EPHESIANS

An Amplified Paraphrase

Chapter 1
My beloved Ephesians. I, Paul, am writing this letter to you, Paul the Apostle of Christ Jesus, a title and a ministry I do not have by my own choice but by the will of God. I am writing to you, God's holy people whose earthly home is in the great city of Ephesus, but whose spiritual home is in Christ Jesus because you have put your faith in him and committed yourselves to him. [2] I wish you grace and peace, the precious gifts than come only from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. [3] Blessed indeed, and worthy of our thanks and praise, is God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he has blessed us, and all those whose true home is in Christ in the heavenly realms, with every blessing that his Holy Spirit can give us. [4] Above all, he chose us for himself, just as Jesus in his earthly ministry chose his 12 disciples to be with him, and he hand-picked us to belong to Jesus even before he laid the foundations of this world. His purpose was, in his love for us, that we should be holy and blameless, worthy to stand before him in his holy presence. [5] More wonderful still, such was his loving purpose and his sovereign will for us, that before time began he planned, through Jesus Christ, to adopt us into his family as his sons and daughters, [6] so that, transformed by the saving grace of his forgiveness, made possible by the sacrifice of his beloved Son, Jesus, our lives might bring glory and praise to his name. [7] For it is through Jesus, and the blood he shed for us and the death he died for us, that our sins can be forgiven: his blood and his death are the ransom-price that has set us free, the immeasurable riches of his grace. [8] Indeed, his grace towards us has overflowed, not only redeeming our sinful past, but also giving us the spiritual wisdom to understand, as we read the prophecies of scripture and the teachings of Jesus, his plans for a glorious future. [9] Yes, to us he has made known his loving purposes for the end of the age, a purpose formed long ago but through the ages shrouded in mystery; now at last the mystery has been revealed: it will be through Jesus that God's good will towards men will be expressed. [10] When all God's purposes in human history have been fulfilled, it will be to Jesus that he will delegate the management of the end of the age: all mankind on earth, both the sheep and the goats, and all the angels in heaven, both good and evil, will be brought together for judgement under the Lordship of Christ. [11] We who are in Christ were made heirs of "the kingdom made ready for you before the foundation of the world"; we were foreordained to this inheritance by the purpose of the God who is at work in everything and everyone to bring about the plans he has made. [12] We, then, who have placed our hopes for the future in Christ before the Day of Judgement comes, should live our lives with a joy and an assurance that bring praise to God's glorious mercy and grace. [13] You, too, are part of his plan, you too heard the word of truth, the gospel message, which is the signpost to salvation. Not only did you hear, you also believed this truth, and put your faith in Christ, a faith which hardened into cast-iron assurance as you were sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised to all who believed in him. [14] It is the Holy Spirit who is the pledge and promise of the heavenly inheritance that awaits us - just as an engagement -ring is a pledge to his bride-to-be of her beloved's faithfulness, and a promise of the joy to come. [14] Even so, the Spirit convinces us that we are God's prized possession, redeemed by him so that we might bring praise and glory to his name. [15] I too have heard some good news - news of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as you look up to him and your love, as you look around you, for all your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. [16] It is for this reason that I never stop thanking God for you whenever I bring you before him in my prayers. [17] I pray that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Glorious heavenly Father, may give you wisdom, not the wisdom of the world, but the wisdom and understanding that the Holy Spirit gives us as he reveals to us more and more the wonder of God's character, so that we may get to know him better and better. [18] May he open your spiritual eyes, the eyes of your heart, so that his light may shine in, and you may know with absolute assurance that your hope of eternal life with him is not in vain; it is God himself who has called you to himself: how can you doubt? May you rather come to see, with ever greater clarity and confidence, what glorious riches you, together with all God's holy people, will inherit in heaven. [19] This life, by contrast, is a battle: I pray that this same Holy Spirit may lead you to realise how great is the overflowing, all-sufficient power of God available to all who have faith in Christ - the strength and the power which God gives us through his Spirit working within us to keep us going and to keep us winning. [20] He makes available to us the very same power and might that he worked within Christ Jesus his Son when he raised him from the dead and enthroned him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, [21] far, far above all kingly reigns and regimes, all powers and potentates, all dominions - and every imposing title they chose to claim for themselves, not just in this age but in the age to come. [22] God compelled all these powers to prostrate themselves beneath the feet of his risen Son, Jesus, and then gave him to his church to be its head with authority over every detail of its life and faith. [23] For the church is his body, filled with his abiding presence and completed by his headship - every body must have a head - just as he himself is filled in every way by the power and glory of his Father.

Chapter 2
As for you, because of your sins and transgresions, by sinfully falling short and sinfully going too far, you were as good as dead - spiritually dead, cut off from God the source of all life. [2] This is the sort of "life" you once lived, walking in the way of this world and this age, led by the Devil himslf, the evil authority over everything under the sun, the unholy spirit who is now working powerfully within those who have become his children in rebellion against God. [3] All of us once lived amongst such people and in such sin; all of us were the prisoners of the lustful urges of out bodies and the evil desires and designs of our minds: they told us what they wanted to do and we did it. From our childhood we had inherited a sinful nature, and the only inheritance we could look forward to was the wrath and judgement of God, just like everyone else. [4] BUT God is a millionaire in mercy: he did not give us the damnation we deserved, such was the inexhaustible love with which he loved us. [5] We were still dead in the darkness of our sins, but he raised us to new life with Christ - we have been saved from death by a gift of life which we do not deserve, it is entirely by the grace of God. [6] He raised us with Christ and enthroned us with him in the heavenly realms. [7] By showing such amazing generosity towards us through Jesus Christ he displayed for all the ages to come the overflowing riches of his grace. [8] For it is by this grace, fully and freely given to us by God, that you have been saved as you put your trust in Christ - and even this faith is not 'a good deed' that you can claim any credit for, it is entirely the gift of God. [9] It is not because of the good deeds we have done that we are saved; if that were so, it would make us sinfully boastful and self-righteous. [10] No, good deeds cannot earn our salvation, but they do - or should - result from it; it is God who has done this good work in us. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that now, out of gratitude, we may live lives full of good works, the good works which God himself has long ago prepared for us to make our life's work. [11] So you need to remember that once you were 'gentiles' by birth, contemptuously labelled 'the uncircumcision' by those who called themselves'the circumcision', a physical operation performed by human hands as an outward sign they thay belonged to God's covenant people. [12] By contrast, remember, you were at that period in history without a Messiah, aliens denied citizenship in Israel, strangers with no claim on God's covenants with all their glorious promises. In short, you were living in this world without God and so without hope. . [13] But now that you belong to Jesus Christ, you who were once living in distant exile have been brought in from the cold by the blood shed for you by Jesus the Messiah. [14] For it is Jesus himself who is our peace and our peace-maker: he has joined both sides together, Jew and gentile, and made us both one single family. The dividing wall in the Temple still stands physically, expressing the hostility between Jews and genties, and, for the gentiles, barring the way into God's presence; but spiritually Jesus has broken down this wall for those who belong to him, ending hostilities and bringing peace. [15] What is more, he has rendered obsolete the Law of Moses with all its detailed instructions about the offering of sacrifices; these were always only temporary, prophetically looking forward to the final and perfect sacrifice, Jesus. [16] Now his purpose is to make peace, joining together the two peoples, Jews and gentiles, and creating a single, entirely new human race, consisting of all who belong to him. Through his sacrificial death on the cross, on which he put to death the hostility between them, he wants to reconcile both peoples and to unite them both into one body as God's chosen people. [17] During Jesus' earthly ministry, he prolaimed the good news of this peace to you who were far away from God, and also to us Jews who were close to him, [18] because through him both of us have the right of entry, through the one Holy Spirit, into the very presence of God out Father. [19] The result of all this is that you gentiles are no longer aliens and foreigners; now you are fellow-citizens with all God's people and members of God's family. [20] You are like living stones, formed and shaped into a building; its sure foundation is the gospel, proclaimed by the apostles and prophets of the church. Jesus Christ himself is the corner-stone of this foundation, securely binding Jews and gentiles together. [21] Yes, it is Jesus who is binding together in one harmonious whole all who belong to him, so that the building is growing in him into a holy temple. [22] You gentiles may still be excluded from the physical Temple in Jerusalem, but in Christ you also, as well as the Jews, are being built together into the building which is now the true earthly dwelling-place of God by his Spirit.

Chapter 3
It is for this reason that I, Paul, imprisoned by the Roman authorities, but in fact a prisoner of Christ for the sake of you gentiles - [2] for I am sure you have heard that my ministry to you is not carried out by my own choice or in my own strength, but is rather a stewardship of the gospel of grace, a sacred trust and a special privilege given to me by God for your sakes. [3] This mystery, the mystery of the gospel, was made known to me by a revelation from God, as I briefly mentioned earlier. [4] If you go back and read this again, you will be able to realise how fully, through this revelation, I have come to understand the mystery of God's eternal purpose in Christ. [5] This mystery was not made known to earlier generations of mankind as fully as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets as the Holy Spirit has opened their eyes to his truth. [6] The truth that has now been revealed is that the gentiles who, through the gospel, come to faith in Jesus Christ belong to him, and so are fellow-heirs with the Jews of the same glorious future in heaven, fellow-members with the Jews of the one body of Christ here on earth, and fellow-claimants with the Jews of the promises in the New Covenant in Christ. [7] This is the gospel of which I am a minister, a ministry which has been given to me as a gift of God's grace, and which I can only carry out through the gift of God's power at work within me. [8] Yes, to me, less than the least of all God's holy people, this privilege of grace was givcen, to pesent the good news of the gospel to the gentiles, and to reveal to them the endless, boundless, bottomless riches which can be found in Christ, [9] and to shed light on God's management of the gospel, for long ages hidden away in the mind of God, who created all things, [10-11] so that now, in our age, through the witness of the church on earth, it might be made known to the powers and authorities in the heavenly realms, so that they might wonder at the profound wisdom of his eternal purpose, now glittering and gleaming like a many-faceted diamond. This purpose he fulfilled in Christ Jesus our Lord, [12] through whom we have the confidence to come in prayer into the very presence of God himself, as we put our faith in Jesus' faithfulness. [13] Because of this, I beg you not to be disheartened because of my sufferings on your behalf: they bring glory to as you pray all the more earnestly. [14] For this reason - as I was saying earlier - I kneel in prayer to God the Father, [15] after whom every family-head in heaven and earth is called 'father'; [16] I pray that he may give you a gift as generous as you would expect from a God of such glorious riches: may you be strengthened by his divine power, not with physical strength, but with inner strength as the Holy Spirit works in your hearts and souls; [17] and may Jesus Christ make his home in your hearts as you put your trust in him. May love be the soil in which your faith takes root and grows, and may love be the foundation on which you build your lives. [18] May your spiritual grip be strong enough to grasp, together with all God's people, the all-encompassing dimensions of God's grace, how wide and broad it is, how high and deep; [19] and may you know the love of Christ in your lives - though it far surpasses all human knowledge. In short, may you be filled with all the fullness of God, [20] the God who is able to do far more - abundantly more, exceedingly more, overwhelmingly more - than we can ask in our prayers or grasp in our minds as his divine power works deeply within us. [21] To him be glory in the church as it reflects the glory of Christ Jesus, for all generations and all ages to come.

Chapter 4
I urge you, therefore, I Paul the prisoner, but in the Lord a free man, to live your daily lives in a way that is worthy of the eternal life to which you have been called by Christ. [2] Following his example, be humble-spirited, mild-mannered and warm-hearted, accepting each other, with all your faults, with forgiving love. [3] Make it your priority to guard your unity like a precious jewel: it comes from the Holy Spirit, and binds you all together with the peace of God. [4] There is one body, Christ's body, the church; there is one Spirit, God's Holy Spirit; there is one and the same hope which sustains all of you who have been called by God into into his Kingdom - the confident expectation that he calls us not just to new life here on earth, but also to eternal life with him in heaven; [5] there is one Lord, our Lord Jesus Christ; there is one faith, in Jesus Christ our Saviour; there is one baptism, in the name of Jesus Christ; [6] there is one God, the one Father of the whole family of Christ, the God who is above us all yet lives among us all and within us all. [7] So we are all alike members of the one family, but to each of us individually is given a gift of grace, assigned to us by the giver, Christ, for use in his service. [8] This is why the psalmist writes: "Having ascended to the heights, he took prisoner those powers that were imprisoning us, and then gave gifts to mankind." When the psalmist says that Christ 'ascended', he is, surely, implying that previously he had descended to our world, and to the lowly role of a servant, obedient to his Father's will even to the point of death on a