A A A A A
Bible Book List

Ephesians 4 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Unity with Christ

As a prisoner of the Lord, I beg you to live in a way that is worthy of the people God has chosen to be his own. Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other. Try your best to let God’s Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at peace. All of you are part of the same body. There is only one Spirit of God, just as you were given one hope when you were chosen to be God’s people. We have only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. There is one God who is the Father of all people. Not only is God above all others, but he works by using all of us, and he lives in all of us.

Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us. As the Scriptures say,

“When he went up
    to the highest place,
he led away many prisoners
    and gave gifts to people.”

When it says, “he went up,” it means that Christ had been deep in the earth. 10 This also means that the one who went deep into the earth is the same one who went into the highest heaven, so that he would fill the whole universe.

11 Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, and teachers, 12 so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong. 13 This will continue until we are united by our faith and by our understanding of the Son of God. Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him.[a]

14 We must stop acting like children. We must not let deceitful people trick us by their false teachings, which are like winds that toss us around from place to place. 15 Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head 16 of the body. Christ holds it together and makes all of its parts work perfectly, as it grows and becomes strong because of love.

The Old Life and the New Life

17 As a follower of the Lord, I order you to stop living like stupid, godless people. 18 Their minds are in the dark, and they are stubborn and ignorant and have missed out on the life that comes from God. They no longer have any feelings about what is right, 19 and they are so greedy that they do all kinds of indecent things.

20-21 But that isn’t what you were taught about Jesus Christ. He is the truth, and you heard about him and learned about him. 22 You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. 23 Let the Spirit change your way of thinking 24 and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy.

Rules for the New Life

25 We are part of the same body. Stop lying and start telling each other the truth. 26 Don’t get so angry that you sin. Don’t go to bed angry 27 and don’t give the devil a chance.

28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Be honest and work hard, so you will have something to give to people in need.

29 Stop all your dirty talk. Say the right thing at the right time and help others by what you say.

30 Don’t make God’s Spirit sad. The Spirit makes you sure that someday you will be free from your sins.

31 Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. 32 Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.

Footnotes:

  1. 4.13 and we will be completely like him: Or <<and he is completely perfect.’>

Ephesians 4 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Unity and Diversity in the Body of Christ

Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to live worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope[a] at your calling— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. For it says:

When he ascended on high,
he took the captives captive;
he gave gifts to people.[b]

But what does “he ascended” mean except that he[c] also descended to the lower parts of the earth?[d] 10 The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens, to fill all things. 11 And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. 14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head—Christ. 16 From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.

Living the New Life

17 Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because[e] of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.[f]

20 But that is not how you came to know Christ, 21 assuming you heard about him and were taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to take off[g] your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed[h] in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on[i] the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.

25 Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor,[j] because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin.[k] Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don’t give the devil an opportunity. 28 Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. 29 No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need,[l] so that it gives grace to those who hear. 30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him[m] for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you[n] in Christ.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:4 Lit called in one hope
  2. 4:8 Ps 68:18
  3. 4:9 Other mss add first
  4. 4:9 Or the lower parts, namely, the earth
  5. 4:18 Or in them because
  6. 4:19 Lit with greediness
  7. 4:21-22 Or Jesus. This means: take off (as a command)
  8. 4:22-23 Or desires; renew (as a command)
  9. 4:23-24 Or minds; and put on (as a command)
  10. 4:25 Zch 8:16
  11. 4:26 Ps 4:4
  12. 4:29 Lit for the building up of the need
  13. 4:30 Or Spirit, by whom you were sealed
  14. 4:32 Other mss read us
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes