Ephesians 1:3-14

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.