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.

New American Standard Bible

Ephesians 1

The Blessings of Redemption

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus [a]by the will of God,

To the [b]saints who are [c]at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before [d]Him. In love [e]He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the [f]kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In [g]Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He [h]lavished on [i]us. In all wisdom and insight He [j]made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His [k]kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration [l]suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things [m]in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 [n]also we [o]have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in [p]Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In [q]Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also [r]believed, you were sealed in [s]Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is [t]given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and [u]your love for all the [v]saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the [w]knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart [x]may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the [y]saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Footnotes

  1. Ephesians 1:1 Lit through
  2. Ephesians 1:1 Or holy ones
  3. Ephesians 1:1 Three early mss do not contain at Ephesus
  4. Ephesians 1:4 Or Him, in love
  5. Ephesians 1:5 Lit having predestined
  6. Ephesians 1:5 Lit good pleasure
  7. Ephesians 1:7 Lit whom
  8. Ephesians 1:8 Lit made abundant toward
  9. Ephesians 1:8 Or us, in all wisdom and insight
  10. Ephesians 1:9 Lit making known
  11. Ephesians 1:9 Lit good pleasure
  12. Ephesians 1:10 Lit of
  13. Ephesians 1:10 Lit upon
  14. Ephesians 1:11 Lit in whom also
  15. Ephesians 1:11 Or were made a heritage
  16. Ephesians 1:12 I.e. the Messiah
  17. Ephesians 1:13 Lit whom
  18. Ephesians 1:13 Or believed in Him, you were sealed
  19. Ephesians 1:13 Lit whom
  20. Ephesians 1:14 Or a down payment
  21. Ephesians 1:15 Three early mss do not contain your love
  22. Ephesians 1:15 V 1, note 2
  23. Ephesians 1:17 Or true knowledge
  24. Ephesians 1:18 Lit being
  25. Ephesians 1:18 Or holy ones