Paul’s Work in Telling the Good News
3 ·So [For this reason] I, Paul, a prisoner [C Paul is probably writing from house arrest in Rome, about ad 60; see Acts 28:30–31] of Christ Jesus ·for [for the sake of] you Gentiles—[C Paul is about to pray for the Ephesians, but instead digresses into a description of his ministry until v. 14]. 2 Surely you have heard that God gave me this ·work [task; stewardship; commission] ·to tell you about his grace [L of God’s grace for you]. 3 He let me know his ·secret [mystery; 1:9] by ·showing it to me [revelation]. I have already written ·a little [briefly] about this [C either earlier in this letter or previously]. 4 ·If you read what I wrote then [or By reading this], you can see that I truly understand the ·secret [mystery] ·about [or revealed by; or that consists of; L of] ·Christ [or the Messiah]. 5 ·People [L The sons of men; C a Hebrew way of referring to people] who lived in other ·times [generations] were not told that secret. But now, through the Spirit, God has ·shown [revealed] that secret to his holy apostles and prophets. 6 This is that ·secret [mystery]: that through the ·Good News [Gospel] the Gentiles ·will share with the Jews in God’s blessing [L are co-heirs]. They belong to the same body, and they share together in the promise that God made in Christ Jesus.
7 By God’s special gift of grace given to me through ·his power [L the working out/exercise of his power], I became a servant ·to tell that Good News [of this Gospel]. 8 I am the least important of all ·God’s people [T the saints], but God gave me this ·gift [or grace]—to tell the Gentiles the ·Good News [Gospel] about the riches of Christ, which are ·too great to understand fully [unfathomable; or boundless]. 9 And God gave me the work of ·telling [making plain; enlightening] all people about the ·plan for [administration of; C the same word translated “work” in v. 2] his ·secret [mystery], which has been hidden ·in [or by] him ·since the beginning of time [L from the ages]. He is the One who created everything. 10 His purpose was that through the church all the rulers and powers in the heavenly ·world [realm; places; 1:3, 20; 2:6] will now know God’s ·wisdom, which has so many forms [multi-faceted/multi-dimensional wisdom]. 11 ·This agrees with [L …according to] ·the plan God had since the beginning of time [his eternal purpose/plan], which he accomplished ·through [or in] Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In Christ we ·can come before [have access to] God with ·freedom [boldness; freedom to speak] and ·without fear [with confidence]. We can do this ·through faith in Christ [or because of Christ’s faithfulness]. 13 So I ·ask you not to become [or pray that you would not be] discouraged because of the ·sufferings [trials] I am having for you. My ·sufferings [trials; affliction] are ·for your glory [to bring you honor/eternal glory].
The Love of Christ
14 So [C Paul begins again the prayer he started in v. 1] I ·bow in prayer [kneel] before the Father 15 from whom ·every [or the whole] ·family [C a play on words, since the words “father” and “family” are related] in heaven and on earth gets its true name. 16 I ask the Father ·in his great glory [or from the treasures of his glory; or out of his glorious riches] to give you the power to be strong ·inwardly [L in the inner person] through his Spirit. 17 I pray that Christ will ·live [make his home] in your hearts by faith and that your life will be ·strong in love and be built on love [L rooted and grounded in love]. 18 And I pray that you and all ·God’s holy people [T the saints] will have the power to ·understand [comprehend; grasp] the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is ·greater than anyone can ever know [beyond comprehension/knowledge], but I pray that you will be able to know that love. ·Then [L …so that] you can be filled with the fullness of God.
20 ·Glory be to God, who can [L Now to the One who is able to] do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine through his power working in us. 21 To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all ·time [generations], forever and ever. Amen.
New International Version
God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles
3 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner(A) of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me(B) for you, 3 that is, the mystery(C) made known to me by revelation,(D) as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight(E) into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.(F) 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs(G) together with Israel, members together of one body,(H) and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.(I)
7 I became a servant of this gospel(J) by the gift of God’s grace given me(K) through the working of his power.(L) 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people,(M) this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles(N) the boundless riches of Christ,(O) 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery,(P) which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God(Q) should be made known(R) to the rulers and authorities(S) in the heavenly realms,(T) 11 according to his eternal purpose(U) that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God(V) with freedom and confidence.(W) 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
A Prayer for the Ephesians
14 For this reason I kneel(X) before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches(Y) he may strengthen you with power(Z) through his Spirit in your inner being,(AA) 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts(AB) through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted(AC) and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people,(AD) to grasp how wide and long and high and deep(AE) is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge(AF)—that you may be filled(AG) to the measure of all the fullness of God.(AH)
20 Now to him who is able(AI) to do immeasurably more than all we ask(AJ) or imagine, according to his power(AK) that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.(AL)
- Ephesians 3:15 The Greek for family (patria) is derived from the Greek for father (pater).