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Ephesians 4 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Unity and Diversity in the Body of Christ

Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting[a] one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope[b] 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 the Messiah’s gift. For it says:

When He ascended on high,
He took prisoners into captivity;[c]
He gave gifts to people.[d]

But what does “He ascended” mean except that He[e] descended to the lower parts of the earth?[f] 10 The One who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill[g] all things. 11 And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 for the training of the saints in 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 a mature man 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 walk as the Gentiles walk, 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 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.[h]

20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, 21 assuming you heard about Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus. 22 You took off[i] your former way of life, the old self[j] that is corrupted by deceitful desires; 23 you are being renewed[k] in the spirit of your minds; 24 you put on[l] the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.

25 Since you put away lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor,[m] because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin.[n] Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don’t give the Devil an opportunity. 28 The thief must no longer steal. Instead, he must do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. 29 No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need,[o] so that it gives grace to those who hear. 30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him[p] for the day of redemption. 31 All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must 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[q] in Christ.

Footnotes:

  1. Ephesians 4:2 Or tolerating
  2. Ephesians 4:4 Lit called in one hope
  3. Ephesians 4:8 Or He led the captives
  4. Ephesians 4:8 Ps 68:18
  5. Ephesians 4:9 Other mss add first
  6. Ephesians 4:9 Or the lower parts, namely, the earth
  7. Ephesians 4:10 Or fulfill; Eph 1:23
  8. Ephesians 4:19 Lit with greediness
  9. Ephesians 4:22 Or Jesus. This means: take off (as a command)
  10. Ephesians 4:22 Lit man; = a person before conversion
  11. Ephesians 4:23 Or desires; renew (as a command)
  12. Ephesians 4:24 Or minds; and put on (as a command)
  13. Ephesians 4:25 Zch 8:16
  14. Ephesians 4:26 Ps 4:4
  15. Ephesians 4:29 Lit for the building up of the need
  16. Ephesians 4:30 Or Spirit, by whom you were sealed
  17. Ephesians 4:32 Other mss read us

Ephesians 4 New International Version (NIV)

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make 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 when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it[a] says:

“When he ascended on high,
    he took many captives
    and gave gifts to his people.”[b]

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Instructions for Christian Living

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Footnotes:

  1. Ephesians 4:8 Or God
  2. Ephesians 4:8 Psalm 68:18
  3. Ephesians 4:9 Or the depths of the earth
  4. Ephesians 4:26 Psalm 4:4 (see Septuagint)
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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