Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.(A) “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”[a](B)

Fathers,[b] do not exasperate your children;(C) instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.(D)

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect(E) and fear, and with sincerity of heart,(F) just as you would obey Christ.(G) Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ,(H) doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,(I) because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do,(J) whether they are slave or free.

And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours(K) is in heaven, and there is no favoritism(L) with him.

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord(M) and in his mighty power.(N) 11 Put on the full armor of God,(O) so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,(P) but against the rulers, against the authorities,(Q) against the powers(R) of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.(S) 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God,(T) so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,(U) with the breastplate of righteousness in place,(V) 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.(W) 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,(X) with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.(Y) 17 Take the helmet of salvation(Z) and the sword of the Spirit,(AA) which is the word of God.(AB)

18 And pray in the Spirit(AC) on all occasions(AD) with all kinds of prayers and requests.(AE) With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying(AF) for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me,(AG) that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly(AH) make known the mystery(AI) of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador(AJ) in chains.(AK) Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Final Greetings

21 Tychicus,(AL) the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are,(AM) and that he may encourage you.(AN)

23 Peace(AO) to the brothers and sisters,[c] and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.[d]

Footnotes

  1. Ephesians 6:3 Deut. 5:16
  2. Ephesians 6:4 Or Parents
  3. Ephesians 6:23 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family.
  4. Ephesians 6:24 Or Grace and immortality to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s Defense of His Ministry

10 By the humility and gentleness(A) of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul,(B) who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold(C) as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.(D) For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.(E) The weapons we fight with(F) are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power(G) to demolish strongholds.(H) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,(I) and we take captive every thought to make it obedient(J) to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.(K)

You are judging by appearances.[a](L) If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ,(M) they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do.(N) So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us(O) for building you up rather than tearing you down,(P) I will not be ashamed of it. I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 10 For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive(Q) and his speaking amounts to nothing.”(R) 11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.

12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves.(S) When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us,(T) a sphere that also includes you. 14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you(U) with the gospel of Christ.(V) 15 Neither do we go beyond our limits(W) by boasting of work done by others.(X) Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow,(Y) our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, 16 so that we can preach the gospel(Z) in the regions beyond you.(AA) For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. 17 But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[b](AB) 18 For it is not the one who commends himself(AC) who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.(AD)

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 10:7 Or Look at the obvious facts
  2. 2 Corinthians 10:17 Jer. 9:24