ST. PAULíS Epistle to the EPHESIANS
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, even to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace he to you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things through Christ; as he hath chosen us through him before the foundation of the world, that we might be holy and blameless before him in love: Having predestinated us by Jesus Christ, to the adoption of sons unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he hath freely accepted us through the Beloved; by whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of his grace: Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he had before purposed in himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times, he might gather together into one in Christ, all things which are in heaven, and which are on earth; in him through whom we also having obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him that worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, that we, who first believed in Christ might be to the praise of his glory: In whom ye likewise believed after ye had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom after ye had believed, ye were also sealed by that holy Spirit of promise, who is an earnest of our inheritance, till the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory.
Wherefore I also, since I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love to all saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, through the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the energy of his mighty power, which he exerted in Christ, raising Him from the dead; and he hath seated him at his own right hand in heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. And he put all things under his feet, and hath given him to be head over all things to the Church. Which is his body; who is the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
And he quickened you, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which once ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience. Among whom also we all formerly had our conversation, in the desires of the flesh, doing the will of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the others. But God, being rich in mercy, through his great love wherewith he loved us, hath quickened even us together with Christ, who were dead in trespasses, (by grace ye are saved,) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places through Christ Jesus: That he might show in the ages to come the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace ye are saved through faith, and this not of your selves: It is the gift of God: Not by works; lest any one should boast. For we are his workmanship, created through Christ Jesus unto good works, which God had before prepared, that we might walk in them.
Wherefore remember, that ye being formerly Gentiles in the flesh, (who were called the uncircumcision, by that which is called the circumcision performed with hands in the flesh,) were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise; having no hope, and without God in the world. But now through Christ Jesus, ye who were formerly far off are brought nigh by the blood of Christ. For his is our peace, he who hath made both one, having broken down the middle wall of partition, having abolished by his flesh the enmity, the law of commandments, through his decrees, that he might form the two into one new man in himself, so making peace: And might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. And he came and preached peace to you that were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Therefore ye are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, on whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord: On whom ye also are built together, for a habitation of God through the Spirit.
For this cause I Paul am a prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles; (seeing ye have heard the dispensation of the grace of God, given me in your behalf.) that by revelation he made known to me the mystery: As I wrote before in few words, by reading which ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ: Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it hath been now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, that the Gentiles are joint heirs, and of the same body, and joint partakers of his promise by Christ through the gospel. Of which I have been made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, hath this grace been given, to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which was hidden from eternity by God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: That the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known by the Church to the principalities and powers in heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, by whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in him. Wherefore I entreat you not to faint at my afflictions for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bend my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,) that he would give you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith: That being rooted and grounded in love, ye may be able to comprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ which surpasseth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, to him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to all lowliness and meekness; with long suffering forbear one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit, by the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, as ye are also called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism: One God, and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. But to every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, Having ascended on high, he led captivity captive and gave gifts to men. (Now this expression, He ascended, what is it but that he also descended first to the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same that ascended also, far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, to the edifying the body of Christ; till we all come to the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we may be no longer children, fluctuating to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, by cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive: But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, who is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted, by that which every joint supplieth according to the effectual working in the measure of every member, maketh an increase of the body, to the edifying of itself in love.
This therefore I say and testify in the Lord, that ye no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the vanity of your mind. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, by the ignorance that is in them, through the hardness of their hearts: Who being past feeling, have given themselves up to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; seeing ye have heard him, and been taught by him, (as the truth is in Jesus,) to put off, with respect to the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt, according to the deceitful desires: But to be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and to put on the new man, which is created after God in righteousness and true holiness.
Wherefore, putting away lying, speak ye every man truth with his neighbor; for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath, neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give him that needeth. Let no corrupt discourse proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye have been sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. But be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted; forgiving one another; as God also for Christís sake hath forgiven you.
Be ye therefore followers of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God of a sweet-smelling savor. But let not fornication, or any uncleanness, or covetousness, be even named among you, as becometh saints: Neither obscenity, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient, but rather thanksgiving. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, or unclean person, or covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with vain words; for because of these things the wrath of God cometh upon the sons of disobedience. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For ye were once darkness; but now ye are light in the Lord: Walk as children of light; the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth: Proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak the things which are done by them in secret. But all things which are reproved are made manifest by the light; for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise men, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what is the will of the Lord. And be not drunken with wine, wherein is excess; but be ye filled with the Spirit; speaking to each other in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts into the Lord; giving thanks always for all things to God, even the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as unto the Lord; for the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is head of the Church: (And he is the Savior of the body). Therefore as the Church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church, and gave up himself for it; that he might sanctify it (having cleansed it by the washing of water) through the word; that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, that it may be holy and unblamable. Men ought so to love their wives as their own bodies: He that loveth his wife loveth himself. Now no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also the Lord the Church. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: I mean concerning Christ and the Church. But let every one of you in particular so love his wife as himself: And let the wife reverence her husband.
Servants, obey your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto the Lord: Not with eye service, as men pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the soul; with good will doing service as unto the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good each man doth, the same shall he receive from the Lord, whether he be a servant or free. And ye, masters, do the same things to them, forbearing threatening, knowing that your own Master is in heaven, and there is no respect of persons with him.
Finally, brethren, be strong through the Lord, and through the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the world, of the darkness of this age, against wicked spirits in heavenly places. Wherefore, take to you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand: Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about you with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, whereby ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always by the Spirit with all prayer and supplication, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints, and for me, that utterance may be given me, by the opening of my mouth to make known boldly the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds, that I may speak boldly therein, as I ought to speak.
But that ye also may know my affairs, how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make known to you all things: Whom I have sent to you for this very thing, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.