Ephesians 5

Be very careful how you live

1 You are God's children and he loves you very much. So you must try to be like him. 2 Show that you love other people. Remember how much Christ loved us. He gave himself as a sacrifice on our behalf. He offered himself in a way that pleased God, like a sacrifice with a lovely smell.

3 So, as God's people, you must never have sex with anyone that you are not married to. Do not do any kind of disgusting thing like that. Do not want many things for yourselves, just to make you happy. That is not how God's people should live. 4 Do not speak in a way which uses dirty words. Do not talk about silly things, like fools do. It is not right for God's people to talk like that. Instead, you should speak in a way which shows that you are thanking God.

5 You can be sure about this: If anyone has sex in a wrong way, that person does not belong to God's people. Nobody who does any kind of disgusting thing belongs to God's people. People who want many things just to please themselves are like people who worship an idol. They also do not belong to God's people. Nobody like that belongs to the kingdom where Christ and God rule. They will not receive the good things that God has prepared for his people.

6 Do not let anyone have a chance to deceive you with a false message about those kinds of bad things. God will certainly punish people who do not obey him. 7 So keep away from those kinds of people. 8 Once your minds were completely in the dark. But now you belong to the Lord. As a result, you have become full of light. So now you must live as people who belong to the light. 9 The light helps you to live in a way that is good, right and true. 10 You should learn more and more to do the things that please the Lord. 11 People whose minds are in the dark do things that have no good purpose. Keep away from wrong things like that. Instead, show how bad those things really are. 12 People like that should be ashamed of the things that they do secretly. Those things are too bad for us even to talk about. 13 But when God's light shines on something, people can see clearly its true nature. 14 Everything that becomes clear to see is in the light. That is why it says:

‘Wake up, you people who are asleep!

Rise up from among the dead people!

Then Christ will shine his light on you.’

5:14These words may come from an old Christian song.

15 So you must be very careful how you live. Live like people who are wise. Do not live like fools. 16 Many bad things are happening in these days. So, whenever you have a chance to do something good, do as much as you can. 17 Do not live like fools. But instead, understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Do not drink too much wine so that you become drunk. That will destroy your life. Instead, let God's Spirit fill you. 19 He will help you to speak to each other with all kinds of spiritual songs. Sing psalms from the Bible, and Christian songs. Praise the Lord with songs from inside yourselves. 20 And always thank God, the Father, for everything, by our Lord Jesus Christ's name.

Wives and husbands

21 Serve one another to show that you respect Christ as your master.

22 Wives, obey your own husbands, as you obey the Lord. 23 A husband has authority over his wife, in the same way that Christ has authority over the church. The church is like Christ's body. As its head, he saves her. 24 As the church serves Christ as its master, so wives should serve their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church. He even agreed to die on its behalf. 26 He did that to make us completely clean, as the people of God. It was like he washed us with water, as he brought God's message to us. 27 Christ himself did this to bring us to himself as a beautiful group of his people. His church would belong to him completely. It would be pure, without anything bad to spoil it.

28 So husbands should love their wives, just as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife shows that he loves himself. 29 There is nobody who hates his own body. Everyone feeds his body and he takes care of it. In the same way, the church is like Christ's body that he takes care of. 30 We are like the parts of Christ's body. 31 The Bible says this: ‘When a man marries, he leaves his father and his mother. Instead, God joins the man and his wife together. The two people become like one body.’ 32 This is God's secret and it is difficult to understand. But I am saying that it teaches us about Christ and the church. 33 But each one of you husbands should understand this: love your own wife as you love yourself. And every wife among you must respect her husband.

5:31See Genesis 2:24.