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Paul’s Introduction

Dear friends,

My name is Paul, and I was chosen by God to be an apostle of Jesus, the Messiah. I’m writing this letter to all the devoted believers[a] who have been made holy[b] by being one with Jesus, the Anointed One.

May God himself, the heavenly Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, release grace over you and impart total well-being[c] into your lives.

Our Sonship and the Father’s Plan

Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm has already been lavished upon us as a love gift from our wonderful heavenly Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus—all because he sees us wrapped into Christ. This is why we celebrate him[d] with all our hearts!

And in love he chose us before he laid the foundation of the universe![e] Because of his great love, he ordained us, so that we would be seen as holy in his eyes with an unstained innocence.

5–6 For it was always in his perfect plan[f] to adopt[g] us as his delightful children, through our union with Jesus, the Anointed One, so that his tremendous love that cascades over us would glorify his grace[h]—for the same love he has for the Beloved, Jesus, he has for us. And this unfolding plan brings him great pleasure!

Since we are now joined to Christ, we have been given the treasures of redemption by his blood—the total cancellation[i] of our sins—all because of the cascading riches[j] of his grace. This superabundant grace is already powerfully working in us,[k] releasing all forms of wisdom and practical understanding. And through the revelation of the Anointed One, he unveiled his secret desires to us—the hidden mystery of his long-range plan, which he was delighted to implement from the very beginning of time. 10 And because of God’s unfailing purpose, this detailed plan will reign supreme through every period of time until the fulfillment of all the ages finally reaches its climax—when God makes all things new[l] in all of heaven and earth through Jesus Christ.

11 Through our union with Christ we too have been claimed by God as his own inheritance.[m] Before we were even born, he gave us our destiny;[n] that we would fulfill the plan of God who always accomplishes every purpose and plan in his heart. 12 God’s purpose was that we Jews, who were the first to long for the messianic hope, would be the first to believe in the Anointed One and bring great praise and glory to God!

13 And because of him, when you who are not Jews heard the revelation[o] of truth, you believed in the wonderful news of salvation. Now we have been stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.[p]

14 He is given to us like an engagement ring,[q] as the first installment of what’s coming! He is our hope-promise of a future inheritance[r] which seals us until we have all of redemption’s promises and experience complete freedom—all for the supreme glory and honor of God!

Paul Prays for the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation

15 Because of this, since I first heard about your strong faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and your tender love toward all his devoted ones, 16 my heart is always full and overflowing with thanks to God for you as I constantly remember you in my prayers.[s] 17 I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to you the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation[t] to know him through your deepening intimacy with him.

18 I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination,[u] flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling[v]—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy ones!

19 I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you! This is the mighty power 20 that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted him[w] to the place of highest honor and supreme authority[x] in the heavenly realm! 21 And now he is exalted as first above every ruler, authority, government, and realm of power in existence! He is gloriously enthroned over every name that is ever praised,[y] not only in this age,[z] but in the age that is coming![aa]

22 And he alone is the leader and source of everything needed in the church. God has put everything beneath the authority of Jesus Christ[ab] and has given him the highest rank above all others. 23 And now we, his church, are his body on the earth and that which fills him who is being filled by it![ac]


  1. 1:2 Recent manuscripts add the words “those who are in Ephesus.” The oldest manuscripts have “to the Ephesians” written in the margin. This would reinforce the theory that it is meant to be read and distributed to all the churches. Although the book bears the name “Ephesians,” some scholars believe that this letter could be the missing letter to the Laodiceans mentioned in Col. 4:16. Regardless, Ephesians contains crucial truths for believers worldwide.
  2. 1:2 Or “to the saints [holy ones] and the faithful in Christ Jesus.” Notice that God is the one who makes us holy, but our response is to be “faithful” (or “devoted”).
  3. 1:2 Or “peace.” The Hebrew concept of peace means much more than tranquility.
  4. 1:3 Or “bless” (or “blessed be God”).
  5. 1:4 There is an alternate Greek translation of the unique wording of this verse that could be translated “He chose us to be a ‘word’ before the fall of the world.” The Greek word for “chose” is eklegomai, which is a form of lego (speak). The word for “fall” (Adam’s fall) is kataboles, which can mean “falling down,” but is usually translated as “foundation” (of the world).
  6. 1:5–6 Or “He marked out our horizon [destiny] beforehand.”
  7. 1:5–6 The Aramaic reads “to establish us.”
  8. 1:5–6 Or “to praise upon praise of the glory of his grace.”
  9. 1:7 Or “forgiveness.” The Greek word aphesis means “to send away” or “to set free” (from bondage).
  10. 1:7 The Greek word for “riches” (ploutos) is also used to describe God’s wisdom and knowledge in Rom. 11:33. Just as God is all-knowing and has all-wisdom, so he has untold riches of grace available for his children.
  11. 1:8 Or “lavished on us.”
  12. 1:10 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek text states “God will gather together all things in fulfillment in Christ.” That is, God will unite all things under the headship of Christ.
  13. 1:11 The Greek construction of this phrase can mean either that God appointed us (Gr. klēroō, chosen by casting lots) to be his inheritance, or that we have been appointed an inheritance.
  14. 1:11 Or “estate.”
  15. 1:13 The Greek text is logos or “word of God.”
  16. 1:13 Some Aramaic manuscripts add here “who was announced by the angels.”
  17. 1:14 The Greek word used here can be translated “pledge,” “down payment” or “engagement ring.”
  18. 1:14 The Aramaic word used for “inheritance” can also be translated “dividend.”
  19. 1:16 The literal Aramaic text can be translated “I began confessing on your behalf and praying.”
  20. 1:17 Or “discovery.”
  21. 1:18 Or “innermost” (heart).
  22. 1:18 Or “to which he is calling you.”
  23. 1:20 Or “he seated him” (enthroned).
  24. 1:20 Or “at his right hand,” a metaphor for the place of honor and authority.
  25. 1:21 As translated from the Aramaic.
  26. 1:21 The Aramaic word can be translated “universe.”
  27. 1:21 As translated from the Aramaic.
  28. 1:22 Both Greek and Aramaic texts use the figure of speech “under his feet,” which means he has conquered, subdued, and now rules over them.
  29. 1:23 That is, as we are those who are filled (completed) by Christ, we also complete (fill) him. What a wonderful and humbling mystery is revealed by this verse.