Ephesians 4:7-24New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
7 But each one of us has received a gift of grace. These gifts are given to us by Christ. 8 That is why Scripture says,
“When he went up to his place on high, he took many prisoners. He gave gifts to his people.” (Psalm 68:18)
9 What does “he went up” mean? It can only mean that he also came down to the lower, earthly places. 10 The one who came down is the same one who went up. He went up higher than all the heavens. He did it in order to fill all creation. 11 So Christ himself gave the gift of the apostles to the church. He gave the prophets and those who preach the good news. And he also gave the pastors and teachers as a gift to the church. 12 He gave all these people so that they might prepare God’s people to serve. Then the body of Christ will be built up. 13 That will continue until we all become one in the faith. We will also become one in the knowledge of God’s Son. Then we will be grown up in the faith. We will receive everything that Christ has for us.
14 We will no longer be babies in the faith. We won’t be like ships tossed around by the waves. We won’t be blown here and there by every new teaching. We won’t be blown around by cleverness and tricks. Certain people use them to hide their evil plans. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love. So we will grow up in every way to become the body of Christ. Christ is the head of the body. 16 He makes the whole body grow and build itself up in love. Under the control of Christ, each part of the body does its work. It supports the other parts. In that way, the body is joined and held together.
Teachings for Living as Christians
17 Here is what I’m telling you. I am speaking for the Lord as I warn you. You must no longer live as the Gentiles do. Their thoughts don’t have any purpose. 18 They can’t understand the truth. They are separated from the life of God. That’s because they don’t know him. And they don’t know him because their hearts are stubborn. 19 They have lost all feeling for what is right. So they have given themselves over to all kinds of evil pleasures. They take part in every kind of unclean act. And they are full of greed.
20 But that is not the way of life in Christ that you learned about. 21 You heard about Christ and were taught about life in him. What you learned was the truth about Jesus. 22 You were taught not to live the way you used to. You must get rid of your old way of life. That’s because it has been made impure by the desire for things that lead you astray. 23 You were taught to be made new in your thinking. 24 You were taught to start living a new life. It is created to be truly good and holy, just as God is.
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