The Message

Ephesians 1

11-2 I, Paul, am under God’s plan as an apostle, a special agent of Christ Jesus, writing to you faithful believers in Ephesus. I greet you with the grace and peace poured into our lives by God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.

The God of Glory

3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

13-14 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

15-19 That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

20-23 All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Traditional)

以弗所書 1

1我是奉上帝旨意作基督耶穌使徒的保羅,寫信給以弗所忠於基督耶穌的眾聖徒。

願我們的父上帝和主耶穌基督賜給你們恩典和平安!

基督徒的屬靈恩福

讚美我們主耶穌基督的父上帝!祂在基督裡賜給了我們天上各樣屬靈的恩福。 早在創造世界以前,祂已經在基督裡揀選了我們,使我們在祂眼中成為聖潔無瑕的人。

上帝因為愛我們,就按照祂自己美好的旨意,預定我們藉著耶穌基督得到作祂兒女的名分。 我們讚美祂奇妙無比的恩典,這恩典是上帝藉著祂的愛子賜給我們的。 我們藉著祂愛子的血蒙救贖,過犯得到赦免,這都是出於祂的洪恩。 上帝用各種智慧和聰明把這恩典豐豐富富地賜給我們, 照著祂在基督裡所定的美好計劃叫我們知道祂旨意的奧祕, 10 等所定的時候一到,叫天地萬物一同歸在基督的名下。

11 我們也在基督裡被揀選成為祂的子民。這都是按自己旨意行萬事的上帝預先定下的計劃, 12 好讓我們這些首先在基督裡得到盼望的人都來頌讚祂的榮耀。

13 你們聽過真理之道,就是那使你們得救的福音,而且也信了基督。你們既然信祂,就領受了上帝應許賜下的聖靈為印記。 14 聖靈是我們領受產業的擔保,直到上帝的子民得到救贖,使祂的榮耀受到頌讚。

保羅的禱告

15 我聽到你們對主耶穌的信心和對眾聖徒的愛心後, 16 不斷地為你們感謝上帝,禱告的時候常常提到你們。 17 我求我們主耶穌基督的上帝——榮耀的父把賜智慧和啟示的靈給你們,好使你們更深地認識祂。 18 我也求上帝照亮你們心中的眼睛,使你們知道祂的呼召給你們帶來了何等的盼望,祂應許賜給眾聖徒的產業有何等豐富的榮耀, 19 並且祂在我們這些信的人身上所運行的能力是何等浩大。 20 上帝曾用這大能使基督從死裡復活,使基督在天上坐在自己右邊, 21 遠遠超越今生永世所有執政的、掌權的、有能力的、作主宰的和一切的權勢。 22 祂又使萬物降服在基督腳下,使基督為教會作萬物的元首。 23 教會是基督的身體,蘊涵著那無所不在、充滿萬物者的豐盛。