Ephesians 3The Voice (VOICE)
For Paul there are two kinds of people: Jews and Gentiles, or to put it another way, insiders and outsiders. The Prince of Peace is establishing peace where division and hostility once ruled unchallenged. In the Jerusalem temple, a stone wall separated Jewish from non-Jewish worshipers. According to Paul, the cross is God’s instrument to dismantle the wall, end the segregation, and make the two into one. God wants one people of God. That has been His plan all along.
Today walls continue to exist, erected strategically to separate people by race, religion, class, culture, and sex. Those who erect these walls, protect them, and maintain them will find that they are enemies of the gospel that brings all together into one worshiping family.
3 All this is exactly why I, Paul, am a prisoner of Jesus the Anointed, His representative to the outsider nations. 2 You have heard, haven’t you, how God appointed me to bring you His message of grace? 3 And how the mystery was made known to me in a revelation? I briefly wrote about it earlier. 4 When you read what I have written, you will be better able to understand the depth of my insight into the mystery of the Anointed One, 5 a mystery that has never before been shown to past generations. Only now are these secrets being revealed to God’s chosen emissaries[a] and prophets through the Holy Spirit. 6 Specifically, the mystery is this: by trusting in the good news, the Gentile outsiders are becoming fully enfranchised members of the same body, heirs alongside Israel, and beneficiaries of the promise that has been fulfilled through Jesus the Anointed.
7 I became a servant and preacher of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace as He exercised His amazing power over me. 8 I cannot think of anyone more unworthy to this cause than I, the least of the least of the saints. But here I am, a grace-made man, privileged to be an echo of His voice and a preacher to all the nations of the riches of the Anointed One, riches that no one ever imagined. 9 I am privileged to enlighten all of Adam’s descendants to the mystery concealed from previous ages by God, the Creator of all, through Jesus the Anointed. 10 Here’s His objective: through the church, He intends now to make known His infinite and boundless wisdom to all rulers and authorities in heavenly realms. 11 This has been His plan from the beginning, one that He has now accomplished through the Anointed One, Jesus our Lord. 12 His faithfulness[b] to God has made it possible for us to have the courage we need and the ability to approach the Father confidently. 13 So I ask you not to become discouraged because I am jailed for speaking out on your behalf. In fact, my suffering is something that brings you glory.
14 It is for this reason that I bow my knees before the Father, 15 after whom all families in heaven above and on earth below receive their names, and pray:
16 Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen Your people. Fill their souls with the power of Your Spirit 17 so that through faith the Anointed One will reside in their hearts. May love be the rich soil where their lives take root. May it be the bedrock where their lives are founded so that together 18-19 with all of Your people they will have the power to understand that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep, surpassing everything anyone previously experienced. God, may Your fullness flood through their entire beings.
This is a doxology of praise to the One with power that is beyond understanding.
20 Now to the God who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things, things greater than we ever could ask or imagine through the power at work in us, 21 to Him be all glory in the church and in Jesus the Anointed from this generation to the next, forever and ever. Amen.
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