I, Paul, am a prisoner because of Christ Jesus. I am in prison because of my work among you who are not Jews.
References for Ephesians 3:1
I am sure you have heard that God appointed me to share his grace with you.
I'm talking about the mystery God showed me. I have already written a little about it.
By reading it you will be able to understand what I know about the mystery of Christ.
The mystery was not made known to people of other times. But now the Holy Spirit has made it known to God's holy apostles and prophets.
Here is the mystery. Because of the good news, God's promises are for non-Jews as well as for Jews. Both groups are parts of one body. They share in the promise. It belongs to them because they belong to Christ Jesus.
I now serve the good news because God gave me his grace. His power is at work in me.
I am by far the least important of all of God's people. But he gave me the grace to preach to the non-Jews about the wonderful riches that Christ gives.
God told me to make clear to everyone how the mystery came about. In times past it was kept hidden in the mind of God, who created all things.
He wanted the rulers and authorities in the heavenly world to come to know his great wisdom. The church would make it known to them.
That was God's plan from the beginning. He has worked it out through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Through him and through faith in him we can approach God. We can come to him freely. We can come without fear.
So here is what I'm asking you to do. Don't lose hope because I am suffering for you. It will lead to the time when God will give you his glory.
I bow in prayer to the Father because of my work among you.
References for Ephesians 3:14
From the Father his whole family in heaven and on earth gets its name.
I pray that he will use his glorious riches to make you strong. May his Holy Spirit give you his power deep down inside you.
Then Christ will live in your hearts because you believe in him. And I pray that your love will have deep roots. I pray that it will have a strong foundation.
May you have power with all God's people to understand Christ's love. May you know how wide and long and high and deep it is.
And may you know his love, even though it can't be known completely. Then you will be filled with everything God has for you.
God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine. He does everything by his power that is working in us.
Give him glory in the church and in Christ Jesus. Give him glory through all time and for ever and ever. Amen.