in which you used to live(A) when you followed the ways of this world(B) and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,(C) the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.(D) All of us also lived among them at one time,(E) gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a](F) and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us,(G) God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions(H)—it is by grace you have been saved.(I) And God raised us up with Christ(J) and seated us with him(K) in the heavenly realms(L) in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,(M) expressed in his kindness(N) to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace(O) you have been saved,(P) through faith(Q)—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works,(R) so that no one can boast.(S) 10 For we are God’s handiwork,(T) created(U) in Christ Jesus to do good works,(V) which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Jew and Gentile Reconciled Through Christ

11 Therefore, remember that formerly(W) you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)(X) 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners(Y) to the covenants of the promise,(Z) without hope(AA) and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once(AB) were far away have been brought near(AC) by the blood of Christ.(AD)

14 For he himself is our peace,(AE) who has made the two groups one(AF) and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh(AG) the law with its commands and regulations.(AH) His purpose was to create in himself one(AI) new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross,(AJ) by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace(AK) to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.(AL) 18 For through him we both have access(AM) to the Father(AN) by one Spirit.(AO)

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers,(AP) but fellow citizens(AQ) with God’s people and also members of his household,(AR) 20 built(AS) on the foundation(AT) of the apostles and prophets,(AU) with Christ Jesus himself(AV) as the chief cornerstone.(AW) 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple(AX) in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.(AY)

God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner(AZ) of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me(BA) for you, that is, the mystery(BB) made known to me by revelation,(BC) as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight(BD) into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.(BE) This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs(BF) together with Israel, members together of one body,(BG) and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.(BH)

I became a servant of this gospel(BI) by the gift of God’s grace given me(BJ) through the working of his power.(BK) Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people,(BL) this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles(BM) the boundless riches of Christ,(BN) and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery,(BO) which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God(BP) should be made known(BQ) to the rulers and authorities(BR) in the heavenly realms,(BS) 11 according to his eternal purpose(BT) that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God(BU) with freedom and confidence.(BV) 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14 For this reason I kneel(BW) before the Father, 15 from whom every family[b] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches(BX) he may strengthen you with power(BY) through his Spirit in your inner being,(BZ) 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts(CA) through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted(CB) and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people,(CC) to grasp how wide and long and high and deep(CD) is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge(CE)—that you may be filled(CF) to the measure of all the fullness of God.(CG)

20 Now to him who is able(CH) to do immeasurably more than all we ask(CI) or imagine, according to his power(CJ) that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.(CK)

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

As a prisoner(CL) for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy(CM) of the calling(CN) you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another(CO) in love.(CP) Make every effort to keep the unity(CQ) of the Spirit through the bond of peace.(CR) There is one body(CS) and one Spirit,(CT) just as you were called to one hope when you were called(CU); one Lord,(CV) one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all,(CW) who is over all and through all and in all.(CX)

But to each one of us(CY) grace(CZ) has been given(DA) as Christ apportioned it. This is why it[c] says:

“When he ascended on high,
    he took many captives(DB)
    and gave gifts to his people.”[d](DC)

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[e]? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended(DD) higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)(DE) 11 So Christ himself gave(DF) the apostles,(DG) the prophets,(DH) the evangelists,(DI) the pastors and teachers,(DJ) 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ(DK) may be built up(DL) 13 until we all reach unity(DM) in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God(DN) and become mature,(DO) attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.(DP)

14 Then we will no longer be infants,(DQ) tossed back and forth by the waves,(DR) and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.(DS) 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love,(DT) we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head,(DU) that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows(DV) and builds itself up(DW) in love,(DX) as each part does its work.

Instructions for Christian Living

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer(DY) live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.(DZ) 18 They are darkened in their understanding(EA) and separated from the life of God(EB) because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.(EC) 19 Having lost all sensitivity,(ED) they have given themselves over(EE) to sensuality(EF) so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off(EG) your old self,(EH) which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;(EI) 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;(EJ) 24 and to put on(EK) the new self,(EL) created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.(EM)

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully(EN) to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.(EO) 26 “In your anger do not sin”[f]:(EP) Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.(EQ) 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work,(ER) doing something useful with their own hands,(ES) that they may have something to share with those in need.(ET)

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,(EU) but only what is helpful for building others up(EV) according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,(EW) with whom you were sealed(EX) for the day of redemption.(EY) 31 Get rid of(EZ) all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.(FA) 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another,(FB) forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.(FC) Follow God’s example,(FD) therefore, as dearly loved children(FE) and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us(FF) and gave himself up for us(FG) as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.(FH)

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality,(FI) or of any kind of impurity, or of greed,(FJ) because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk(FK) or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.(FL) For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater(FM)—has any inheritance(FN) in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[g](FO) Let no one deceive you(FP) with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath(FQ) comes on those who are disobedient.(FR) Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once(FS) darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light(FT) (for the fruit(FU) of the light consists in all goodness,(FV) righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.(FW) 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness,(FX) but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light(FY) becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,(FZ)
    rise from the dead,(GA)
    and Christ will shine on you.”(GB)

15 Be very careful, then, how you live(GC)—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity,(GD) because the days are evil.(GE) 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.(GF) 18 Do not get drunk on wine,(GG) which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,(GH) 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.(GI) Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks(GJ) to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Instructions for Christian Households(GK)

21 Submit to one another(GL) out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands(GM) as you do to the Lord.(GN) 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church,(GO) his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands(GP) in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives,(GQ) just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her(GR) 26 to make her holy,(GS) cleansing[h] her by the washing(GT) with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself(GU) as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.(GV) 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives(GW) as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.(GX) 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[i](GY) 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife(GZ) as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.(HA) “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—


  1. Ephesians 2:3 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.
  2. Ephesians 3:15 The Greek for family (patria) is derived from the Greek for father (pater).
  3. Ephesians 4:8 Or God
  4. Ephesians 4:8 Psalm 68:18
  5. Ephesians 4:9 Or the depths of the earth
  6. Ephesians 4:26 Psalm 4:4 (see Septuagint)
  7. Ephesians 5:5 Or kingdom of the Messiah and God
  8. Ephesians 5:26 Or having cleansed
  9. Ephesians 5:31 Gen. 2:24

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