Before the world was made He chose us in Christ to be holy and spotless and to live through love in His presence, determining that we should become His adopted sons, through Jesus Christ for His own kind purposes, to make us praise the glory of His grace, His free gift to us in the Beloved in whom, through His blood, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.
You have heard the message of the Truth and the Good News of your salvation and have believed it, and you have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit of the Promise, the pledge of our inheritance which brings freedom for those whom God has taken for His own, to make His glory praised.
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of Him. May He enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope His call holds for you, what rich glories He has promised the saints will inherit and how infinitely great is the power that He has exercised for us believers.
Far above every Sovereignty, Authority, Power, or Domination, or any other name that can be named, not only in this age but also in the age to come, He has put all things under His feet and made Him, as the ruler of everything, the Head of the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him who fills the whole creation.
It is by grace that you have been saved, through faith, not by anything of your own but by a gift from God, not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit.
We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning He had meant us to live it.
You are no longer aliens or foreign visitors. You are citizens like all the saints and part of God’s household. You are part of a building that has the apostles and prophets for its foundations and Christ Jesus Himself for its main cornerstone. As every structure is aligned on Him, all grow into one holy temple in the Lord, and you too, in Him, are being built into a house where God lives, in the Spirit.
Pray, kneeling before the Father.
Lead a life worthy of your vocation.
Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness, and patience.
Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together.
There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all, and within all.
If we live by the truth and in love, we shall grow in all ways into Christ who is the Head by whom the whole Body is fitted and joined together, every joint adding its own strength, for each separate part to work according to its function. So the Body grows until it has built itself up, in love.
You must give up your old way of life. You must put aside your old self which gets corrupted by following illusory desires. Your mind must be renewed by a spiritual revolution, so that you can put on the new self that has been created in God’s way, in the goodness and holiness of the truth.
From now on, there must be no more lies. You must speak the truth to one another, since we are all parts of one another.
Even if you are angry, you must not sin. Never let the sun set on your anger, or else you will give the devil a foothold.
Anyone who was a thief must stop stealing. He should try to find some useful manual work instead and be able to do some good by helping others that are in need.
Guard against foul talk. Let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners. Otherwise you will only be grieving the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with His seal for you to be set free when the day comes.
Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness.
Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.
Try to imitate God, as children of His that He loves, and follow Christ by loving as He loved you, giving Himself up in our place as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God.
Among you there must be not even a mention of fornication or impurity in any of its forms, or promiscuity.
There must be no coarseness or salacious talk and jokes. All this is wrong for you. Raise your voices in thanksgiving instead.
You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord. Be like children of light, for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and right living and truth.
Try to discover what the Lord wants of you, having nothing to do with the futile works of darkness but exposing them by contrast.
Be very careful about the sort of lives you lead. This may be a wicked age, but your lives should redeem it. Do not be thoughtless, but recognise what is the will of the Lord.
Do not drug yourselves with wine. This is simply dissipation. Be filled with the Spirit.
Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns when you are together, and go on singing and chanting to the Lord in your hearts, so that always and everywhere you are giving thanks to God, who is our Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Give way to one another in obedience to Christ.
Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife, and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything.
Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed Himself for her to make her holy.
Each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and let every wife be subject to her husband.
Children, be obedient to your parents in the Lord, that is your duty.
Parents, never drive your children to resentment, but in bringing them up correct them and guide them, as the Lord does.
Slaves, be obedient to the men who are called your masters in this world, with deep respect and sincere loyalty, as you are obedient to Christ, not only when you are under their eye, as if you had only to please men, but because you are slaves of Christ and wholeheartedly do the will of God. Work hard and willingly, but do it for the sake of the Lord and not for the sake of men.
Grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of His power. Put God’s armor on so as to be able to resist the devil’s tactics.
It is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the Powers who originate the darkness in this world, the spiritual army of evil in the heavens.
You must rely on God’s armor or you will not be able to put up any resistance when the worst happens, or have enough resources to hold your ground.
Stand your ground with Truth buckled around your waist, and Integrity for a breastplate, wearing for shoes on your feet the Eagerness to spread the Gospel of Peace, and always carrying the shield of Faith, so that you can use it to put out the burning arrows of the evil one. You must accept Salvation from God to be your helmet, and receive the Word of God from the Spirit to use as a sword.
Pray all the time, asking for what you need, praying in the Spirit on every possible occasion.
All texts are taken from the Jerusalem Bible (1966).