Ephesians 3 Expanded Bible (EXB)
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.
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