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Christian conduct

1I IMPLORE you then -- I, a prisoner for the Lord's sake: as God has called you, live up to your calling.

2Be humble always and gentle, and patient too, putting up with one another's failings in the spirit of love.

3Spare no effort to make fast with bonds of peace the unity which the Spirit gives.

4There is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope held out in God's call to you;

5one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

7But each of us has been given a special gift, a particular share in the bounty of Christ.

8That is why scripture says: He ascended into the heights; he took captives into captivity; he gave gifts to men.

9Now, the word “ascended” implies that he also descended to the lowest level, down to the very earth.

10He who descended is none other than he who ascended far above all heavens, so that he might fill the universe.

11And it is he who has given some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,

12to equip God's people for work in his service, for the building up of the body of Christ,

13until we all attain to the unity inherent in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God -- to mature manhood, measured by nothing less than the full stature of Christ.

14We are no longer to be children, tossed about by the waves and whirled around by every fresh gust of teaching, dupes of cunning rogues and their deceitful schemes.

15Rather we are to maintain the truth in a spirit of love; so shall we fully grow up into Christ. He is the head,

16and on him the whole body depends. Bonded and held together by every constituent joint, the whole frame grows through the proper functioning of each part, and builds itself up in love.

17Here then is my word to you, and I urge it on you in the Lord's name: give up living as pagans do with their futile notions.

18Their minds are closed, they are alienated from the life that is in God, because ignorance prevails among them and their hearts have grown hard as stone.

19Dead to all feeling, they have abandoned themselves to vice, and there is no indecency that they do not practise.

20But that is not how you learned Christ.

21For were you not told about him, were you not as Christians taught the truth as it is in Jesus?

22Renouncing your former way of life, you must lay aside the old human nature which, deluded by its desires, is in process of decay:

23you must be renewed in mind and spirit,

24and put on the new nature created in God's likeness, which shows itself in the upright and devout life called for by the truth.

25Then have done with falsehood and speak the truth to each other, for we belong to one another as parts of one body.

26If you are angry, do not be led into sin; do not let sunset find you nursing your anger;

27and give no foothold to the devil.

28The thief must give up stealing, and work hard with his hands to earn an honest living, so that he may have something to share with the needy.

29Let no offensive talk pass your lips, only what is good and helpful to the occasion, so that it brings a blessing to those who hear it.

30Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, for that Spirit is the seal with which you were marked for the day of final liberation.

31Have done with all spite and bad temper, with rage, insults, and slander, with evil of any kind.

32Be generous to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.

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