Ephesians 1The Voice (VOICE)
2 May God the Father and the Lord Jesus the Anointed surround you with grace and peace.
This letter begins with praise and thanksgiving to
3 Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed One, who grants us every spiritual blessing in these heavenly realms where we live in the Anointed—not because of anything we have done, but because of what He has done for us. 4 God chose us to be in a relationship with Him even before He laid out plans for this world; He wanted us to live holy lives characterized by love, free from sin, and blameless before Him. 5 He destined us to be adopted as His children through the covenant Jesus the Anointed inaugurated in His sacrificial life. This was His pleasure and His will for us. 6 Ultimately God is the one worthy of praise for showing us His grace; He is merciful and marvelous, freely giving us these gifts in His Beloved. 7 Visualize this: His blood freely flowing down the cross, setting us free! We are forgiven for our sinful ways by the richness of His grace, 8 which He has poured all over us. With all wisdom and insight, 9 He has enlightened us to the great mystery at the center of His will. With immense pleasure, He laid out His intentions through Jesus, 10 a plan that will climax when the time is right as He returns to create order and unity—both in heaven and on earth—when all things are brought together under the Anointed’s royal rule. In Him 11 we stand to inherit even more. As His heirs, we are predestined to play a key role in His unfolding purpose that is energizing everything to conform to His will. 12 As a result, we—the first to place our hope in the Anointed One—will live in a way to bring Him glory and praise. 13 Because you, too, have heard the word of truth—the good news of your salvation—and because you believed in the One who is truth, your lives are marked with His seal. This is none other than the Holy Spirit who was promised 14 as the guarantee toward the inheritance we are to receive when He frees and rescues all who belong to Him. To God be all praise and glory!
This letter begins with praise and thanksgiving offered to God. Paul celebrates all the spiritual “blessings” available to all believers in Jesus, the Anointed One. This means that He is the one through whom God has acted to rescue the world. But more than that, He is the Lord to whom we belong and the spiritual place where all believers are presently located. In God’s purpose, heaven has come down to where we live so that we now occupy this wonderful realm where salvation is at work, where God’s truth and beauty are a reality, and where we wait as the rest of His plan is worked out.
15 This is why, when I heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus that is present in your community and of your great love for all God’s people, 16 I haven’t stopped thanking Him for you. I am continually speaking to Him on your behalf in my prayers. Here’s what I say:
17 God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, Father of Glory: I call out to You on behalf of Your people. Give them minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so they will truly know You. 18 Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance. 19 Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power.
Friends, it is this same might and resurrection power that 20 He used in the Anointed One to raise Him from the dead and to position Him at His right hand in heaven. There is nothing over Him. 21 He’s above all rule, authority, power, and dominion; over every name invoked, over every title bestowed in this age and the next. 22 God has placed all things beneath His feet and anointed Him as the head over all things for His church. 23 This church is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
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