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1In a word, as God's dear children, you must be like him.

2Live in love as Christ loved you and gave himself up on your behalf, an offering and sacrifice whose fragrance is pleasing to God.

3Fornication and indecency of any kind, or ruthless greed, must not be so much as mentioned among you, as befits the people of God.

4No coarse, stupid, or flippant talk: these things are out of place; you should rather be thanking God.

5For be very sure of this: no one given to fornication or vice, or the greed which makes an idol of gain, has any share in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

6Let no one deceive you with shallow arguments; it is for these things that divine retribution falls on God's rebel subjects.

7Have nothing to do with them.

8Though you once were darkness, now as Christians you are light. Prove yourselves at home in the light,

9for where light is, there is a harvest of goodness, righteousness, and truth.

10Learn to judge for yourselves what is pleasing to the Lord;

11take no part in the barren deeds of darkness, but show them up for what they are.

12It would be shameful even to mention what is done in secret.

13But everything is shown up by being exposed to the light, and whatever is exposed to the light itself becomes light.

14That is why it is said: Awake, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine upon you.

15Take great care, then, how you behave: act sensibly, not like simpletons.

16Use the present opportunity to the full, for these are evil days.

17Do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

18Do not give way to drunkenness and the ruin that goes with it, but let the Holy Spirit fill you:

19speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and songs; sing and make music from your heart to the Lord;

20and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ give thanks every day for everything to our God and Father.

Christian relationships

21BE subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22Wives, be subject to your husbands as though to the Lord;

23for the man is the head of the woman, just as Christ is the head of the church. Christ is, indeed, the saviour of that body;

24but just as the church is subject to Christ, so must women be subject to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it,

26to consecrate and cleanse it by water and word,

27so that he might present the church to himself all glorious, with no stain or wrinkle or anything of the sort, but holy and without blemish.

28In the same way men ought to love their wives, as they love their own bodies. In loving his wife a man loves himself.

29For no one ever hated his own body; on the contrary, he keeps it nourished and warm, and that is how Christ treats the church,

30because it is his body, of which we are living parts.

31“This is why” (in the words of scripture) “a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

32There is hidden here a great truth, which I take to refer to Christ and to the church.

33But it applies also to each one of you: the husband must love his wife as his very self, and the wife must show reverence for her husband.


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