1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am an apostle because that is what God wanted. To God's holy people living in Ephesus, believers in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world. 4 That is, in Christ, he chose us before the world was made so that we would be his holy people -- people without blame before him. 5 Because of his love, God had already decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. That was what he wanted and what pleased him, 6 and it brings praise to God because of his wonderful grace. God gave that grace to us freely, in Christ, the One he loves. 7 In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God's grace, 8 which he has given to us so fully and freely. God, with full wisdom and understanding, 9 let us know his secret purpose. This was what God wanted, and he planned to do it through Christ. 10 His goal was to carry out his plan, when the right time came, that all things in heaven and on earth would be joined together in Christ as the head. 11 In Christ we were chosen to be God's people, because from the very beginning God had decided this in keeping with his plan. And he is the One who makes everything agree with what he decides and wants. 12 We are the first people who hoped in Christ, and we were chosen so that we would bring praise to God's glory. 13 So it is with you. When you heard the true teaching -- the Good News about your salvation -- you believed in Christ. And in Christ, God put his special mark of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit that he had promised. 14 That Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will receive what God promised for his people until God gives full freedom to those who are his -- to bring praise to God's glory. 15 That is why since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God's people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks to God for you. I always remember you in my prayers, 17 asking the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you will know him better. 18 I pray also that you will have greater understanding in your heart so you will know the hope to which he has called us and that you will know how rich and glorious are the blessings God has promised his holy people. 19 And you will know that God's power is very great for us who believe. That power is the same as the great strength 20 God used to raise Christ from the dead and put him at his right side in the heavenly world. 21 God has put Christ over all rulers, authorities, powers, and kings, not only in this world but also in the next. 22 God put everything under his power and made him the head over everything for the church, 23 which is Christ's body. The church is filled with Christ, and Christ fills everything in every way.
1 In the past you were spiritually dead because of your sins and the things you did against God. 2 Yes, in the past you lived the way the world lives, following the ruler of the evil powers that are above the earth. That same spirit is now working in those who refuse to obey God. 3 In the past all of us lived like them, trying to please our sinful selves and doing all the things our bodies and minds wanted. We should have suffered God's anger because of the way we were. We were the same as all other people. 4 But God's mercy is great, and he loved us very much. 5 Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God's grace. 6 And he raised us up with Christ and gave us a seat with him in the heavens. He did this for those in Christ Jesus 7 so that for all future time he could show the very great riches of his grace by being kind to us in Christ Jesus. 8 I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. 9 It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it. 10 God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing. 11 You were not born Jewish. You are the people the Jews call "uncircumcised." Those who call you "uncircumcised" call themselves "circumcised." (Their circumcision is only something they themselves do on their bodies.) 12 Remember that in the past you were without Christ. You were not citizens of Israel, and you had no part in the agreementsn with the promise that God made to his people. You had no hope, and you did not know God. 13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away from God are brought near through the blood of Christ's death. 14 Christ himself is our peace. He made both Jewish people and those who are not Jews one people. They were separated as if there were a wall between them, but Christ broke down that wall of hate by giving his own body. 15 The Jewish law had many commands and rules, but Christ ended that law. His purpose was to make the two groups of people become one new people in him and in this way make peace. 16 It was also Christ's purpose to end the hatred between the two groups, to make them into one body, and to bring them back to God. Christ did all this with his death on the cross. 17 Christ came and preached peace to you who were far away from God, and to those who were near to God. 18 Yes, it is through Christ we all have the right to come to the Father in one Spirit. 19 Now you who are not Jewish are not foreigners or strangers any longer, but are citizens together with God's holy people. You belong to God's family. 20 You are like a building that was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stonen in that building, 21 and that whole building is joined together in Christ. He makes it grow and become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in Christ you, too, are being built together with the Jews into a place where God lives through the Spirit.
1 So I, Paul, am a prisoner of Christ Jesus for you who are not Jews. 2 Surely you have heard that God gave me this work through his grace to help you. 3 He let me know his secret by showing it to me. I have already written a little about this. 4 If you read what I wrote then, you can see that I truly understand the secret about the Christ. 5 People who lived in other times were not told that secret. But now, through the Spirit, God has shown that secret to his holy apostles and prophets. 6 This is that secret: that through the Good News those who are not Jews will share with the Jews in God's blessing. They belong to the same body, and they share together in the promise that God made in Christ Jesus. 7 By God's special gift of grace given to me through his power, I became a servant to tell that Good News. 8 I am the least important of all God's people, but God gave me this gift -- to tell those who are not Jews the Good News about the riches of Christ, which are too great to understand fully. 9 And God gave me the work of telling all people about the plan for his secret, which has been hidden in him since the beginning of time. He is the One who created everything. 10 His purpose was that through the church all the rulers and powers in the heavenly world will now know God's wisdom, which has so many forms. 11 This agrees with the purpose God had since the beginning of time, and he carried out his plan through Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In Christ we can come before God with freedom and without fear. We can do this through faith in Christ. 13 So I ask you not to become discouraged because of the sufferings I am having for you. My sufferings are for your glory. 14 So I bow in prayer before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth gets its true name. 16 I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through his Spirit. 17 I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. 18 And I pray that you and all God's holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ's love -- how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. 19 Christ's love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God. 20 With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. 21 To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen.