Salutation

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus,1 and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Trinitarian Redemption

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, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless2 before Him in love, having predestined3 us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 for the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed upon us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood—even the forgiveness of our sins—granted according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight,4 having made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, a mystery that He has now set forth in Him 10 for the purpose of an administration5 of the fullness of the times: namely, the heading up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth. 11In Him we have also obtained an inheritance,6 having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will, 12 to the end that we should be to the praise of His glory, we who were the first to set our hope on Christ; 13 in whom you also, having heard the message of the truth—the gospel of your salvation—and having believed it,7 were sealed8 with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the down payment9 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 too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and also of your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give God thanks for you, always making mention of you in my prayers, 17 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 may 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 limitless strength,10 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 all, to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Notes

  1. A few old mss omit in Ephesus
  2. Or unblemished
  3. Or before Him, in love having predestined
  4. Or upon us, in all wisdom and insight having made known
  5. Or purposed in Him for an administration
  6. Or were made an inheritance; or were chosen; lit. were allotted
  7. Lit. in which also having believed
  8. Or in whom you also (obtained this inheritance), having heard . . . salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed
  9. Or first installment, pledge, deposit
  10. Lit. the might of His strength

 

Salvation by Grace Through Faith

And you were1 dead in your trespasses and sins, 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, among whom also we all formerly conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just like the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, and because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the endless ages to come He might display the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved, through faith; and this4 is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 it is not from works, so that none may ever boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we might walk in them.

The One New Man

11 Therefore, remember that formerly you, “the Gentiles” according5 to the flesh, who are called “the Uncircumcision” by those who are called “the Circumcision” (whose circumcision is only made in the flesh by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were without Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, 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 groups into one, having torn down the dividing wall—the source of the enmity between them15 by abolishing in His flesh the Law of commandments expressed in ordinances, so that He might create in Himself, out of the two, one new man, thereby making peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it6 having put the enmity to death. 17 And He came and preached 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 Now, therefore, you are no longer foreigners and aliens,7 but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together so as to become8 a dwelling place of God by the Spirit.

Notes

  1. Lit. being dead; i.e. and though you were dead
  2. Lit. according to the age of this world
  3. Lit. authority, sphere of influence
  4. This (directly) refers to the salvation, not the faith
  5. Lit. in, by
  6. Or in himself
  7. Lit. noncitizens living in a foreign land
  8. Greek: unto (for), or into

 

The Mystery of the Gospel

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of the grace of God which was entrusted to me on your behalf, how by divine revelation the mystery was made known to me, just as I briefly wrote to you above.1 By reading this, you will be able to perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in previous2 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; namely, that the Gentiles are fellow-sharers in the inheritance, fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a servant according to the gift of the grace of God, given to me in accordance with the operation of His power. To me, the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should proclaim to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and bring to light3 what pertains to the administration of the mystery which, from the beginning of time,4 had remained hidden in God who created all things, 10 so that now the manifold wisdom of God may be made known by the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This accords with the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access to God through our faith in Him.5 13 Therefore, I entreat you: Do not lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, which is your glory.

Prayer for Strength, Wisdom, and Love

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom the whole6 family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant to you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 that Christ would dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height— 19 and so to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, 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 ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Notes

  1. Or before, earlier
  2. Lit. other
  3. Some ancient mss make all to see
  4. Lit. from the ages
  5. Or possibly through His faithfulness
  6. Or every

 

A Plea for Unity

4 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling by which you were called, 2 walking in all humility and gentleness, with great patience, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to guard the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. For there is one body and one Spirit—just as you also were called to the one hope that belongs to your calling1— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.

A Recognition of Diversity

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. For this reason He2 says:

“When He ascended on high
He led3 captivity captive
And gave gifts to men.”4

(Now this expression, “He ascended”—what does it mean, if not that He also first5 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, that He might fill all things!) 11 And He Himself gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as 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 of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. 14 He has done this so that we should 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, speaking7 the truth in love, we are to grow up in every respect into Him who is the head—Christ Himself16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies8 according to the proper functioning of each individual member,9 effects its own growth,10 resulting in the building up of itself in love.