cross. [10] The Jesus who lowered himself to these depths is the same Jesus who ascended into heaven - indeed, far above all the heavens, so that he might bring salvation history to completion. [11] And it was Christ himself who, from his throne in heaven, gave gifts to his church, faithful servants he had specially gifted for service: some were apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers. [12] Their calling, in turn, was to train and equip all God's holy people to work effectively at the various ministries to which God had called them, so that in this way the whole body of Christ should grow and be strong and healthy, [13] until all of us together reach a spiritually mature adulthood, united in one faith, faith in Christ, and in our shared knowledge, knowledge of the Son of God; the measure of our maturity will be how fully we experience and reflect in our lives together all the fullness of Christ. [14] Then we will no longer be like immature children, tossed up and down and whirled round and round like flotsam in a gale by every new teaching which is not from God but cunningly devised by the deceitfulness of men to lead us astray. [15] No! Rather let us cling to the truth, God's truth, and grow day by day in love, becoming more and more like him in every way - he who is the Head of the Church, Christ himself. [16] Just as the head controls the physical body, so Christ, the Head of his body, the Church, fits together his body into a harmonious whole, so that every joint serves the whole by performing its own individual function, and receives in return from the Head the inner strength needed by each individual part; this is how a body grows, and this is how the church builds itself, with each part bound to the whole in love. [17] Since then you are members of the body of Christ, I have this to say to you: I urge you, in the name of the Christ to whom you now belong, not to live your lives as the gentiles live - you are gentiles no longer! Their thinking leads only to a dead-end; [18] their minds, blinded to the truth, are shrouded in deep darkness; filled only with ignorance, they are cut off from God, the only source of life. [19] So hardened are their hearts that they refuse to listen to God's voice within them, their consciences dulled and deadened. So, with nothing to restrain them, they have handed themselves over as addicts and slaves to all kinds of filthy behaviour, and no sooner have they committed one evil act than they are hungry for more. [20] But you are not at all like this; you became disciples of Christ, and learned from him a very different way of living, [21] if indeed you listened to his teaching - as I am sure you did - and so were discipled by him in whom all truth is to be found. [22] He taught that you should take off 'the old you' and throw it away - like an old coat - together with your old lifestyle, which was leading you only to destruction, controlled and deluded as you were by your sinful lusts, which promised you fulfilment but delivered only emptiness. [23] Then you can be remade as a completely new person, your mind and its thinking under the control of the Holy Spirit. [24] In place of that dirty old coat clothe yourselves with the new-look you, the person God created you to be, as, guided by his truth, you walk along the narrow road of holiness and righteousness. [25] Righteousness means treating other people rightly, so take off that cloak of falsehood, dishonesty and deceit, and, as scripture says, "Speak truth, each of you, with your neighbour" - but we are more than neighbours, we are brothers and sisters, fellow limbs in the body of Christ. [26] Scripture again tells us: "When you get angry" (with evil and evil-doers) "do not be led into sin". So do not let your anger become a brooding obsession, but lay it aside before the end of the day, so that it does not infect your sleep. [27] We tend to be led into sin more easily when we are angry, so do not give this opportunity to the Devil. [28] Thieving, too, is unrighteous, so the the thief should not continue to steal, but should work hard, using his hands to do good work, so that he can earn enough money to be able to share it with someone who is really in need. [29] Foul mouths, too, are no more consistent with your new lifestyle in Christ than are thieving hands, so make sure that no dirty joke or filthy language passes your lips, but use words which are pure and positive; you can help someone in need by a timely word of encouragement as well as by material support - words that bring spiritual strength and comfort to those listening. [30] Remember that the Holy Spirit of God lives within you: do not grieve him by unholy language or unholy behaviour. Remember, too, that at your baptism he set his seal upon you and claimed you as his own, and that one day, when Christ returns, you will fully and finally belong to him. [31] So let there be no bitternes or resentments within the body of Christ, no smouldering hostilities or voices raised in anger: you should no more scorn or insult a brother or sister in Christ than you would blaspheme against God himself. [32] No, on the contrary, treat each other with Christlike open-heartedness and compassion, and if someone does offend you, or "trespasss against you", forgive them, as God in Christ has forgiven you - fully and freely.

Chapter 5
So then, just as children who are loved try to imitate the character and behaviour of their earthly parents, so you should become imitators of your heavenly Father - you are his much loved children. [2] Take every step of life's journey in love, the sacrificial love with which Christ loved us. He handed himself over to death on our behalf and in our place, the death that was the final fulfilment of all the offerings and sacrifices prescribed in the Mosaic Law; just as fragrant incense is offered to God as a symbol of the holines and righteousness that are pleasing to him, so Jesus' obedience to his Father's will was like sweet-smelling incense, an offering that was acceptable to him. [3] Fornication, by contrast, and prostitution are travesties of true love, not self-sacrificial but self-indulgent, always greedy for more but never truly satisfied. Such unholy sexual practices should not even be talked about among you: they are totally inappropriate for you who are God's holy people. [4] The same is true of filthy stories, foolish gossip and snide cynicism: none of these should be part of your conversation, they are quie improper. How much better to thank God for all the good people and good things in the world than to wallow in the filth! [5] Know this, then, and become increasingly sure of its truth: no prostitute or fornicator or idolater who worships the god of insatiable sex - none of these will inherit a place in Christ's kingdom, the Kingdom of God. [6] Do not let any one deceive you into thinking that such carnal sins do not matter; their arguments may seem plausible, but in fact do not contain a word of truth, for it is because of such sins that God's wrath falls upon those who are determined to disobey his commandmemts. [7] So do not associate with such people, lest you come to share their error - and so share their fate. [8] There was a time, indeed, when your lives, like theirs, were lived in darkness, but now you are filled with the light of Christ, so walk through this life as is fitting for those who are going to inherit the light of heaven. [9] The light of Christ produces Christlikeness - goodness, righteousness and truth - just as a fruit-tree produces fruit. [10] Your aim in life, then, should be to do what is pleasing to God. [11] So do not take any part or share in the sinful practices of those who are still in darkness, for their lives are barren and fruitless; on the contrary, you should expose their actions for the evil that they are, [12] for the things they do in secret are shameful even to speak of. [13] So "let your light so shine before men" that their dark and secret sins may be shown up by that light; [14] for all those whose sins are shown up in this way themselves begin to see the light. That is why the prophet Isaiah says: "Wake up, sleeper, and arise from the place of the dead, and the Christ will shed his light upon you." [15] So then, as you walk along life's path, do not be like fools who stumble along heedlessly; rather, be wise and look carefully at the way in front of you so that you do not trip up and fall into sin. [16] The times in which we live are evil, so look out for any opportunity for doing good, by service or by witness, and make the most of it. So do not walk along in a mindless daze, but use your minds to understand clearly what God's will for you is. [18] Keep a clear head, and do not get drunk with too much wine: drunkenness leads only to wild and uncontrollable extravagance and excess. Be filled, instead, day by day and hour by hour, with God's Holy Spirit; [19] he will fill you with a joy and a sense of freedom that wine can never give you, so that as you meet together for fellowship you may speak and sing to each other with psalms and hymns and worship-songs inspired by the Holy Spirit, praising and worshipping the Lord with joy that comes straight from the heart, [20] constantly giving him thanks for each other in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father, and humbly submitting yourselves to each other as you each exercise your gifts and your ministries among yourselves, [21] treating each other with the same humble reverence that you show to Jesus our Lord himself. [22] This attitude of humble submission is especially important within the family, wives submitting to their husbands as an expression of their submission to the Lord, children to their parents and servants to their masters. [23] Within marriage, the husband is head of the wife just as Christ is head of his church - the same Christ who himself is Saviour, by his sacrificial death, of the church, his body. [24] But in just the same way that the church is subject to Christ its head, so wives are subject to their husbands in everything. [25] You husbands have an even more demanding role: you are to love your wives with just the same self-giving love with which Christ loved his church and for her sake handed himself over to death on the cross, [26] so that he might cleanse her in the water of baptism as she publicly declared her faith, and so make her holy, clothed in the wedding gown of his own righteousness, [27] so that he himself might present the church to himself as his bride, radiant in glory, spotless and without blemish of any kind, holy and blameless. [28] This is how husbands should love their wives, just as if they were their own flesh and blood. [29] No one ever hated his own physical body; no, people nourish and groom their bodies, just as Christ does his church. [30] We are all members of the one church, the body of Christ. [31] Scripture makes it clear that this intimate relationship has, from the very beginning, been God's purpose for husband and wife: "For this reason a man shall leave his parents' home and live in loving intimacy with his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." [32] This is a profound mystery - a beautiful picture of a great truth yet to be revealed. I take it that marriage here on earth, a wonderful blessing though it is, merely foreshadows its ultimate consummation in heaven: the marriage of Christ to his church. [33] However this may be, each one of you individually should love his own wife as his very self, and your wife should honour and revere you.

Chapter 6
You children, too, should submit to your parents and obey them; this is part of what it means to submit to Jesus as your Lord. It is also part of the 'righteousness' of keeping God's commandment: [2} "Honour your father and your mother" - a commandment you should learn first of all; and there is a lovely promise attached to it: [3] "--- so that you may prosper and live for many years on the earth". [4] And you parents, do not provoke your children to anger and resentment by treating them too harshly; rather, nurture them with loving and tender care, teaching and training and helping them to form within themselves the mind of Christ. [5] You servants, too, whether within the household or at the work-place, submit in obedience to your human masters here on earth just as you do to Christ, your Lord in heaven: respect them as you respect him, and fear their rebuke as you fear his, and do all your work with a genuine desire to please, [6] working just as hard when your master is not watching you as when he is. Your ultimate aim is not to please your human overseers, it is Jesus Christ whose servants you are, so do what God wants you to do, working heart and soul for him. [7] Your service and your servanthood are above all to Jesus your Lord, not to men. [8] Of this you can be sure: whatever act of good service you render, for that you will receive a good reward from the Lord - whether you are a free man or a slave. [9] Finally, a word to those of you who are masters or employers of servants and workers. The same principle applies to you as to them: good work deserves a good reward, so do not try to motivate them by fear or with threats, but by promise of reward. Of this you can be sure: both you and those who work for you are equally subject to the same heavenly Lord and Master, Jesus Christ; to him you are all of equal status and equal value - he has no favourites! [10] The rest of what I want to say I say to all of you. You all belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, so let him empower you day by day and hour by hour with his strength and stamina for the battle you face. [11] Just as soldiers going into battle make sure that they are fully armed, so you, too, need to arm and equip yourselves with all that God's armoury can give you, so that you can stand firm against all the stratagems of the Devil, whether frontal attack or surprise ambush. [12] The fight we face is not against a human enemy like ourselves, an enemy of flesh and blood; no, we are battling against those evil spiritual powers in the heavenly places, invisible to us but permitted by God, for the time being, to exercise power and authority in the darkness of this physical world. [13] This is why you need to take up all the armour God has available for you in his armoury, so that on the day when the forces of the evil powers come against you, and you are sorely tested, you may have the strength to withstand their attack, and, after doing all that God has called you to do, at the end of the day you may still be standing strong. [14] Take your stand, then, with the belt of truth firmly fastened round your waist in case the evil one attacks you with doubt; and if guilt is his weapon, buckle on the breastplate of righteousness - the righteousness which God accredits to all who are in Christ. [15] Yes, we may be at war with the Devil, but we have peace with God through the gospel of grace, the solid foundation of our faith. So make sure your feet are shod, as if with a strong pair of boots, with this confidence in the gospel, so that, when attacked, you may not slip and slide backwards, but stand firmly grounded. [16] In every attack by the enemy take up the shield of faith, the door-sized shield of the legionary soldier - for we are not fighting on our own but alongside our fellow-soldiers in Christ's army, protecting them and protected by them. Our evil enemy will fire at us all kinds of temptations, like flaming arrows, but if our faith in Christ is firm we will exstinguish them all. [17] Then receive at Jesus' hands first your helmet, the firm assurance that you have been saved by him and are always safe in him,, and then your sword, the word of God which his Spirit brings into our minds in times of crisis. [18] And in every time of need pray and plead with God for his help, prayer prompted and guided by the Holy Spirit, prayer that is persistent and vigilant, prayer not just for your own needs but for the needs of all God's holy people. [19] And pray for me, that I may be given by the same Holy Spirit opportunities to open my mouth in witness to the Lord Jesus, the right words to make the meaning clear, and the boldness to make known the gospel of salvation, God's saving purpose, concealed in mystery for long ages, but now gloriously revealed in Christ. [20] Even now, in my imprisonment, I am an appointed spokesman of this gospel; please pray that I may have the boldness to speak in a way that is worthy of such a great message. [21] So that you may know how I am and what my situation is, Tychicus will tell you everything; he is a beloved brother in Christ, and a faithful minister. [22] I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that when you know that I am in good heart despite my circumstances you hearts too may be encouraged and emboldened to stand firm in your faith. [23] For all the brothers and sisters in the church at Ephesus I pray that God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ may give you the peace and love which are the fruits of faith, [24] and, to end as I began, I pray that the grace of God may sustain and strengthen all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with pure and lasting love.


C.G-S.
15.3.15