Unity and Diversity in the Body of Christ
1Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord,#2Tm 1:8 urge you to live worthy of the calling you have received, 2with all humility#Col 3:12 and gentleness, with patience,#Ex 34:6; 2Tm 3:10 bearing#Heb 13:22 with one another in love,#1Co 13:1 3making every effort to keep the unity#Eph 4:13 of the Spirit#Ps 51:11; Jn 1:33; Ac 2:4; Rm 8:9; Gl 5:25; Ti 3:5; Rv 3:22 through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit#Rm 12:4-5; 1Co 10:17; 12:9,12-13; Eph 2:16,18; Col 3:15 — just as you were called to one hope#4:4 Lit called in one hope#Ac 26:6-7; 28:20; Rm 5:2; 8:23-25; Eph 1:18; Col 1:5; 1Th 1:3 at your calling — 5one Lord,#1Co 1:13; 8:6 one faith,#Jd 3 one baptism, 6one God#Dt 6:4 and Father#Mt 5:16; 11:27; Lk 11:13; Jn 8:42 of all, who is above all and through all and in all.#Ps 104:24
7Now grace was given to each one of us#1Co 12:7-11 according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8For it says:
When he ascended #
he took the captives captive;
he gave gifts to people. # 4:8 Ps 68:18 #
9But what does “he ascended” mean except that he#4:9 Other mss add first also descended to the lower parts of the earth?#4:9 Or the lower parts, namely, the earth#Jn 3:13; 6:62; Rm 10:6-7; Php 2:6-11 10The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens,#Jn 3:13; 6:38 to fill all things.#Eph 1:23; Heb 4:14; 7:26; 9:24 11And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ,#Rm 7:4; 1Co 10:16; 12:27; Col 2:17 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son,#Jn 5:19; Heb 1:2 growing into maturity with a stature#Lk 2:52 measured by Christ’s fullness. 14Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching,#Rm 15:4; Heb 13:9 by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head#Col 2:10 — Christ. 16From him the whole body, fitted and knit together#Col 2:2 by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth#Col 2:19 of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.
Living the New Life
17Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their thoughts. 18They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because#4:18 Or in them because of the hardness of their hearts. 19They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity#1Th 4:17 with a desire for more and more.#4:19 Lit with greediness
20But that is not how you came to know Christ, 21assuming you heard about him and were taught by him, as the truth#2Th 2:10 is in Jesus, 22to take off#4:21-22 Or Jesus. This means: take off (as a command)#Rm 13:12 your former way of life,#2Pt 3:11 the old self#Rm 6:6; 7:6; 1Co 5:7-8; 2Co 3:14; Col 3:9 that is corrupted by deceitful desires, 23to be renewed#4:22-23 Or desires; renew (as a command) in the spirit#Ps 51:12 of your minds, 24and to put on#4:23-24 Or minds; and put on (as a command)#Rm 13:12 the new self, the one created#Mk 13:19; Jn 1:3; Rv 3:14 according to God’s likeness#Col 3:10; 2Pt 1:4 in righteousness and purity of the truth.
25Therefore, putting away#Pr 31:25 lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor,#4:25Zch 8:16#Zch 8:16 because we are members of one another. 26Be angry and do not sin.#4:26Ps 4:4#Ps 4:4; 37:8; Mt 18:21; Jms 1:19-20 Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27and don’t give the devil an opportunity. 28Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share#1Th 2:8; 1Tm 6:18 with anyone in need. 29No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need,#4:29 Lit for the building up of the need so that it gives grace to those who hear. 30And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit.#Ps 51:11; Jn 1:33; Ac 2:4; Rm 8:9; Gl 5:25; Ti 3:5; Rv 3:22 You were sealed by him#4:30 Or Spirit, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.#Php 1:6 31Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. 32And be kind#Mt 11:30; Lk 5:39; 6:35; Rm 2:4; 1Co 15:33; 1Pt 2:3 and compassionate#1Pt 3:8 to one another, forgiving#Ps 25:11; Mt 9:2; Mk 2:5; Lk 24:47; Col 3:12-13 one another, just as God also forgave you#4:32 Other mss read us in Christ.