I, Paul, am a prisoner of Christ Jesus because of my preaching to you Gentiles.
As you already know, God has given me this special ministry of announcing his favor to you Gentiles.
As I briefly mentioned earlier in this letter, God himself revealed his secret plan to me.
As you read what I have written, you will understand what I know about this plan regarding Christ.
God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now he has revealed it by the Holy Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets.
And this is the secret plan: The Gentiles have an equal share with the Jews in all the riches inherited by God's children. Both groups have believed the Good News, and both are part of the same body and enjoy together the promise of blessings through Christ Jesus.
By God's special favor and mighty power, I have been given the wonderful privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.
Just think! Though I did nothing to deserve it, and though I am the least deserving Christian there is, I was chosen for this special joy of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.
I was chosen to explain to everyone this plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.
God's purpose was to show his wisdom in all its rich variety to all the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. They will see this when Jews and Gentiles are joined together in his church.
This was his plan from all eternity, and it has now been carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God's presence, assured of his glad welcome.
So please don't despair because of what they are doing to me here. It is for you that I am suffering, so you should feel honored and encouraged.
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, a15
the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.
And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.
May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)