Letter to the Ephesians
We shall become the perfect creation
1 Therefore I, the prisoner of Christ, invite you to live the vocation you have received. 2 Be humble, kind, patient, and bear with one another in love.
3 Make every effort to keep among you the unity of Spirit through bonds of peace. 4 Let there be one body and one spirit, for God, in calling you, gave the same Spirit to all. 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism. 6 One God, the Father of all, who is above all and works through all and is in all.
7 But to each of us divine grace is given ac cording to the measure of Christís gift. 8 Therefore it is said: When he ascended to the heights, he brought captives and gave his gifts to people.
9 He ascended, what does it mean but that he had also descended to the lower parts of the world? 10 He himself who went down, then as cended far above all the heavens to fill all things. 11 As for his gifts, to some he gave to be apostles, to others prophets, or even evangelists, or pastors and teachers. 12 So he prepared those who belong to him for the ministry, in order to build up the Body of Christ, 13 until we are all united in the same faith and knowledge of the Son of God. Thus we shall become the perfect Man, upon reaching maturity and sharing the fullness of Christ.
14 Then no longer shall we be like children tossed about by any wave or wind of doctrine, and deceived by the cunning of people who drag them along into error. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we shall grow in every way towards him who is the head, Christ. 16 From him comes the growth of the whole body to which a network of joints gives order and cohesion, taking into account and making use of the function of each one. So the body builds itself in love.
Put on the new self
17 I say to you, then, and with insistence I advise you in the Lord: do not imitate the pagans who live an aim less kind of life. 18 Their understanding is in dark ness and they remain in ignorance because of their blind conscience, very far from the life of God. 19 As a result of their corruption, they have abandoned them selves to sensuality and have eager ly given themselves to every kind of immorality.
20 But it is not for this that you have followed Christ. 21 For I suppose that you heard of him and received his teaching which is seen in Jesus himself. 22 You must give up your former way of living, the old self, whose deceitful desires bring self-destruction. 23 Renew your selves spiritually, from inside, 24 and put on the new self, or self according to God, that is created in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, give up lying; let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry but do not sin: do not let your anger last until the end of the day, 27 lest you give the devil a foothold.
28 Let the one who used to steal, steal no more, but busy himself working usefully with his hands so that he may have something to share with the needy. 29 Do not let even one bad word come from your mouth, but only good words that will encourage when necessary and be helpful to those who hear.
30 Do not sadden the Holy Spirit of God which you were marked with. It will be your distinctive mark on the day of sal vation. 31 Do away with all quarreling, rage, anger, insults and every kind of malice: 32 be good and understanding, mutually forgiving one another as God forgave you in Christ.