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Ephesians 4:7-5Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Christ gave each one of us a special gift. Everyone received what he wanted to give them. That is why the Scriptures say,

“He went up high into the sky;
    he took prisoners with him,
    and he gave gifts to people.”

When it says, “He went up,” what does it mean? It means that he first came down low to earth. 10 So Christ came down, and he is the same one who went up. He went up above the highest heaven in order to fill everything with himself. 11 And that same Christ gave these gifts to people: He made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people.[a] 12 Christ gave these gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in what we believe and in what we know about the Son of God. Our goal is to become like a full-grown man—to look just like Christ and have all his perfection.

14 Then we will no longer be like babies. We will not be people who are always changing like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from people who are trying to deceive us—those who make clever plans and use every kind of trick to fool others into following the wrong way. 15 No, we will speak the truth with love. We will grow to be like Christ in every way. He is the head, 16 and the whole body depends on him. All the parts of the body are joined and held together, with each part doing its own work. This causes the whole body to grow and to be stronger in love.

The Way You Should Live

17 I have something from the Lord to tell you. I warn you: Don’t continue living like those who don’t believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing. 18 They have no understanding, and they know nothing because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives. 19 They have lost their feeling of shame and use their lives to do what is morally wrong. More and more they want to do all kinds of evil. 20 But that way of life is nothing like what you learned when you came to know Christ. 21 I know that you heard about him, and in him you were taught the truth. Yes, the truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to leave your old self. This means that you must stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self gets worse and worse, because people are fooled by the evil they want to do. 23 You must be made new in your hearts and in your thinking. 24 Be that new person who was made to be like God, truly good and pleasing to him.

25 So you must stop telling lies. “You must always speak the truth to each other,”[b] because we all belong to each other in the same body. 26 “When you are angry, don’t let that anger make you sin,”[c] and don’t stay angry all day. 27 Don’t give the devil a way to defeat you. 28 Whoever has been stealing must stop it and start working. They must use their hands for doing something good. Then they will have something to share with those who are poor.

29 When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you. 30 And don’t make the Holy Spirit sad. God gave you his Spirit as proof that you belong to him and that he will keep you safe until the day he makes you free. 31 Never be bitter, angry, or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. 32 Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ.

You are God’s dear children, so try to be like him. Live a life of love. Love others just as Christ loved us. He gave himself for us—a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God.

But there must be no sexual sin among you. There must not be any kind of evil or selfishly wanting more and more, because such things are not right for God’s holy people. Also, there must be no evil talk among you. Don’t say things that are foolish or filthy. These are not for you. But you should be giving thanks to God. You can be sure of this: No one will have a place in the kingdom of Christ and of God if that person commits sexual sins, or does evil things, or is a person who selfishly wants more and more. A greedy person like that is serving a false god.

Don’t let anyone fool you with words that are not true. God gets very angry when people who don’t obey him talk like that. So don’t have anything to do with them.

Footnotes:

  1. Ephesians 4:11 to care for … people Literally, “to be shepherds and teachers.”
  2. Ephesians 4:25 Quote from Zech. 8:16.
  3. Ephesians 4:26 Quote from Ps. 4:4 (Greek version).
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Ephesians 4:7-5Expanded Bible (EXB)

Each one of us has been given the ·special gift of grace [L grace; or gift], ·showing how generous Christ is [or in proportion to Christ’s gift; L according to the measure of Christ’s gift]. That is why it says in the Scriptures,

“When he ·went up [ascended] to the heights,
    he ·led a parade of captives [or took captives into captivity],
    and he gave gifts to people [Ps. 68:18].”

When it says, “He ·went up [ascended],” what does it mean? ·It means [L …except] that he first ·came down [descended] to the ·earth [or lower regions, namely the earth; or the depths of the earth; C probably refers to (1) the Incarnation, though possibly (2) Christ’s descent to Hades after his death (1 Pet. 3:19–20), or (3) Christ’s descent through the Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2)]. 10 So the one who ·came down [descended] is the same one who ·went up [ascended] above all the heavens. ·Christ did that [L …in order] to fill ·everything with his presence [L all things]. 11 And ·Christ gave gifts to people—he made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to have the work of caring for and teaching God’s people [L he himself gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors/shepherds, and teachers]. 12 ·Christ gave those gifts to prepare [L …to equip] God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we ·are all joined together in the same faith [or all reach unity in the faith] and in the same knowledge of the Son of God. We must become like ·a mature person [or the perfect Man; C Christ], ·growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection [L to the measure of the stature of Christ’s fullness].

