1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus,1:1 Some early manuscripts do not have in Ephesus. the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he1:4,5 Or sight in love. 5 He predestined us for adoption to sonship1:5 The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture. through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9he1:8,9 Or us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11In him we were also chosen,1:11 Or were made heirs having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit1:17 Or a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I am an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned.
I am sending this letter to you, God’s holy people in Ephesus. Because you belong to Christ Jesus, you are faithful.
2May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
Praise God for His Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Those blessings come from the heavenly world. They belong to us because we belong to Christ. 4God chose us to belong to Christ before the world was created. He chose us to be holy and without blame in his eyes. He loved us. 5So he decided long ago to adopt us. He adopted us as his children with all the rights children have. He did it because of what Jesus Christ has done. It pleased God to do it. 6All those things bring praise to his glorious grace. God freely gave us his grace because of the One he loves. 7We have been set free because of what Christ has done. Because he bled and died our sins have been forgiven. We have been set free because God’s grace is so rich. 8He poured his grace on us. By giving us great wisdom and understanding, 9he showed us the mystery of his plan. It was in keeping with what he wanted to do. It was what he had planned through Christ. 10It will all come about when history has been completed. God will then bring together all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11We were also chosen to belong to him. God decided to choose us long ago in keeping with his plan. He works out everything to fit his plan and purpose. 12We were the first to put our hope in Christ. We were chosen to bring praise to his glory. 13You also became believers in Christ. That happened when you heard the message of truth. It was the good news about how you could be saved. When you believed, he stamped you with an official mark. That official mark is the Holy Spirit that he promised. 14The Spirit marks us as God’s own. We can now be sure that someday we will receive all that God has promised. That will happen after God sets all his people completely free. All these things will bring praise to his glory.
Paul Prays and Gives Thanks
15I have heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus. I have also heard about your love for all God’s people. That is why 16I have not stopped thanking God for you. I always remember you in my prayers. 17I pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the glorious Father. I keep asking him to give you the wisdom and understanding that come from the Holy Spirit. I want you to know God better. 18I pray that you may understand more clearly. Then you will know the hope God has chosen you to receive. You will know that what God will give his holy people is rich and glorious. 19And you will know God’s great power. It can’t be compared with anything else. His power works for us who believe. It is the same mighty strength 20God showed. He showed this when he raised Christ from the dead. God seated him at his right hand in his heavenly kingdom. 21There Christ sits far above all who rule and have authority. He also sits far above all powers and kings. He is above every name that is appealed to in this world and in the world to come. 22God placed all things under Christ’s rule. He appointed him to be ruler over everything for the church. 23The church is Christ’s body and is filled by Christ. He fills everything in every way.