Ephesians 1

Paul says ‘Hello’

1 This letter is from me, Paul. God chose me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.

I am writing to you, God's own people who live in Ephesus. You are those who continue to believe in Christ Jesus, and so you belong to him.

2 I pray that God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ will continue to help you. I pray that they will give you peace in your minds.

God blesses us as Christians

3 We praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has blessed us in very many ways. Because we belong to Christ, we enjoy all the good things that come from heaven. God blesses our spirits with those good things. 4 Before God made the world, he chose us to be his people because of Christ. He chose us so that we would please him. Because we belong to Christ, God accepts us as completely good. This shows how much he loves us. 5 Long ago, he already decided to accept us into his family as his children, because of Jesus Christ. He chose us to belong to him because it made him very happy. 6 As a result, we praise him, because he is great and he has been so kind to us. He has given us so much because of his Son, whom he loves very much. 7 When Christ died as a sacrifice on the cross, he paid the price to make us free. Because of Christ's death on our behalf, God has forgiven our sins. God is so very kind that he has done all this for us!

8 Even more than that, God has shown how wise he is. He understands what we need. 9 He has let us know his great purpose, which had been a secret before. That plan would make him very happy. It would be possible because of Christ. 10 God will make that plan happen when the time is completely right. At that time, he will bring everything together so that Christ rules all of them. That includes the things that are in heaven, and the things that are on earth.

11 God is able to make all things happen just like he decides. He chose us to be his own people, because we are united with Christ. In the beginning, God had already decided that this was his purpose. 12 We were the first people to trust in Christ, God's special Messiah. God wanted us to show how great he is. He wanted people to praise him because of us. 13 You believers in Ephesus also heard God's true message. You heard the good news about how God saves you. When you believed in Christ, God gave his Holy Spirit to you. He had promised to do that, to show that you belong to him. 14 God has put his Holy Spirit inside us now. As a result, we know that one day we will receive all the good things that God has promised. At that time we will be completely free, because we belong to God. So we praise God and we say that he is great!

1:12Paul probably means the first Jewish believers.

Paul prays for the Ephesian Christians

15 People have told me that you continue to trust in the Lord Jesus. They have told me that you love all God's people. Because I have heard these good things about you, 16 I am always thanking God because of you. Whenever I pray to God, I always ask him to help you. 17 God is very great! He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that his Holy Spirit will make you wise. I pray that his Holy Spirit will help you to understand what God is like. Then you will know God better and better. 18 I pray that God will bring light into your minds. Then you will understand about the many good things that he has prepared for you. You know that you will receive those things because he has chosen you to be his people. God has prepared very valuable things for you in heaven. 19 You will also know how very powerful God is. He uses that power to help us now, as we trust in Christ.

God's power is greater than anything we could ever know. 20 He used that power to raise Christ, so that he became alive again after his death. Then he gave Christ a place to sit at his right side in heaven. 21 There, Christ rules over every other ruler and leader. He rules over everything else that has authority. He is greater than any power which people respect. That is true for the rulers of this world now, and also the rulers of the world that will come. 22 God has put all things under Christ's authority. He has made Christ the ruler over all things. He has done this to help his people, the church. 23 The church is like Christ's body and he is its head. Christ fills all things everywhere and he causes the church to become complete.

1:20The right side is the most important place.