1 Children, obey your parents, for this is right. 2 "You must honor your father and mother" -- this is the first commandment, with a promise to make it good 3 "so that you may prosper and live a long life on earth." 4 You parents, too, must stop exasperating your children, but continue to bring them up with the sort of education and counsel the Lord approves.
5 You slaves must practice obedience to your earthly masters, with reverence and awe, with sincerity of heart, as you would obey Christ, 6 not serving them as though they were watching you, but as true slaves of Christ, trying to carry out the will of God. 7 Heartily and cheerfully keep on working as slaves, as though it were for the Lord and not for men, 8 for you know that everyone, slave or free, will get his reward from the Lord for anything good he has done. 9 You slave-owners, too, must maintain the same attitude toward your slaves, and stop threatening them, for you know that their real Lord and yours is in heaven, and that He never shows partiality.
10 From now on you must grow stronger through union with the Lord and through His mighty power. 11 You must put on God's full armor, so as to be able to stand up against the devil's stratagems. 12 For our contest is not with human foes alone, but with the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark world; that is, with the spirit-forces of evil challenging us in the heavenly contest. 13 So you must take on God's full armor, so as to be able to take a stand in the day when evil attacks you, and, after having completely finished the contest, to hold your own. 14 Hold your position, then, with your waist encircled with the belt of truth, put on right-doing as a coat of mail, 15 and put on your feet the preparation the good news of peace supplies. 16 Besides all these, take on the shield which faith provides, for with it you will be able to put out all the fire-tipped arrows shot by the evil one, 17 take the helmet salvation provides, and take the sword the Spirit wields, which is the word of God.
18 Keep on praying in the Spirit, with every kind of prayer and entreaty, at every opportunity, be ever on the alert with perfect devotion and entreaty for all God's people, 19 and for me that a message may be given me when I open my lips, so that I may boldly make known the open secret of the good news, 20 for the sake of which I am an envoy in prison: so that, when I tell it, I may speak as courageously as I ought.
21 That you may also know how I am, Tychicus, our dearly loved brother and a faithful minister in the Lord's service, will give you all the information; 22 that is the very reason I am sending him, to let you know how I am and to cheer your hearts.