Paul's Letter to the Ephesians
This translation was done by one of our pastors, Zack McCoy. There are lots of good translations, but we can't post them in full text here because of copyright issues. This translation isn't always the best English, as sometimes bringing out the Greek as clearly as possible requires writing bad English.
Key terms that refer to the church have been bolded throughout to help you track Paul's line of thought. Verse numbers, headings, and notes have been eliminated to help you read this more like the original audience would have.
To see the whole text of Ephesians from the ESV, which we preach from on Sundays, click here.
1 Paul, apostle of Messiah Jesus, through the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, namely, the faithful in Messiah Jesus,
Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Messiah
Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Messiah, the one who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Messiah, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we might be holy and blameless before him in love, predestining us to adoption through Jesus Messiah to himself, according to the good-pleasure of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace which he graced upon us in the beloved. In him we have the redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace which he caused to abound for us, in all wisdom and understanding, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good-pleasure which he set forth in him for the stewardship of the fullness of time, to sum up all things in Messiah, the things in heaven and the things on earth in him. In him also, we became an inheritance, we being predestined according to the setting forth of the one working all things according to the decision of his will that we might be for the praise of his glory, we the already-hopers in Messiah. In him also, you, hearing the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also you believed, were sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the deposit of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, for the praise of his glory.
Because of this, I also, because I heard of your faith in Messiah Jesus and your for-all-the-saints love, do not stop giving thanks for you, making remembrance in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Messiah, the Father of glory, might give you the Spirit of insight and revelation in knowledge of him, having had the eyes of your hearts enlightened, so that you might know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of the might of his strength, which he worked in Messiah by raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavenlies, above all rule and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come, and “he subjected all things under his feet” and he made him head of all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of the all-things-in-all-ways-filled one.
2 And although you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked, according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all formerly lived in the desires of our flesh, doing the wills of the flesh and of the minds, we also were children by nature of wrath just as the rest, but God being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Messiah—by grace you have been saved—and raised us together and seated us together in the heavenlies in Messiah Jesus, in order that he might show in the coming ages the surpassing riches of his grace in beneficence to us in Messiah Jesus. For by grace you have been saved, through faith; and at that, it is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not from works, in order that no one might boast. For we are his doing, created in Messiah Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, in order that in them we might walk.
Therefore, remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, those who are called “uncircumcision” by the so-called “circumcision” in the flesh done by hands, that you were at that time without the Messiah, alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers of the covenants of the promise, not having hope and being without God in the world. But now, in Messiah Jesus, you who formerly were far away have been brought near by the blood of Messiah. For he is our peace, the one who made the two one and destroyed the middle wall, that is the separating fence, the hostility, by his flesh, by abolishing the law of the commandments made up of ordinances, in order that he might create the two in himself into one new man, with the result of making peace, and in order that he might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, by killing the hostility in it. And he came and preached good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to the near ones, that through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then, you are no longer strangers and aliens but are co-citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Messiah Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, as it is being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom also you are being built together into a dwelling place of God in his Spirit.
3 For this reason, I, Paul, a prisoner of Messiah Jesus on behalf of you all—if indeed you heard of the stewardship of the grace of God that was given to me for you, that according to revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I already wrote briefly, in accordance with which you are able, when you read it, to perceive my insight in the mystery of the Messiah, which was not made known in other generations to the sons of men as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit, that the Gentiles are coheirs and co-body-members and co-sharers of the promise in Messiah Jesus through the good news, of which I became a servant according to the gift of grace of God given to me according to the working of his power. To me, the least of all the saints, was given this grace, to proclaim the good news to the Gentiles the fathomless wealth of the Messiah and to enlighten for all what the stewardship of the mystery that was hidden from the ages in God who created all things, in order that now to the rulers and authorities in the heavenlies the many-colored wisdom of God might be made known through the church, according to the purpose of the ages which he did in Messiah Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access in certainty through his faith. Therefore, I ask you not to be discouraged by my afflictions for you, which are your glory.
For this reason, I bend my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he might give you, according to the wealth of his glory, to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, with the result that the Messiah may permanently dwell through faith in your hearts, in love having been rooted and foundationed, in order that you may be strong enough to grasp with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and so to know the surpassing-of-knowledge love of the Messiah, in order that you may be filled with the whole fullness of God. Now to Him who is able above all things to do beyond all measure that we ask or think according to the power being worked in us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Messiah Jesus to all generations forever and ever, amen.
