We Now Have Life
1In the past you were spiritually dead because of your sins and the things you did against God. 2Yes, in the past you lived the way the world lives, following the ruler of the evil powers that are above the earth. That same spirit is now working in those who refuse to obey God. 3In the past all of us lived like them, trying to please our sinful selves and doing all the things our bodies and minds wanted. We should have suffered God’s anger because we were sinful by nature. We were the same as all other people.
4But God’s mercy is great, and he loved us very much. 5Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God’s grace. 6And he raised us up with Christ and gave us a seat with him in the heavens. He did this for those in Christ Jesus 7so that for all future time he could show the very great riches of his grace by being kind to us in Christ Jesus. 8I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. 9It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it. 10God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.
One in Christ
11You were not born Jewish. You are the people the Jews call “uncircumcised.” Those who call you “uncircumcised” call themselves “circumcised.” (Their circumcision is only something they themselves do on their bodies.) 12Remember that in the past you were without Christ. You were not citizens of Israel, and you had no part in the agreements with the promise that God made to his people. You had no hope, and you did not know God. 13But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away from God are brought near through the blood of Christ’s death. 14Christ himself is our peace. He made both Jewish people and those who are not Jews one people. They were separated as if there were a wall between them, but Christ broke down that wall of hate by giving his own body. 15The Jewish law had many commands and rules, but Christ ended that law. His purpose was to make the two groups of people become one new people in him and in this way make peace. 16It was also Christ’s purpose to end the hatred between the two groups, to make them into one body, and to bring them back to God. Christ did all this with his death on the cross. 17Christ came and preached peace to you who were far away from God, and to those who were near to God. 18Yes, it is through Christ we all have the right to come to the Father in one Spirit.
19Now you who are not Jewish are not foreigners or strangers any longer, but are citizens together with God’s holy people. You belong to God’s family. 20You are like a building that was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in that building, 21and that whole building is joined together in Christ. He makes it grow and become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in Christ you, too, are being built together with the Jews into a place where God lives through the Spirit.