Ephesians 1

1Greetings from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am an apostle because that is what God wanted. To God’s holy people living in Ephesus, believers in Christ Jesus. 2Grace ˻(kindness)˼ and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in heaven. 4In Christ, God chose us before the world was made. God chose us in love to be his holy people—people with no wrong in us before him. 5And before the world was made, God decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. That was what God wanted to do. That pleased him. 6And this brings praise to God because of his wonderful grace ˻(kindness)˼. God gave that grace to us freely. He gave us that grace in ˻Christ,˼ the One he loves. 7In Christ we are made free by Christ’s blood ˻(death)˼. We have forgiveness of sins because of God’s rich grace. 8God gave us that grace fully and freely. God, with full wisdom and understanding, 9let us know his secret plan. This was what God wanted. And he planned to do it through Christ. 10God’s goal was to finish his plan when the right time came. God planned that all things in heaven and on earth be joined together with Christ as the head. 11In Christ we were chosen ˻to be God’s people˼. God had already planned for us to be his people, because that is what God wanted. And God is the One who makes everything agree with what he decides and wants. 12We Jews were the first people who hoped in Christ. And we were chosen so that we would bring praise to God’s glory. 13It is the same with you people. You heard the true teaching—the Good News about your salvation. When you heard that Good News, you believed in Christ. And in Christ, God put his special mark on you by giving you the Holy Spirit that he promised. 14That Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will get the things God promised for his people. This will bring full freedom to those people who belong to God. The goal of all this is to bring praise to God’s glory. 15- 16That is why I always remember you in my prayers and always thank God for you. I have always done this since the time I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people. 17I always pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ—to the glorious Father. I pray that he will give you the Spirit that will show you things about God and help you understand them. Then you will really know God. 18I pray that God will open your minds to see his truth. Then you will know the hope that God has chosen us to have. You will know that the blessings God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious. 19And you will know that God’s power is very great for us who believe. That power is the same as the great strength 20that God used to raise Christ from death. God put Christ at his right side in the heavenly places. 21God made Christ more important than all rulers, authorities, powers, and kings. Christ is more important than anything that has power in this world or in the next world. 22God put everything under Christ’s power. And God gave him to be the head ˻(ruler)˼ over everything for the church. 23The church is Christ’s body. The church is filled with Christ. He makes everything complete in every way.

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