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Chapter 4

1So I, the prisoner for the Lord’s sake, appeal to you to live lives worthy of the summons you have received; 2with perfect humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another lovingly. 3Make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the tie of peace. 4There is but one body and one Spirit, just as there is but one hope that belongs to the summons you received. 5There is but one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above us all, pervades us all, and is within us all. 7But each one of us has been given mercy in Christ’s generous measure. 8So it says,

“When he went up on high, he led a host of captives,

And gave gifts to mankind.”

9What does “he went up” mean, except that he had first gone down to the under parts of the earth? 10It is he who went down who has also gone up above all the heavens, to fill the universe. 11And he has given us some men as apostles, some as prophets, some as missionaries, some as pastors and teachers, 12in order to fit his people for the work of service, for building the body of Christ, 13until we all attain unity in faith, and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and reach mature manhood, and that full measure of development found in Christ. 14We must not be babies any longer, blown about and swung around by every wind of doctrine through the trickery of men with their ingenuity in inventing error. 15We must lovingly hold to the truth and grow up into perfect union with him who is the head—Christ himself. 16For it is under his control that the whole system, adjusted and united by each ligament of its equipment, develops in proportion to the functioning of each particular part, and so builds itself up through love.

17So what I mean and insist upon in the Lord’s name is this: You must no longer live like the heathen, with their frivolity of mind and darkened understanding. 18They are estranged from the life of God because of the ignorance that exists among them and their obstinacy of heart, 19for they have become callous, and abandoned themselves to sensuality, greedily practicing every kind of vice. 20That is not the way you have been taught what Christ means, 21at least if you have really become acquainted with him and been instructed in him, and in union with him have been taught the truth as it is found in Jesus. 22You must lay aside with your former habits your old self which is going to ruin through its deceptive passions. 23You must adopt a new attitude of mind, 24and put on the new self which has been created in likeness to God, with all the uprightness and holiness that belong to the truth.

25So you must lay aside falsehood and each tell his neighbor the truth, for we are parts of one another. 26Be angry, but do not sin. The sun must not go down upon your anger; 27you must not give the devil a chance. 28The man who stole must not steal any more; he must work with his hands at honest toil instead, so as to have something to share with those who are in need. 29No bad word must ever pass your lips, but only words that are good and suited to improve the occasion, so that they will be a blessing to those who hear them. 30You must not offend God’s holy Spirit, with which you have been marked for the Day of Redemption. 31You must give up all bitterness, rage, anger, and loud, abusive talk, and all spite. 32You must be kind to one another, you must be tender-hearted, and forgive one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

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