriage
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as you would to the Lord. 23 For 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 Now as the church submits herself to Christ, so too should wives submit to their own husbands in all matters.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word;10 27 that he might present her11 to himself as a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
28 This too is how husbands should love their own wives: just as they love their own bodies! He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; rather, he nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also nourishes and cherishes the church; 30 for we are the members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined12 to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.”13 32 This is a great mystery, but I am speaking here about Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, let each one of you also love his own wife just as he loves himself; and let the wife see to it that she reverences her husband.14
- Lit. for (resulting in) a sweet-smelling aroma
- Lit. it is not to be named
- Or giving public proof of; demonstrating
- Lit. made manifest, revealed
- Lit. made manifest, revealed
- Or it
- A few mss but be wise, understanding what
- Lit. to the God and Father
- Or in the fear of Christ
- Greek rhema (a spoken word)
- Lit. it
- Or cleave, hold
- Gen. 2:24
- Lit. Let the wife (woman) fear (reverence, respect) the husband (man)
Children and Parents
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment to include a promise— 3 “that it may go well with you, and that your life may be long upon the earth.”1 4 And fathers, don’t provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the training and instruction2 of the Lord.
Slaves and Their Masters
5 Slaves, obey those who are your masters according to the flesh with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, just as you would Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 With good will render service as if to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, the Lord will reward him for it, whether slave or free. 9 And masters, apply these same principles in dealing with your slaves,3 forgoing threats, realizing that both their Master and yours is in heaven; and there is no partiality with him.
The Weapons of Our Warfare
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realms. 13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God, so that you can hold your ground in time of trouble4 and—having done all that is required—stand firm.
14 Stand, then, having girded your loins with truth, having strapped on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.5 16 In addition to all these,6 take up the shield of faith, with which you’ll be able7 to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take8 the helmet of salvation, along with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all kinds of prayer and supplication,9 pray at all times10 in the Spirit; and with this as your goal, stand watch—with all perseverance and supplication—over all the saints. 19 And pray for me as well, that whenever I open my mouth, God will give me utterance,11 so that with free and fearless confidence I might make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that whenever I proclaim it, I may speak out boldly, just as I should.
21 Now Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will inform you about all that is happening here, so that you also may know my circumstances and how I am doing. 22 I have sent him to you for this very reason—so that you might know our circumstances, and so he may comfort your hearts.
23 Peace to the brotherhood—and love with faith—from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with a pure and undying love.12 Amen.
- Deut. 5:16
- Or exhortation, admonition
- Lit. do the same things to them
- Lit. on the day of evil; trouble
- Lit. the readiness (preparation) of the gospel of peace
- Or and in every circumstance; lit. with (in) all (these) things
- Or find (have) strength
- Or receive
- Or in every prayer and petition
- Or on all occasions; lit. in each time (occasion)
- Lit. utterance will be given to me
- Or in sincerity; lit. in incorruption (purity, imperishability)