1 THEREFORE BE imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].
2 And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance. [Ezek. 20:41.]
3 But immorality (sexual vice) and all impurity [of lustful, rich, wasteful living] or greediness must not even be named among you, as is fitting and proper among saints (God's consecrated people).
4 Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God].
5 For be sure of this: that no person practicing sexual vice or impurity in thought or in life, or one who is covetous [who has lustful desire for the property of others and is greedy for gain]–for he [in effect] is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no one delude and deceive you with empty excuses and groundless arguments [for these sins], for through these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of rebellion and disobedience.
7 So do not associate or be sharers with them.
8 For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light [lead the lives of those native-born to the Light].
9 For the fruit (the effect, the product) of the Light or the Spirit [consists] in every form of kindly goodness, uprightness of heart, and trueness of life.
10 And try to learn [in your experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [let your lives be constant proofs of what is most acceptable to Him].
11 Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of or mention the things that [such people] practice in secret.
13 But when anything is exposed and reproved by the light, it is made visible and clear; and where everything is visible and clear there is light.
14 Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light. [Isa. 26:19; 60:1, 2.]
15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),
16 Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit. [Prov. 23:20.]
19 Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord,
20 At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
22 Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.
23 For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.
24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
26 So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word,
27 That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].
28 Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.
29 For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,
30 Because we are members (parts) of His body.
31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. [Gen. 2:24.]
32 This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.
33 However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. [I Pet. 3:2.]
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation