God Has Given Us New Life Through Christ
1You were living in your sins and lawless ways. But in fact you were dead. 2You 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.
3At one time we all lived among them. We tried to satisfy what our sinful nature wanted to do. We followed its longings and thoughts. God was angry with us and everyone else because of the kind of people we were.
4But God loves us deeply. He is full of mercy. 5So 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.
6God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom because we belong to Christ Jesus. 7He 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 because of what Christ Jesus has done.
8God'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. 9It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it.
10God made us. He created us to belong to Christ Jesus. Now we can do good things. Long ago God prepared them for us to do.
God's New Family
11You 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.
12Before 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. 13At one time you were far away from God. But now you belong to Christ Jesus. He spilled his blood for you. That has brought you near to God.
14Christ himself is our peace. He has made Jews and non-Jews into one group of people. He has destroyed the hatred that was like a wall between us. 15Through his body on the cross, Christ put an end to the law with all its commands and rules. He wanted to create one new group of people out of the two. He wanted to make peace between them.
16He planned to bring both of them as one body back to God because of the cross. Christ put their hatred to death on that cross.
17He came and preached peace to you who were far away. He also preached peace to those who were near. 18Through Christ we both come to the Father by the power of one Holy Spirit.
19So you are no longer strangers and outsiders. You are citizens together with God's people. You are members of God's family.
20You 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. 21The whole building is held together by him. It rises to become a holy temple because it belongs to the Lord.
22And because you belong to him, you too are being built together. You are being made into a house where God lives through his Spirit.