God’s Wonderful Plan for the Gentiles
1I, Paul, am a prisoner because of Christ Jesus. I am in prison because of my work among you who are Gentiles.
2I am sure you have heard that God appointed me to share his grace with you. 3I’m talking about the mystery God showed me. I have already written a little about it. 4By reading about this mystery, you will be able to understand what I know. You will know about the mystery of Christ. 5The mystery was not made known to people of other times. But now the Holy Spirit has made this mystery known to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6Here is the mystery. Because of the good news, God’s promises are for Gentiles as well as for Jews. Both groups are parts of one body. They share in the promise. It belongs to them because they belong to Christ Jesus.
7I now serve the good news because God gave me his grace. His power is at work in me. 8I am by far the least important of all the Lord’s holy people. But he gave me the grace to preach to the Gentiles about the unlimited riches that Christ gives. 9God told me to make clear to everyone how the mystery came about. In times past it was kept hidden in the mind of God, who created all things. 10He wanted the rulers and authorities in the heavenly world to come to know his great wisdom. The church would make it known to them. 11That was God’s plan from the beginning. He has fulfilled his plan through Christ Jesus our Lord. 12Through him and through faith in him we can approach God. We can come to him freely. We can come without fear. 13So here is what I’m asking you to do. Don’t lose hope because I am suffering for you. It will lead to the time when God will give you his glory.
Paul Prays for the Ephesians
14I bow in prayer to the Father because of my work among you. 15From the Father every family in heaven and on earth gets its name. 16I pray that he will use his glorious riches to make you strong. May his Holy Spirit give you his power deep down inside you. 17Then Christ will live in your hearts because you believe in him. And I pray that your love will have deep roots. I pray that it will have a strong foundation. 18May you have power together with all the Lord’s holy people to understand Christ’s love. May you know how wide and long and high and deep it is. 19And may you know his love, even though it can’t be known completely. Then you will be filled with everything God has for you.
20God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine. He does everything by his power that is working in us. 21Give him glory in the church and in Christ Jesus. Give him glory through all time and for ever and ever. Amen.