ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 235

E p hesia n s
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the
church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed
by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a
glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead,
she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to
love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his
wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds
and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members
of his body.
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined
to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it
is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say,
each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect
her husband.
Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this
is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first
commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother,
“things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat
them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that
comes from the Lord.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them
sincerely as you would serve Christ. Try to please them all the time, not
just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God
with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working
for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward
each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.
Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don’t threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites.
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all
of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against
mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist
the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing
firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor
of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the
Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these,
hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on

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