Paul's letter to the Ephesian people
Paul wrote to God's people in Ephesus and he told them that they should all live in one group together with Jesus Christ. They should always remember that Jesus Christ loves them and that he is very kind and forgives them for the wrong they have done.
I, Paul, am writing this letter to send to all you God's people who live in Ephesus. God chose me as an apostle to work for Jesus Christ. So now I am writing this to you who trust in him.
I pray that our Father God and Jesus Christ our Lord will be kind to you people in Ephesus, and give you peace.
About the good things God has freely given us
Let us praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is very kind, and he has freely given us good things from heaven. He has given us those good things for our spirits, because we have fellowship with Christ.
Long, long ago, before God made the world, he chose us to be his own people, because we have fellowship with Christ. God wants to keep us separate for himself and to make us perfect. He loved us so much, that he decided long ago that he would make us his people, because Jesus Christ would save us. This is what God wanted in the beginning and what pleased him.
Let us praise God, because he is very kind and he has freely given us Jesus Christ, the Son he loves so much.
Christ died for us. He poured out his blood for us and set us free. So God has forgiven our sins. He is very kind to us. Yes, he is really kind to us.
God is very wise.
9-10 Because of that, long ago in the beginning, he decided to make Christ ruler. He said, “I will make Christ ruler, and he will be the most important ruler of all. He will rule over everything in heaven and on earth.” But we didn't know that word before. Then at last God showed himself to us and sent Christ into the world. This is what he wanted and what pleased him. And so he let us know that he will make Christ ruler. When will God do that? We don't know, but God knows. But we do know that God will make Christ ruler over everything.
11-12 Some time ago we Jewish people who believed in God had fellowship with Christ. At that time God chose us to be his, because he had already decided it long before that. He is the one who controls everything as he has planned. So he chose us, who were the first to trust in Christ, so that we could praise him. And we will praise him because he is very wonderful.
13 And you too are God's people. You too heard the true message, the good news that Christ can save you, and now you believe in him. First of all God made a promise and said to you, “I will give you my Holy Spirit so that it will be a sign that you belong to me.” Then he gave the Spirit to you.
14 We know that God has already given his Spirit to us his people. Because of that we know that he will give us more good things for our spirits, and he will set us free forever. So let us praise God, because he is very wonderful.
Paul's prayer
15-16 Because of everything I have said to you, I keep thanking God today that you believe in the Lord Jesus. Before, when you first trusted Jesus, people told me about you. They said, “These Ephesian people love all God's people.” I thanked God then and I have kept on thanking him for that. And I keep praying to God for you, 17 the one who is the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is our Father and he is very great and so I am asking him to make you wise and show himself to you so that you will know him well. 18 And I am asking God to open your minds so that you will see his light. And I want you to hope in God and know that he will give us everything good for our spirits. He will give freely now and always.
19 I want you to know that God is very strong. No one else is so powerful. He is powerful and he will make us his people strong. 20 He was powerful when he made Christ come alive again. And he was powerful when he took Christ up into the heavens. He made him sit at his right hand because Christ is very great.
21 All rulers are important people. But even if they are very important, Christ is much greater than they are. He rules forever over all the rulers in the heavens and in this world. And his name is greater because he himself is greater. He is very great now and he always will be. 22 God has made Christ Lord over everything. He gave him to us so that he would become ruler over us who belong to God. 23 But Christ is not alone. We, God's people, are like his body and Christ is in all places and he works in all places.