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Ephesians 3

God has chosen Paul to help the Gentiles

1 I, Paul, am in prison because Christ Jesus has sent me to help you Gentiles. 2 Certainly, you must have heard that God has chosen me to help you. He has chosen me to work on your behalf because he is so very kind. 3 God has caused me to know his secret because he has shown it to me. I have written a few words about this already. 4 When you read these words, you will be able to understand that I know the secret about Christ. 5 God never showed this secret to the people who lived before this time. But now God's Spirit has shown it to the special workers and teachers that God has chosen. He has shown this secret also to the people who speak God's messages. 6 This secret is that the Gentiles, together with the Jews, will receive good things from God. The Gentiles can belong to the same body as the Jews. By the good news, the Gentiles can receive what God promised in Christ Jesus.

7 I became a servant, to tell the good news, because God gave that special work to me. God himself worked powerfully in me because he is so kind. 8 I am the least important of all God's people. But still, God has given this special work to me because he is so kind. He has sent me to tell the Gentiles about the great things that are ours because of Christ. God gives such good things to us in Christ because Christ is so very rich. These things are more valuable than anyone could ever know.

9 God sent me also to make clear to everyone how he would cause his secret thing to happen. God, who made all things, hid this secret during past times. 10 His purpose was to show now, at this time, how completely he understands everything. He wanted the spiritual rulers, that have authority in the heavens, to know this. They would know it by the church. 11 This had always been God's purpose. And he made it happen by Christ Jesus, our Lord. 12 Because we are united with Christ, we are sure enough to come near to God. We do not need to be afraid, but instead we can be sure. We can come to God because Christ himself has caused us to believe. 13 I have troubles and pain on your behalf. But I ask you not to let yourselves become afraid or weak because of that. No, but instead be happy, because my troubles and pain will help you.

Paul prays for the Christians at Ephesus to be strong

14 For this reason, then, I go down on my knees to pray to the Father, 15 from whom every family gets its name. Every family, in heaven and on earth, receives its true name from him. 16 I pray that he will work powerfully by his Spirit to make you strong inside yourselves. I ask him to do this because he is so very great and rich. 17 I pray that Christ will live inside you, because you believe in him. I pray that your roots will go down deep into God's love. So then you will be strong. 18 You will be strong to understand, with all God's people, how very much God loves. You will be able to understand how wide and long and high and deep God's love is. 19 You will know how very, very much Christ loves. He loves us more than anyone can ever really know. And then, because you know this, God will fill you completely with himself.

20 God is able to do much more than we could ever ask for. He is able to do so very much more than we could even think about. He does such great things because he works so powerfully in us. 21 God is great! We are his church and we belong to Christ Jesus. We praise him! He is great now and he will be great for all time. That is true!