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Ephesians 6

Children and parents

1 Children, obey your parents. This is what the Lord wants. It is the right thing to do. 2 The first rule that God gave with a promise says: ‘Always love your father and your mother, and obey them. 3 Then, as a result, you will be happy and you will live for a long time on the earth.’

4 Fathers, do not make your children angry. But instead, teach them as they grow up. Teach them about the right way in which the Lord wants them to live their lives.

Slaves and masters

5 Slaves, obey your human masters. Remember how important they are. And be afraid of them. Work well for them because you really want to make them happy. Work for them as if you were working for Christ. 6 Do not work well only when they can see you. Do not work well only to make people happy. But instead, always work well, as Christ's slaves. Work because you really want to obey God. 7 Be happy to work as well as you can for your human masters. Work as if you were working for the Lord, and not only for people. 8 Remember this: anyone who does any good thing will also receive something good from the Lord as a result. This will happen whether that person is a slave or a free person.

9 Masters, be good to your slaves in the same way. Do not say things that will frighten them. Do not say that you will punish them for no good reason. Remember that both you and your slaves have the same Master in heaven. And everyone is important to him. He is never kinder to one person than he is to another person.

God's soldiers

10 The last thing that I want to say to you is this. Be strong by the Lord's great power, because you are united with him. 11 Put on the whole armour that God gives to us. So then you will continue to be strong against all the clever ways by which the Devil attacks us. 12 You need to be strong because we are not fighting against human enemies. No, but instead we are fighting against the rulers and the powerful spirits that have authority over this dark world. We are fighting against powerful bad spirits who live in the heavens. 13 So, take the whole armour that God gives. Then you will be able to stand against the enemy when he attacks. And he will not be able to move you from your place. Then, after you have done everything, you will still be standing strongly in your place.

14 So stand. Always remember and obey God's true message. That will be like a belt round you. Always be right with God. That will be like a strong metal plate that you put over the front of your body. 15 Remember God's good news that makes you friends with God and with each other. That will be like shoes on your feet, to make you ready to fight. 16 Always continue to believe God. That will be like a shield that you hold in front of you. It will put out all the burning arrows that the Devil throws at you. 17 Remember that God has saved you. That will be like a strong metal hat on your head, to keep you safe. Also, remember what God has said. That will be like a sword that you can use, by God's Spirit, to fight.

6:14People used belts to hold their long clothes up so that they were ready to fight.

18 To do all of this, pray all the time as God's Spirit leads you to pray. Pray about everything. Ask God for what you need. For this purpose, be careful to continue praying always for all God's people. 19 Pray for me, too. Pray that God will give me the right words to speak. Pray that I will not be afraid to tell people about the secret of the good news. 20 God sent me to tell the good news to people. And that is why I am in prison. So, pray that I will not be afraid to speak. I want to speak the good news bravely, as I ought to speak it.

Paul finishes his letter

21 Tychicus, a Christian friend that I love, will tell you all the news about me. He is the Lord's good servant, who continues to work well on the Lord's behalf. He will tell you what I am doing. So then you will know how I am. 22 This is the reason why I am sending him to you. I want him to tell you how we are. And I want him to help you so that you feel stronger and braver.

23 I pray that God, the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ will be good to you believers. I pray that they will cause you to be without trouble inside yourselves. I pray that they will cause you to love God and other people, as you continue to believe. 24 I pray that God will be very kind to everyone who continues to love our Lord Jesus Christ.