Ephesians 4:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 4:3, NIV: "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."

Ephesians 4:3, ESV: "eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Ephesians 4:3, KJV: "Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Ephesians 4:3, NASB: "being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Ephesians 4:3, NLT: "Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace."

Ephesians 4:3, CSB: "making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."

What does Ephesians 4:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 2 provided four specific applications of how Christian faith should translate into Christian behavior. Those traits are humility, gentleness, patience, and love. These are encouraged as ways to live worthy of the calling we've been given by God. This verse supplies an additional characteristic: passion for unity with other Christians. This kind of harmony has been a focus throughout Paul's letter and will return again in verse 13. Ephesians 2:11–22 offered a lengthy passage focused on the theme of unity between Jews and Gentiles in Christ. Paul often spoke of Christians as being "together" (Ephesians 2:5, 21, 22), as a body is one unit made of separate members.

This unity ought to also take place "in the bond of peace." Peace is another theme which Paul mentions multiple times in this letter (Ephesians 1:2; 2:14, 15, 17; 6:15, 23). Christ is our peace, He made peace, preached peace, gives unity in peace, and offers a gospel of peace. Peace is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and important for every believer (Romans 5:1). Paul calls peace a "bond," which is an interesting choice of words. It's entirely possible that Paul was wearing "bonds," in the form of prison chains on his hands and feet, when writing this letter. He had certainly worn them before (Acts 16:23–26).