God Has Given Us New Life Through Christ
1You were living in your sins and lawless ways. But in fact you were dead. 2 You used to live as sinners when you followed the ways of this world. You served the one who rules over the spiritual forces of evil. He is the spirit who is now at work in those who don’t obey God. 3 At one time we all lived among them. Our desires were controlled by sin. We tried to satisfy what they wanted us to do. We followed our desires and thoughts. God was angry with us like he was with everyone else. That’s because of the kind of people we all were. 4 But God loves us deeply. He is full of mercy. 5 So he gave us new life because of what Christ has done. He gave us life even when we were dead in sin. God’s grace has saved you. 6 God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom. That’s because we belong to Christ Jesus. 7 He has done it to show the riches of his grace for all time to come. His grace can’t be compared with anything else. He has shown it by being kind to us. He was kind to us because of what Christ Jesus has done. 8 God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. 9 It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it. 10 We are God’s creation. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good works. Long ago God prepared these works for us to do.
God’s New Family of Jews and Gentiles
11 You who are not Jews by birth, here is what I want you to remember. You are called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “circumcised.” But they have only been circumcised in their bodies by human hands. 12 Before you believed in Christ, you were separated from him. You were not considered to be citizens of Israel. You were not included in what the covenants promised. You were without hope and without God in the world. 13 At one time you were far away from God. But now you belong to Christ Jesus. He spilled his blood for you. This has brought you near to God.
14 Christ himself is our peace. He has made Jews and Gentiles into one group of people. He has destroyed the hatred that was like a wall between us. 15 Through his body on the cross, Christ set aside the law with all its commands and rules. He planned to create one new people out of Jews and Gentiles. He wanted to make peace between them. 16 He planned to bring both Jews and Gentiles back to God as one body. He planned to do this through the cross. On that cross, Christ put to death their hatred toward one another. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away. He also preached peace to those who were near. 18 Through Christ we both come to the Father by the power of one Holy Spirit.
19 So you are no longer outsiders and strangers. You are citizens together with God’s people. You are also members of God’s family. 20 You are a building that is built on the apostles and prophets. They are the foundation. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in the building. 21 The whole building is held together by him. It rises to become a holy temple because it belongs to the Lord. 22 And because you belong to him, you too are being built together. You are being made into a house where God lives through his Spirit.