New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition
Unity in the Body of Christ
4 I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,(A) 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,(B) 3 making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace: 4 there is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,(C) 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.[a]
7 But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.(D) 8 Therefore it is said,
9 (When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended[c] into the lower parts of the earth?[d] 10 He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) 11 He himself granted that some are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers(F) 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,(G) 13 until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity,[e] to the measure of the full stature of Christ.(H) 14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming;(I) 15 but speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,(J) 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
The Old Life and the New
17 Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer walk as the[f] gentiles walk, in the futility of their minds;(K) 18 they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart.(L) 19 They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 That is not the way you learned Christ! 21 For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, 22 to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts,(M) 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.(N)
Rules for the New Life
25 So then, putting away falsehood, let each of you speak the truth with your neighbor, for we are members of one another.(O) 26 Be angry but do not sin;[g] do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not make room for the devil. 28 Those who steal must give up stealing; rather, let them labor, doing good work with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths but only what is good for building up,[h] as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.(P) 31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice.(Q) 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.[i](R)
- 4.6 Other ancient authorities read in us all
- 4.8 Or he led captive a host of captives
- 4.9 Other ancient authorities add first
- 4.9 Or parts, to the earth
- 4.13 Gk to a mature man
- 4.17 Other ancient authorities add other
- 4.26 Or If you are angry, do not sin
- 4.29 Other ancient authorities read building up faith
- 4.32 Other ancient authorities read us
Common English Bible
Unity of the body of Christ
4 Therefore, as a prisoner for the Lord, I encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received from God. 2 Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love, 3 and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. 4 You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.
7 God has given his grace to each one of us measured out by the gift that is given by Christ. 8 That’s why scripture says, When he climbed up to the heights, he captured prisoners, and he gave gifts to people.[a]
9 What does the phrase “he climbed up” mean if it doesn’t mean that he had first gone down into the lower regions, the earth? 10 The one who went down is the same one who climbed up above all the heavens so that he might fill everything.
11 He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. 12 His purpose was to equip God’s people for the work of serving and building up the body of Christ 13 until we all reach the unity of faith and knowledge of God’s Son. God’s goal is for us to become mature adults—to be fully grown, measured by the standard of the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we aren’t supposed to be infants any longer who can be tossed and blown around by every wind that comes from teaching with deceitful scheming and the tricks people play to deliberately mislead others. 15 Instead, by speaking the truth with love, let’s grow in every way into Christ, 16 who is the head. The whole body grows from him, as it is joined and held together by all the supporting ligaments. The body makes itself grow in that it builds itself up with love as each one does its part.
The old and new life
17 So I’m telling you this, and I insist on it in the Lord: you shouldn’t live your life like the Gentiles anymore. They base their lives on pointless thinking, 18 and they are in the dark in their reasoning. They are disconnected from God’s life because of their ignorance and their closed hearts. 19 They are people who lack all sense of right and wrong, and who have turned themselves over to doing whatever feels good and to practicing every sort of corruption along with greed.
20 But you didn’t learn that sort of thing from Christ. 21 Since you really listened to him and you were taught how the truth is in Jesus, 22 change the former way of life that was part of the person you once were, corrupted by deceitful desires. 23 Instead, renew the thinking in your mind by the Spirit 24 and clothe yourself with the new person created according to God’s image in justice and true holiness.
25 Therefore, after you have gotten rid of lying, Each of you must tell the truth to your neighbor[b] because we are parts of each other in the same body. 26 Be angry without sinning.[c] Don’t let the sun set on your anger. 27 Don’t provide an opportunity for the devil. 28 Thieves should no longer steal. Instead, they should go to work, using their hands to do good so that they will have something to share with whoever is in need.
29 Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say. 30 Don’t make the Holy Spirit of God unhappy—you were sealed by him for the day of redemption. 31 Put aside all bitterness, losing your temper, anger, shouting, and slander, along with every other evil. 32 Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ.
New Revised Standard Version, Updated Edition. Copyright © 2021 National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible