3 I, Paul, the servant of Christ, am here in jail because of you—for preaching that you Gentiles are a part of God’s house. 2-3 No doubt you already know that God has given me this special work of showing God’s favor to you Gentiles, as I briefly mentioned before in one of my letters. God himself showed me this secret plan of his, that the Gentiles, too, are included in his kindness. 4 I say this to explain to you how I know about these things. 5 In olden times God did not share this plan with his people, but now he has revealed it by the Holy Spirit to his apostles and prophets.
6 And this is the secret: that the Gentiles will have their full share with the Jews in all the riches inherited by God’s sons; both are invited to belong to his Church, and all of God’s promises of mighty blessings through Christ apply to them both when they accept the Good News about Christ and what he has done for them. 7 God has given me the wonderful privilege of telling everyone about this plan of his; and he has given me his power and special ability to do it well.
8 Just think! Though I did nothing to deserve it, and though I am the most useless Christian there is, yet I was the one chosen for this special joy of telling the Gentiles the Glad News of the endless treasures available to them in Christ; 9 and to explain to everyone that God is the Savior of the Gentiles too, just as he who made all things had secretly planned from the very beginning.
10 And his reason? To show to all the rulers in heaven how perfectly wise he is when all of his family—Jews and Gentiles alike—are seen to be joined together in his Church 11 in just the way he had always planned it through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Now we can come fearlessly right into God’s presence, assured of his glad welcome when we come with Christ and trust in him.
13 So please don’t lose heart at what they are doing to me here. It is for you I am suffering, and you should feel honored and encouraged.
14-15 When I think of the wisdom and scope of his plan, I fall down on my knees and pray to the Father of all the great family of God—some of them already in heaven and some down here on earth— 16 that out of his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit. 17 And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; 18-19 and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God himself.
20 Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. 21 May he be given glory forever and ever through endless ages because of his master plan of salvation for the Church through Jesus Christ.
The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.