14 Then we will no longer be ·babies [children]. We will not be tossed about like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be ·influenced by every new teaching [L carried along by every wind of (false) teaching] we hear from people who are trying to ·fool [trick] us. They ·make plans [scheme] and try any kind of trick to fool people into following ·the wrong path [error; false teaching]. 15 ·No! [Instead; Rather] ·Speaking [or Living out; Practicing] the truth with love, we will grow up in every way into Christ, who is the head. 16 ·The whole body depends on Christ, and [L …through/by whom] all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each ·part [supporting joint/ligament] ·does its own work [performs its function] to make the whole body grow and ·be strong with [to build itself up in] love.

The Way You Should Live

17 ·In the Lord’s name [or By the Lord’s authority; L In the Lord], I ·tell you [L speak and testify to] this. Do not continue ·living [walking] like ·those who do not believe [the pagans; L the Gentiles], whose thoughts are ·worth nothing [futile]. 18 They ·do not understand [L are darkened in their minds/understanding] and they are ·separated [excluded; alienated] from the life ·God gives [or God has; L of God] because of their ignorance ·and because of [or caused by] ·their stubbornness [or their closed minds; L the stubbornness of their heart/mind]. 19 They have lost ·all feeling of shame [or any sense of right and wrong; L all feeling/sensitivity], and they ·use their lives for doing evil [abandon themselves to indecency/depravity]. They ·continually want to do [or greedily pursue] all kinds of ·evil [impurity]. 20 But ·what you learned in Christ was not like this [or that is not how you learned about Christ; L you did not learn Christ that way]. 21 ·I know that [L …if indeed] you heard ·about him [or him], and you ·are in him, so you were taught the truth that is in Jesus [or were taught by him, because the truth is in Jesus]. 22 You were taught to ·leave [put off; lay aside] your old ·self [L person]—to stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self ·becomes worse [is decaying/being corrupted], because ·people are fooled by the evil things they want to do [L of the deceitfulness of their desires]. 23 But you were taught to be made new in ·your hearts [the spirit/attitude of your minds], 24 to ·become [put on; clothe yourself with] the new ·self [L person; or Man; C become like Christ]. That new person is created ·to be like God [or in God’s image; L according to God]—truly good and holy [or in the righteousness and holiness that comes from truth].

25 So you must stop telling lies. ·Tell each other the truth [L Let each one of you speak truthfully to his neighbor; Zech. 8:16], because we ·all belong to each other in the same body [L are members of one another]. 26 ·When you are angry, [or Be angry, and] do not sin [Ps. 4:4; C there is a time for righteous anger, but it must not result in sin], and ·be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day [L don’t let the sun set on your anger]. 27 Do not give the devil a ·way to defeat you [foothold; opportunity]. 28 Those who are stealing must stop stealing and start working. They should ·earn an honest living for themselves [do something good/useful with their hands]. Then they will have something to share with those who ·are poor [L have need].

29 Don’t ·say anything that will hurt others [L let any rotten/unhealthy word come from your mouth], but only say what is ·helpful [good] to ·make others stronger [build others up] ·and meet [L according to] their needs. Then what you say will ·do good [give grace; be a gift] to those who listen to you. 30 And do not ·make the Holy Spirit sad [grieve/bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit]. ·The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him and he will make you free when the final day comes […by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption]. 31 Do not be bitter or angry or ·mad [raging]. Never shout angrily or ·say things to hurt [slander; insult] others. ·Never do anything [Get rid of all kinds of] evil. 32 Be kind and ·loving [compassionate; tenderhearted] to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.

Living in the Light

You are God’s children whom he loves, so ·try to be like [imitate] him. ·Live a life of love [Walk in love] just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us as a ·sweet-smelling [fragrant] offering and sacrifice to God.

But there must be ·no [no hint/mention/rumor of] sexual sin among you, or any kind of ·evil [impurity] or greed. Those things are not ·right [proper; fitting] for God’s holy people. Also, there must be no ·evil talk [obscenity; filthiness] among you, and you must not speak foolishly or tell ·evil [crude; coarse; vulgar] jokes. These things are ·not right for you [out of place/character]. Instead, you should be giving thanks to God. [L For] You can be sure of this: No one will have a ·place [inheritance] in the kingdom of Christ and of God who sins sexually, or does ·evil [impure] things, or is greedy. Anyone who is greedy is ·serving a false god [L an idolater].

Do not let anyone ·fool [deceive] you ·by telling you things that are not true [or with shallow philosophies; L with empty words], because these things will bring God’s ·anger [wrath] on ·those who do not obey him [L the children/sons of disobedience]. So ·have nothing to do with them [or do not partner/associate with them].

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

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