1 [This letter is from] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, according to God's will, [and is being sent] to the saints [i.e., God's holy people] at Ephesus [Note: This was a major city in the western province of Asia Minor, and now a part of Turkey. The words "at Ephesus" are omitted in some manuscripts, suggesting it was a circular letter], and the faithful ones in [fellowship with] Christ Jesus [everywhere else ?].
3 May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be praised, for He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in [fellowship with] Christ. [Note: The term "heavenly realms" is used somewhat differently throughout this book. Here it refers to Christians as part of the church on earth]. 4 Even before the creation of the world God chose us, who are in [fellowship with] Christ, to be dedicated [to Him] and to be without just blame in His sight. Out of love 5 God predetermined that we should be [considered] His adopted children through [fellowship with] Christ. This is what pleased God and is what He wanted, 6 so that we would praise His glorious, unearned favor, which was freely given to us through the One whom God loved [i.e., Christ].
7 In [fellowship with] Christ we have redemption [i.e., we have been bought back from Satan] through His blood, and have forgiveness of sins according to the abundance of God's unearned favor, 8 which He lavished on us. [He used] wisdom and understanding, 9 in doing what He intended through Christ, to make known to us His secret plan, according to what pleased Him. 10 [He did this] to fulfill His plan at the proper time, by bringing together everything [in the universe] under Christ's headship --- things both in heaven and on earth.
11 It is in [fellowship with] Christ that we [Jewish Christians] also were selected as [God's] inheritance [i.e., to receive His never ending blessings], having been predetermined according to the plan of God, who works out everything in harmony with what He wants. 12 The end [i.e., of being so predetermined] was that we [Jewish Christians], who had previously placed our hope in Christ, should bring about the praise of God's splendor.
13 You [Gentiles] also, who are in Christ, after having heard the message of truth, the good news about your salvation, and [after] believing in Him, were sealed [i.e., as evidence of ownership] with the promised Holy Spirit. [or, "the Holy Spirit who brings promises"]. 14 He is a down payment of our inheritance, until God's own possession [i.e., His people] receives redemption. [Note: Here "redemption" refers to receiving a new body in heaven]. May this bring about praise to God's splendor.
15 For this reason also, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of the saints [i.e., God's holy people], 16 I do not stop thanking [God] for you. I keep asking, in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, will give you a spirit [i.e., a disposition] of wisdom and revelation [or, "give you the spiritual gifts of wisdom and revelation"], so you can have full knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your minds will be enlightened so that you will know what the hope is, to which God has called you, and what the glorious abundance is, of God's inheritance in the saints [Note: Paul wanted them to appreciate the value God placed on them], 19 and what God's tremendous power [working] in us believers is. [This power is] the same as that utilized by God's mighty strength,
20 which He exerted when raising Christ from the dead and seating Him at His right side in the heavenly realms [i.e., heaven itself]. 21 [There He is exalted] high above all rulers and authorities and powers and dominion and every name [i.e., title of honor] that can be given, not only in this present age but [also] in the one to come. 22 And God placed everything in subjection under His [i.e., Christ's] feet, and appointed Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His [spiritual] body. The church is completely filled by Christ [or, "Christ is completely filled by God"], who completely fills everything in every way.