Ephesians 5

Live as God's children

1 You are God's children that he loves. So, you must try to be like him. 2 Continue always to love other people, as Christ loved you. He loved us so much that he gave himself on our behalf. He offered himself as a sacrifice to God. His sacrifice had a lovely smell that made God very happy.

3 So, you must never have sex with someone who is not your own wife or husband. You should not even want to do anything like that. Neither should you want too much of anything for yourselves. God's own people should never even want to think about anything that is bad or dirty. That is not how God's people should live. 4 Nor should you talk about bad or dirty or silly things, as fools do. It is not right or proper for God's people to talk like that. Instead, you should be thanking God. 5 Nobody who has sex with someone other than their own wife or husband can belong with God's people. Nobody who does bad, dirty things can belong with God's people. Nobody who wants too much of anything for themselves can belong with God's people. That person is really worshipping something else more than they are worshipping God. None of these kinds of people will ever receive what God has prepared for his own people. These kinds of people cannot belong with those people who accept Christ and God as their king. You can be sure about this.

6 Do not let anyone make you believe wrong ideas as a result of the false words that they speak. God will certainly be angry with people who do these bad things. He will punish people who do not obey him. 7 So, do not meet with those kinds of people. 8 Once you were dark. But now that you are the Lord's, you are light. So, live as people who belong to the light. 9 The light causes people to be good. It causes people to do what is right. And it causes them to say what is true. 10 Try to learn what the Lord thinks is right. 11 People who belong to the dark do wrong things. Never join in with wrong things like that. Those things have no good purpose. But instead, show how wrong those things really are. 12 People should be ashamed even to speak about the bad things that those people do secretly. 13 But when something comes out of the dark, God's light shines on it. 14 Anything that God's light shines on becomes light. That is why it says:

‘Wake up, you who sleep.

Get up from among the dead people,

and Christ will shine on you.’

5:14We think that these words may come from an old Christian song.

15 So, you must be very careful how you live. Live like people who understand what is right and good. Do not live like people who do not understand anything. 16 These are bad times, so use every moment well. 17 Do not be fools. But instead, understand what the Lord wants. 18 Do not drink too much wine, because that will cause bad things. It will stop you ruling yourself properly. But instead, let God's Spirit fill you. 19 Speak to each other with all kinds of spiritual songs. Sing and make music to the Lord from inside yourselves. 20 Thank God, the Father, always for everything, by our Lord Jesus Christ's name.

Wives and husbands

21 Be servants to each other, because Christ is your master.

22 Wives, obey your own husbands as you obey the Lord. 23 Because a husband is the head of his wife, quite as Christ is the head of the church. The church is Christ's body and he saves her. 24 As the church puts Christ first, so wives should put their husbands first in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. Christ gave himself on behalf of the church, 26 so that he could make it completely good and clean. He washed it with water by his word. 27 So then he could bring it to himself as a beautiful church, without any bad or dirty mark on it. He could bring it to himself as a completely good church, with nothing wrong.

28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives quite as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself. 29 No man ever hates his own body. No, instead he feeds it and he takes care of it. He takes care of it as Christ takes care of the church. 30 Christ takes care of us because we are parts of his own body. 31 As the Bible says: ‘This is the reason that a man leaves his father and his mother. Then God joins him and his wife together. The man and the woman become like one body.’ 32 These words show us about important things that are difficult to understand. I am saying that they show us about Christ and the church. 33 But they are also important for you. Each one of you husbands should love your own wife as you love yourself. And each wife must be ready to obey her husband.