Ephesians 4 [Clear Word]

15A. CORE COMPETENCIES

1 My appeal to you is to prove yourselves worthy of being called Christians, even though what I'm telling you has put me in jail. 2 Be humble, patient and gentle with each other, showing tolerance and love. 3 Worship God in peace, stay united and be guided by the Holy Spirit. 4 Remember that there is only one body of Christ and one Holy Spirit who gives us all the same hope. 5 There is only one Lord, one faith and one baptism. 6 There is only one God and Father of us all, who is over all His people and in all His people. That's what makes us brothers and sisters. 7 Then there are God's gifts of grace which Christ has given to us. 8 As it says in the Psalms: "Gifts will be given to Him to give us after He ascends to heaven. He will take with Him those who are raised from the dead at the time of His own resurrection. These will be living trophies of His victory over sin and death." 9 If He ascended to heaven, then that proves that He came down from heaven to become one of us. 10 He who became one of us has ascended and been given a place next to God who has put Him in charge of everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Christ through the Holy Spirit gave us the gifts that God determined. Some were gifted to be apostles, others to function as prophets, still others to be evangelists and others to be pastors or teachers. 12 These are only a few of the many gifts God has given to equip the church to carry out its mission. 13 The gifts are to help us press together, to treasure our mutual faith and to grow up into mature believers, becoming more and more like Christ. 14 These gifts will lift us out of our childish impulsiveness and keep us from being tossed back and forth like a cork on the waves of the sea, or from being spun around by every wind of doctrine that comes along. There will always be crafty people who will cleverly attempt to undermine the truth just to get a following. 15 But we have spoken the truth in love which will keep you growing more and more like Him in every way. 16 The truth about our God and His Son is what holds us together. We're Christ's body, which is only as strong and healthy as the individual muscles and sinews. God wants each part to do its work so the church can grow and build itself up in love. 17 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I appeal to you not to live as those Gentiles do who have different values and a completely different view of things. 18 Their minds are darkened and they're alienated from God because of their ignorance, which is due to the hardness of their hearts. 19 They've become calloused, living lives of sensuality, and indulging in undisciplined passions while continually lusting for more. 20 This is totally different from the kind of lives I've taught you to live or from the devoted life to God that Christ lived. 21 If you've been taught how to live in accordance with the truth as it is in Jesus, 22 then put off the old self which is corrupt and deceitful and full of lust. 23 Determine to live totally for Him. Begin each day with a commitment to live for Christ. 24 This is what it means to put on the new self, to be a new person in Christ, who has been recreated in uprightness and holiness. 25 So stop lying to each other and speak truthfully, because we are all members of the same family. 26 If you get upset, don't focus on your feelings until you become hateful and degenerate into sin. Be angry with sin, but don't sin by being angry with the sinner. 27 Determine to get over any anger before nightfall, or the devil will gain a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing should stop it, do some honest work, pay back what was stolen, then give something to those in need. 29 Let no dishonorable talk come out of your mouths but only what will help those who hear. Impart grace to others by talking faith and hope as fits the occasion. 30 Don't drive away the Holy Spirit, for He's the only One who can protect you from Satan until God's plan for this world has been completed. 31 Put away any bitterness, hostility, anger, gossip, rioting and holding grudges. 32 Instead, be kind and compassionate to one another, considerate and forgiving, just as God in Christ has done for you.