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God Saved Us from Sin

At one time you were dead because of your sins. You followed the sinful ways of the world and obeyed the leader of the power of darkness. He is the devil who is now working in the people who do not obey God. At one time all of us lived to please our old selves. We gave in to what our bodies and minds wanted. We were sinful from birth like all other people and would suffer from the anger of God.

But God had so much loving-kindness. He loved us with such a great love. Even when we were dead because of our sins, He made us alive by what Christ did for us. You have been saved from the punishment of sin by His loving-favor. God raised us up from death when He raised up Christ Jesus. He has given us a place with Christ in the heavens. He did this to show us through all the time to come the great riches of His loving-favor. He has shown us His kindness through Christ Jesus.

For by His loving-favor you have been saved from the punishment of sin through faith. It is not by anything you have done. It is a gift of God. It is not given to you because you worked for it. If you could work for it, you would be proud. 10 We are His work. He has made us to belong to Christ Jesus so we can work for Him. He planned that we should do this.

Followers Now Become the Body of Christ

11 Do not forget that at one time you did not know God. The Jews, who had gone through the religious act of becoming a Jew by man’s hands, said you were people who do not know God. 12 You were living without Christ then. The Jewish people who belonged to God had nothing to do with you. The promises He gave to them were not for you. You had nothing in this world to hope for. You were without God.

13 But now you belong to Christ Jesus. At one time you were far away from God. Now you have been brought close to Him. Christ did this for you when He gave His blood on the cross. 14 We have peace because of Christ. He has made the Jews and those who are not Jews one people. He broke down the wall that divided them. 15 He stopped the fighting between them by His death on the cross. He put an end to the Law. Then He made of the two people one new kind of people like Himself. In this way, He made peace. 16 He brought both groups together to God. Christ finished the fighting between them by His death on the cross. 17 Then Christ came and preached the Good News of peace to you who were far away from God. And He preached it to us who were near God. 18 Now all of us can go to the Father through Christ by way of the one Holy Spirit. 19 From now on you are not strangers and people who are not citizens. You are citizens together with those who belong to God. You belong in God’s family. 20 This family is built on the teachings of the missionaries and the early preachers. Jesus Christ Himself is the cornerstone, which is the most important part of the building. 21 Christ keeps this building together and it is growing into a holy building for the Lord. 22 You are also being put together as a part of this building because God lives in you by His Spirit.