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 continue to believe in Christ Jesus, and you obey 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 has given so very much to us in Christ

3 We should thank the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ very, very much! He has been so very good to us! He has given to us every good spiritual thing in heaven because we are united with Christ! 4 This is true because he chose us to belong to Christ. God chose us in Christ before he made the world. He chose us in Christ to be completely good. So now, God thinks that there is nothing wrong with us. God loved us. 5 So he had already decided to bring us to himself to be his sons by Jesus Christ. He decided to do this because it made him very happy. 6 We should thank him so very much because he is so great and kind to us. God has been so kind to us by his son, whom he loves so much. 7 Christ bought us, by his blood, to make us free. In Christ, God has forgiven all the wrong things that we do. God has done these great things because he is so very kind to us.

8 He has done so very much on our behalf because he knew everything about us. He understood what we really needed. 9 God has shown to us the secret things that he himself wanted to do. He has shown his own secret purpose that makes him very happy. 10 God will finish what he wants to do when the time is completely right. At that time, he will bring everything together to be one thing. The things that are in heaven, and the things that are on earth will become one thing together. Christ will rule over them all.

11 In Christ also, God chose us to be his own people. God had already decided that this was his purpose. And he does all things as a result of what he himself has decided to do. 12 God wanted us to show how very great and good he is. We show this after we have first hoped certainly because of Christ. 13 And you also became united with Christ after you heard the true message. You heard the good news about how God saves you. Then, when you believed, God gave his Spirit to you. He gave his own Spirit, as he had promised to do. He gave his Spirit to you to show certainly that you belong to him. 14 God's Spirit is the first part of what God will give to us. God has bought us to be his own people. God gives his Spirit to us until he makes us completely free. And then we will thank God. We will show how very great and good he is.

Christ is the head of his body

15 People have told me about how you continue to believe the Lord Jesus. They have told me that you love all God's people. So, since I have heard these things about you, 16 I never stop thanking God because of you. And when I pray, I remember to pray on your behalf. 17 I pray to the very great and good Father, who is the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that he will cause you to understand things by his Spirit. I ask God to show things to you by his Spirit, so that you can really know him. 18 I pray that God will open your minds. So then you will understand what he has chosen to give to you. You will know the good things that he has caused you to hope for certainly. You will know what very rich and great things he has prepared for his people. 19 And you will know how very, very powerful God is to us.

He is more powerful than anyone or anything else in us who believe him. God works in us by the same strong power 20 as he did in Christ. He worked powerfully to raise Christ, so that he became alive again after his death. God worked powerfully so that he caused Christ to sit at his right side in heaven. 21 There, Christ rules over every other ruler and over everything else that has any authority. Christ is much, much greater than any other power or any other master. He rules over every name that any person or spirit uses to have authority. Christ rules over them now, in this world. And he will rule over them in the world that will come. 22 God has put all things under Christ's authority. He has made Christ the head over all things. He has done this to help his people, the church. 23 The church is like Christ's body and he is the body's head. The church is full of Christ, and Christ fills all things everywhere.