4 Therefore, I a prisoner in the Lord, urge you to walk worthily of the calling by which you were called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, being zealous to protect the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But the grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of the gift of the Messiah. Therefore it says, “When he went up to the height, he captured captivity; he gave gifts to men.” But the statement “he went up…”, what is it except that the same one also went down into the lower regions, that is, the earth? He who went down is the same one who also went up above all the heavens, in order that he might fill all things. And the same one gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as shepherds and teachers, for the goal of equipping the saints for the work of service for the building up of the body of the Messiah, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to an adult man, to the measure of maturity of the fullness of the Messiah, in order that we might no longer be infants, wave-tossed and carried about by every wind of teaching by the craftiness of men, by trickery with reference to scheming of deceit, but by truth-telling in love let us grow with respect to all things into him who is the head, the Messiah, from whom the whole body, while it is joined together and built together through every ligament of support according to the working by measure of each one of its parts, causes the growth of the body for building itself up in love.
Therefore, this I say and testify in the Lord, no longer you walk just as also the Gentiles walk in the futility of their mind, because they have been darkened in their understanding, they have been separated from the life of God on account of the ignorance that is in them on account of the dullness of their heart, who because they have become callous gave themselves over to self-abandonment for the practice of all impurity in greediness. But you did not learn the Messiah in this manner, if indeed about him you heard and in him you were taught, just as the truth is in Jesus, that you have put away according to the former manner of life the old man, the one corrupted according to deceitful desires, but that you are being renewed in the spirit of your mind and that you were clothed in the new man, created according to God in righteousness and devoutness of truth. Therefore, having put away the lie, each one of you speak truth to your neighbor, because we are members of one another. Be made angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. The one stealing must no longer steal, but rather let him toil, working good with his own hands, in order that he might have to share with the one in need. Do not let any rotten word come from your mouth, but only whatever is good for the building up as there is need, in order to give grace to the ones hearing. And do not distress the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and rage and anger and shouting and defamation be taken away from you along with all evil. But be kind to one another, compassionate, being gracious to each other, just as also God in the Messiah was gracious to you.
5 Therefore become imitators of God as beloved children, and walk in love, just as also the Messiah loved us and gave himself for us as an offering and sacrifice to God for a fragrant aroma. But let sexual immorality and all filthiness or greediness not even be named among you, just as is fitting to saints, and shamefulness and foolish talk or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather thanksgiving. For you certainly know this, that every sexually immoral one or impure one or greedy one, which is idolatry, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and God. Let no one deceive you with vain words; for because of these things the wrath of God comes on the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become co-sharers with them. For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; like children of light, walk—for the fruit of the light is all goodness and righteousness and truth—by finding out what is pleasing to the Lord, and do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even expose them. For the things done in darkness by them are shameful even to mention, but all things exposed by the light are made visible, for everything made visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake o sleeper, rise from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you.”
Therefore watch carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, by making the most of the time because the days are evil. On account of this do not become foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk on wine, in which is reckless abandon, but be filled by the Spirit, with the result of speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and psalming with your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus the Messiah to God the Father, submitting to one another in respect of the Messiah, wives to their own husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is head of the wife just as also the Messiah is the head of the church, himself being savior of the body. But as the church submits to the Messiah, so also the wives to their husbands in everything. Husbands must love their wives, just as also the Messiah loved the church and delivered himself over for her, in order that he might sanctify her by means of cleansing by washing of water in word, in order that he might present to himself the radiant church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but in order that she might be holy and blameless. Thus the husbands owe also to love their own wives like their own bodies. Whoever loves his own wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it, just as also the Messiah did the church, because we are members of his body. “For this a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two will be one flesh.” This mystery is great, but I am speaking with reference to the Messiah and the church. Only also each one of you must thus love his own wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord. For this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with a promise, “in order that it may be will with you and that you may be long-lived in the earth.” And fathers do not make your children angry but nourish them in discipline and instruction of the Lord. Slaves obey your according-to-the-flesh lords with respect and trembling in sincerity of your heart as to the Messiah, not with eye-service as people-pleasers but as slaves of the Messiah doing the will of God from your soul, serving with goodwill as to the Lord and not to men, because you know that each one who does good, this he will receive from the Lord, whether slave or free. And lords, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, because you know that the Lord of both them and you is in heaven and there is no partiality with him.
Finally, be made strong in the Lord and in the power of his strength. Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil, because the struggle to us is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual beings of evil in the heavenlies. On account of this, take up the whole armor of God, in order that you may be able to resist in the evil day and when you have done everything you may be able to stand. Therefore stand by girding your loins with truth and putting on the breastplate of righteousness and binding under your feet with the readiness of the gospel of peace, in all things taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one, and receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, with all prayer and supplication praying in every time in the Spirit, and in him being alert with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints and for me, in order that a word may be given to me when I open my mouth, with boldness to make known the mystery of the gospel, for the sake of which, I am an ambassador in chains, in order that in it I may speak freely as it is necessary for me to speak. Now in order that you also may know about my circumstances, what I’m doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will make known to you all things, whom I sent to you for this same, in order that you may know the things concerning me and that he might encourage your hearts. Peace to the brothers and sisters and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Messiah. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Messiah in incorruptibility.