[WRITTEN FROM ROME, A. D. 61.]
I.--PAUL, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, to the saints that are in Ephesus, even the believers in Christ Jesus: Favor to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3.--Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ; according as he has elected us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and unblameable in his sight; having, in love, formerly marked us out for adoption through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his favor, with which he has highly favored us in the Beloved; in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his favor, which has abounded towrds us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known to us the secret of his will, according to his benevolent pourpose, which he had purposed in himself, for the administration of the fulness of the appointed times, to gather together all under Christ,--all in the heavens, and all on the earth,--under him: under whom even we hve inherited, having been formerly marked out according to the purpose of him, who effectually works all things according to the counsel of his will, that we should be to the praise of his glory, who before trusted in Christ. In whom ou also trusted, having heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also having believed, you were sealed with the spirit of the promise,--the Holy Spirit,--who is an earnest of our inheritance, for the redemption of the purchase, to the praise of his glory.
15.--For this reason, I also, having heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and of your love to all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in myn prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, would give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance among the saints; and what the exceeding greatness of his power, in relation to us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places; far above all government, and power, and might, and lordship, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and subjected all things under his feet, and appointed him head over all things to the congregation, which is his body, the fullness of
IIhim who fills all in all;--even you who were dead in trespasses and sins; in which you formerly walked, according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air,--of the spirit which now effectually works in the children of disobedience; among whom we, also, were all formerly conversant in the lusts of our flesh, fulfiling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as others. But God being rich in mercy, through his great love with which he loved us, even us, who were dead in trespasses, he has made alive together with Christ; (by favor you are saved;) and has raised us up together, and has set us down together in hevenly places with Christ Jesus; that he might show, in the ages to come, the exceeding riches of his favor in his kindness towards us by Christ Jesus. For by favor are you saved through faith; and this salvation not by yourselves; it is the gift of God--not by works, that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, for which God before prepared us, that we should walk in them.
11.--Wherefore, remember that you, formerly Gentiles in the flesh, (those called the uncircumcision, by them called the circumcision in the flesh, made by hands,) were in the world, at that time, without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the institutions of promise; having no hope, and without God: but now, in Christ Jesus, you who were formerly far off, are brought nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation; having abolished by his flesh the enmity, (the law of the commandments concerning ordiances,) that he might make the two into one new man under hmself, making peace: and might reconcile both to God, on one body, through the cross, having slain the enmity by it. And, haivng come, he brought good news of peace to you, the far off,--to us, the nigh: that, through him, we both have introduction to the Father by one Spirit. Now, then, you are no longer strangers and sojourners; but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God: having been built upon the foundation of the apostles nad prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the foundation corner stone; by which the whole building being fitly compacted together, rises into a holy temple of the Lord; in which you also are builded together for a habitation of God by the Spirit.
III.--For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, if, indeed, you have heard of the administration of the fvor of God, which was given me for you, that by revelation th secret was made known to me, (as I wrote before in a few words; by which, when you read, you may perceive my knowledge of the secret of Christ,) which in former ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it is now revealed to his holy Apostles and Prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and joint partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel; of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of the favor of God, which was given to me according to the energy of his power;--to me, the least of all saints, was this favor given, to publish among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all see what is the administration of the secret, which had been hid from the ages by God, who created all things. That now, to the governments and powers in the heavenly regions, might be made known by the congregation the manifold wisdom of God; according to the predispostion of the ages, which he made in Christ Jesus our Lord; in whom we have liberty of speech, and introduction with confidence, through the faith of him. Wherefore, I request that you faint not at my afflictions for you, which is your glory. On this account, I bow myknees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; from whom the whole family in heaven and on earth is named; praying that, according to the riches of his glroy, he would grant you to be mightily strengthened by his Spirit in the inward man: that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that, being rooted and founded in love, you may be completely able to apprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth, the length, and depth, and height,--even to know the love of Christ; which surpasses knowledge; that you might be filled wth all the fulness of God. Now, to him who is able to do exceeding abundantly, beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power which works effectually in us,--to him be glory in the congregation by Christ Jesus, during all the endless successions of ages. Amen.
