A shorter take on Ephesians 4

I, Paul, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling with humility, gentleness, and patience with one another. Bear with each other in love. Make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body and one Spirit. You were called to the one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all, and in all.

Each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Some are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. These gifts are for equipping the saints for the work of ministry. This builds up the body of Christ until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of God’s son.

The gifts are to build us into maturity, into the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery and craftiness in deceitful scheming.

Speak the truth in love. Grow up in every way into Christ, who is the head of the body. Christ joins and knits together the body (the church). Every ligament of the body has its part. Each one, when working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

You must no longer live as others do in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness and are greedy to practice every kind of impurity. That is not the way you learned Christ!

Truth is in Jesus. Put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts. Be renewed in the spirit of your minds and clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

So then, put away falsehood. Speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.

Be angry but do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger and do not make room for the devil.

Thieves must give up stealing. Let them labor and work honestly with their own hands so as to have something to share with the needy.

No evil talk! Speak only what is useful for building up others. May your words give grace.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.

Put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, wrangling, slander, and malice. Be kind to each other — tenderhearted and forgiving, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

(This shortened take on Ephesians 4 is based on the New Revised Standard Version of Scripture.)

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