New Life in Christ

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their heart. 19 Having become callous, they have given themselves over to unbridled lust, so as to 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 (seeing that truth resides in Jesus), 22 that with respect to your former manner of life you must put off the old man, which grows corrupt according its deceptive lusts; 23 that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 and that you put on the new man, the man created according to God in the righteousness and holiness that is based upon the truth.11

25 For this reason, putting off all falsehood, let each of you speak truth with his neighbor,12 for we are members one of another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin.”13 Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 and leave no room for the devil to do his work28 Let him who steals steal no longer, but rather let him labor, doing what is honorable14 with his own hands, that he might have something to give to anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupt communication come out of your mouth, but only what is good for meeting the need at hand,15 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, along with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God, in Christ, also has forgiven you.

Notes

  1. Lit. called in one hope of your calling
  2. Or it, he
  3. Or took
  4. Psalm 68:18
  5. Though implied, first does not appear in most mss
  6. Lit. by the trickery of men, by craftiness with the scheme of deceit
  7. Or practicing
  8. Or by every supporting ligament
  9. Lit. according to the working in measure of each individual part
  10. Lit. causes the growth of the body
  11. Lit. in righteousness and holiness of the truth
  12. Zech. 8:16
  13. Psalm 4:4
  14. Or useful
  15. Lit. good for the building up of the need

 

Walk in Love

Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God, that He might be a sweet-smelling aroma to Him.1 But sexual immorality and impurity of any kind, or greed, let them not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting for saints; nor should there be obscene and foolish talk, or coarse jesting, which are not proper, but rather the giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty: no immoral, impure, or covetous person (who is actually an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Walk in Light

Therefore do not be partakers with them, for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light is seen in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 giving public proof of that which is pleasing to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; indeed, you ought rather to expose them! 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things they do in secret. 13 But when all such things are exposed by the light, they are made evident; for everything that is made evident is light. 14 Therefore He2 says:

“Awake, O sleeper,
And arise 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, because the days are evil. 17 For this reason, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.3 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 giving thanks always for all things to our God and Father4 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting yourselves one to another out of reverence for5 Christ.

To Husbands and Wives

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as 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 to Christ, so also wives ought to submit to their own husbands in all things. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present her6 to Himself a glorious church, having neither spot nor wrinkle nor any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 In this way husbands ought also to love their own 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 also nourishes and cherishes the church, 30 for we are members of His body. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined7 to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”8 32 This mystery is great, but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, let each one of you also love his own wife as he loves himself; and let the wife see to it that she respects her husband.

Notes

  1. Lit. unto a sweet-smelling aroma
  2. Or it
  3. Or according to a few mss but be wise, understanding what
  4. Lit. to the God and Father
  5. Or in the fear of Christ
  6. Lit. it
  7. Or cleave, hold to
  8. Gen. 2:24

 

To Children and Parents

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”— which is the first commandment with a promise—“that it may go well with you, and that you may live long upon the earth.”1 And fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the training and exhortation of the Lord.

To Slaves and Masters

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh—with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart—even as you would to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With goodwill render service as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, it will be recompensed to him by the Lord, whether slave or free. And masters, do the same things to them; and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven—and there is no partiality with Him.

The Weapons of Our Warfare

10 Finally, be strengthened in the Lord, and with the power of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle 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 places. 13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God, so that in the evil day you may be able to hold your ground, and having done all, to stand. 14 Therefore stand, having girded your loins with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace2— 16 in all of this taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take3 the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and supplication pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end remain watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. 19 Pray for me as well, that whenever I open my mouth utterance will be given to me, so that with freedom and confidence I may make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that whenever I proclaim it,4 I may speak out boldly, just as I ought to speak.

Final Words

21 But in order that you also may know my circumstances, and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know our circumstances, and that he may comfort your hearts. 23 Peace to the brothers, 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 an incorruptible love.5 Amen.

Notes

  1. Deut. 5:16
  2. Lit. the readiness (or preparation) of the gospel of peace
  3. Or receive
  4. Lit. that in it I
  5. Lit. in incorruption