IV.--I, then, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling, by which you are called, with all humility and meekness; with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love; earnestly endevoring to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit; as also you have been called with one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one immersion; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and with all, and in you all. But to every one of us is given favor, according to the measure of the gift of Christ; (Wherefore he says, Having ascended on high, he captivated captivity, and gave gifts to men. Now, this--Having ascended, what is it, unless, indeed, he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended, is the same who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, indeed, Apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachrs; for the adapting of these saints to the work of the ministry, for the edification of the body of Christ: till we all come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God; to a perfect man; to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we may be no longer children, tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men, and by cunning craftiness for an artifice of seduction: but speaking the truth in love, we may all grow into him, who is the Head, even Christ; from whom, the whole body fitly joined together, and compacted by the service of every joint, according to its energy, in the proportion of each particular part, effects the increase of the body, for the edification of itself in love.
17.--This, therefore, I say, and testify in the Lord, that you walk no longer as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the vantiy of their mind; having their understandings darkened; being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling have abandoned themselves to lasciviousness, to commit all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ; if, indeed, you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus;--that, with respect to your former conduct, you put away the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; that you be renewed in the spirit of your minds; and that you put on the new man, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25.--Wherefore, putting away lying, speak the truth every one to hisneighbor; for we are members one of another. Do not sin through anger; let not the sun go down on your wrath, neither give an opportunity to the devil. Let him that stole, steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands that which is good, that he may have to impart to him who has need. Let no corrupt discourse come out of your mouth; but if any speech be good for the use of edification, speak it, that it may imparta benefit to the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed till the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and anger, and wrath, and clamor, and detraction, be taken away from among you, with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, even as God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven you.
V.--Be, therefore, imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ has loved us, and has given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet smelling savor. but whoredom and all uncleanness, and inordinate desire,--let them not even be named among you; (as it becomes saints;) nor obscenity, nor foolish talking, nor double meanints, nor things uncomely; but rather thanksgiving. For this you know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor lascivious man, who is an idolator, has inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, and of God. Let no one deceive you with vain speeches; for on account of these things, the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. Be not, tehrefore, participants with them. for you were formerly darkness; but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light. (Now, the fruit of light consists in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth.) Approve what is well pleasing to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reporve them. For the things which are secretly done by them, it is base even to mention. But all these reprehensible things are made manifest by the light; for whatever makes manifest, is light. Wherefore, it says, Awake, you who sleep, and arise from the dad, and Christ will shine on you. See, then, that you walk accurtely: not as fools, but as wise men; redeeming time, because the days are evil.--Tehrefore be not simpletons, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, by which comes dissoluteness; but be filled with the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs; singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord: giving thanks at all times for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God, even the Father. Be subject to one another, in the fear of God. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the congregation; he is the saviour of the body. Therefore, as the congregation is subject to Christ; so, also, let the wives be to their own husbands, in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the congregation, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it with a bath of water, by the word. That he might present it to himself glorious, a congregation not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it might be holy, and without blemish. So ought husbands to love their own wives, as their own bodies: he who loves his own wife, loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the congregation: because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall adhere to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the congregation. Therefore, also, let every one of you in particular, so love his own wife as himself; and let the wife reverence her husband.
VI.--Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is just. Honor your father and mother, (which is the first commandment with a promise,) that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. Also, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath; but bring them up in the correction and instruction of the Lord.
5.--Servants, obey your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the integrity of your heart, as to Christ. Not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the soul; with good will, acting as servants to the Lord, and not to men: knowing that whatever good work any one dos, for that he shall receive of the Lord, whether bond or free. And, masters, do the same things to them, moderating threatening; knowing also that your master is in heaven, and there is no respect of persons with him. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the complete armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the crafty ways of the devil. For we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with governments, with powers, with the rulers of this darkness, with spiritual wickedness in the hevenly regions. For this reason, take up the complete armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having fully wrought every thing, to stand. Stand, then, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Over all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish 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. With all supplication and deprecation, pray at all seasons in spirit; and for this very purpose, watch with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints: especially for me, that eloquence may be given me in opening my mouth with boldness, to make known the secret of the gospel; for which I execute the office of an ambassador in a chain; that I may speak boldly concerning it, as it becomes me to speak. Moreover, that you also may know the things relating to me, and what I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother, and minister in the Lord, will make known to you all things; whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts. Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Favor be with all them who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
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