Ephesians 3

God has chosen Paul to help the Gentiles

1 That is why I pray for you. I, Paul, am in prison because I serve Christ Jesus. He has sent me to help you Gentiles. 2 You must have heard that God has chosen me to do that. He has been very kind to give me this work to help you. 3 God has clearly shown to me his true purpose. That was a secret before, but God has helped me to know it. I have written a few words about this already. 4 When you read those words, you will be able to understand. I have come to know God's true message about Christ. 5 God did not tell this secret message to the people who lived before us. But now the Holy Spirit has shown it to God's apostles and prophets. 6 This is the message of God's good news: Gentiles, as well as Jews, may receive the good things that God has prepared for his children. We may all belong to the same group of God's people, like we are his body. Everyone who is united with Christ Jesus receives the good things that God has promised.

7 I tell that good news to other people, because God chose me to serve him in that way. That was God's gift to me, because he is so kind. God uses his great power to help me in that work. 8 I am the least important of all God's people. But God has given this special work to me because he is so kind. He has sent me to tell his good news to the Gentiles. Then they know about the many valuable things that Christ has prepared for us.

9 I help everyone to know how God makes his purpose happen. God himself made all things, and he has hidden this secret during past times. 10 But now God wants the people of his church to show everyone how wise he is in every way. He wants the spiritual rulers and everything that has authority in the heavens to know this. 11 This had always been God's purpose, from the beginning of all things. And it was our Lord Christ Jesus who made it happen.

12 Because we are united with Christ, we can come near to God. We are not afraid to do that. We can be sure that God will accept us, because we trust in Christ. 13 So, do not become weak or afraid. I am now receiving troubles so that I can help you. So you should be strong, so that God will bless you.

Paul prays for the Christians at Ephesus

14 Yes, that is why I pray for you. I go down on my knees to pray to God, our Father. 15 Every family, those in heaven and those on earth, receives its true name from him. 16 I pray that God will cause you to be strong in your spirits. God has great and valuable things in heaven to help you. I pray that God's Spirit will help you with God's own power. 17 I pray that Christ will make his home in you, as you believe in him. Then you will know God's love very well. You will be like trees that have roots which go down deep into God's love. That will make you strong. 18 Then you will understand, with all God's people, how much Christ loves us. That love is very wide and long and high and deep! 19 Christ's love for us is so great that nobody can ever completely know it. As you understand this more and more, God's own nature will completely fill you.

20 We praise God, who causes his power to work in us. In that way, he is able to do much more than we could ever ask for. He can do much more than we could even think about. 21 We want all God's people to know that God is great! Everyone who belongs to his church and who trusts in Christ Jesus should praise him! We should praise him always and for ever. Amen. That is true!