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1IT is in this great cause that I, Paul, have become a prisoner of Christ Jesus for you gentiles.

2For you must have heard how God gave me grace to become your minister, and

3how he allowed me to understand his secret by giving me a direct revelation.

4What I have written briefly of this above will explain to you my knowledge of the mystery of Christ.

5This secret was hidden to past generations of mankind, but it has now, by the Spirit, been made plain to God's consecrated messengers and prophets. It is simply this:

6that the gentiles are to be equal heirs with his chosen people, equal members and equal partners in God's promise given by Christ Jesus through the gospel.

7And I was made a minister that gospel by the grace he freely gave me, and by the action within me of his own power.

8Yes, to me, less than the least of all Christians, has God given this grace, to enable me to proclaim to the gentiles the gospel of the incalculable riches of Christ,

9and to make plain to all men the meaning of that divine secret which he who created everything has kept hidden from the creation until now.

10The purpose is that all the angelic powers should now see the complex wisdom of God's plan being worked out through the Church,

11in conformity to that timeless purpose which he centered in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

12It is in this same Jesus, because we have faith in him, that we dare, even with confidence, to approach God.

13So then I beg you not to lose heart because I am now suffering on your behalf. Indeed, you should be honoured.

14As I think of this great plan I fall on my knees before the Father

15(from whom all fatherhood, earthly or heavenly, derives its name),

16and I pray that out of the glorious richness of his resources he will enable you to know the strength of the Spirit's inner reinforcement

17that Christ may actually live in your hearts by your faith. And I pray that you, rooted and founded in love yourselves,

18may be able to grasp (with all Christians) how wide and long and deep and high is the love of Christ

19and to know for yourselves that love so far above our understanding. So will you be filled through all your being with God himself!

20Now to him who by his power within us is able to do infinitely more than we ever dare to ask or imagine

21to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever, amen!


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