God’s Rules for the New Life

From Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians:

“So then, putting away all falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.  Be angry but do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.  Thieves must give up stealing.  Rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.  Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked for the day of redemption.  Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints.  Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk, but instead, let there be thanksgiving.  Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be associated with them.  For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light.  Live as children of light—for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.  Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.  Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.  For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly, but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light.

Therefore it says, ‘Sleeper, awake!  Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’

Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.  So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Ephesians 4:25-5:20)

The Harper Collins Study Bible NRSV

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