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Paul's Work for the Gentiles

3 1So I (Paul) am a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am a prisoner for you people who are not Jews. 2Surely you know that God gave me this work through his grace (kindness). God gave me this work to help you. 3God let me know his secret plan. He showed it to me. I have already written a little about this. 4And if you read these things I wrote, then you can see that I truly understand the secret truth about the Christ. 5People who lived in other times were not told that secret truth. But now, through the Spirit,* God has shown that secret truth to his holy apostles* and prophets.* 6This is that secret truth: that the non-Jews will get the things God has for his people, the same as the Jews. The non-Jews are together with the Jews in the same body. And they share together in the promise that God made in Christ Jesus. The non-Jews have all these things because of the Good News.* 7By God's special gift of grace (kindness), I became a servant to tell that Good News.* God gave me that grace by using his power. 8I am the least important of all of God's people. But God gave me this gift--to tell the non-Jewish people the Good News about the riches Christ has. Those riches are too great to understand fully. 9And God gave me the work of telling all people about the plan for God's secret truth. That secret truth has been hidden in God since the beginning of time. God is the One who created everything. 10God's purpose was that all the rulers and powers in the heavenly places will now know the many different ways God shows his wisdom. They will know this because of the church.* 11This agrees with the plan God had since the beginning of time. God did what he planned. He did it through Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In Christ we can come before God with freedom and without fear. We can do this through faith in Christ. 13So I ask you not to become discouraged [and lose hope] because of the sufferings I am having for you. My sufferings bring honor to you.

The Love of Christ

14So I bow in prayer before the Father. 15Every family in heaven and on earth gets its true name from him. 16I ask the Father with his great glory to give you the power to be strong in your spirits. He will give you that strength through his Spirit.* 17I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. 18And I pray that you and all God's holy people* will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ's love. I pray that you can understand how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. 19Christ's love is greater than any person can ever know. But I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God. 20With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of. 21To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen.

Spirit, Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, he does God's work among people in the world. apostles The men Jesus chose to represent him in a special way. prophets People that spoke for God. Good News The news that God has made a way for people to have their sins forgiven and live with him forever. church God's church--his people in Christ. holy people God's people are called holy because they are made pure through Christ and belong only to God.

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