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. Chapter 3.

Paul's Ministry to the Gentiles

1 WITH THIS IN MIND I make my prayer, I, Paul, who in the cause of you Gentiles am now the prisoner of Christ Jesus— 2 for surely you have heard how God has assigned the gift of his grace to me for your benefit. 3 It was by a revelation that his secret was made known to me. I have already written a brief account of this, 4 and by reading it you may perceive that I understand the secret of Christ. 5 In former generations this was not disclosed to the human race; but now it has been revealed by inspiration to his dedicated apostles and prophets, 6 that through the Gospel the Gentiles are joint heirs with the Jews, part of the same body, sharers together in the promise made in Christ Jesus. 7 Such is the gospel of which I was made a minister, by God's gift, bestowed unmerited on me in the working of his power. 8 To me, who am less than the least of all God's people, he has granted of his grace the privilege of proclaiming to the Gentiles the good news of the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and of bringing to light how this hidden purpose was to be put into effect. It was hidden for long ages in God the creator of the universe, 10 in order that now, through the church, the wisdom of God in all its varied forms might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the realms of heaven. 11 This is in accord with his age-long purpose, which he achieved in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him we have access to God with freedom, in the confidence born of trust in him. 13 I beg you, then, not to lose heart over my sufferings for you: indeed, they are your glory.

To Know the Love of Christ

14 With this in mind, then, I kneel in prayer to the Father, 15 from whom every family [Or: his whole family.] in heaven and on earth takes its name, 16 that out of the treasures of his glory he may grant you strength and power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 that through faith Christ may dwell in your hearts in love. With deep roots and firm foundations, 18 may you be strong to grasp, with all God's people, what is the breadth and length and height and depth 19 of the love of Christ, and to know it, though it is beyond knowledge. So may you attain to fullness of being, the fullness of God himself. [Or: the fullness which God requires.]

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or conceive, by the power which is at work among us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus from generation to generation evermore! Amen.

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