August 25: Ephesians 2
God’s Power Raised Us from the Dead
2 And his fullness fills you, even though you were once like corpses,[a] dead in your sins and offenses. 2 It wasn’t that long ago that you lived in the religion, customs, and values[b] of this world,[c] obeying the dark ruler of the earthly realm who fills the atmosphere with his authority, and works diligently in the hearts of those who are disobedient to the truth of God. 3 The corruption that was in us from birth was expressed through the deeds and desires of our self - life. We lived by whatever natural cravings and thoughts our minds dictated, living as rebellious children subject to God’s wrath like everyone else.
4 But God still loved us with such great love. He is so rich in compassion and mercy. 5 Even when we were dead and doomed in our many sins, he united us into the very life of Christ and saved us by his wonderful grace! 6 He raised us up with Christ the exalted One, and we ascended with him into the glorious perfection and authority of the heavenly realm, for we are now co-seated[d] as one with Christ!
7 Throughout the coming ages[e] we will be the visible display of the infinite, limitless riches of his grace and kindness, which was showered upon us in Jesus Christ. 8 For it was only through this wonderful grace that we believed in him. Nothing we did could ever earn this salvation, for it was the gracious gift from God that brought us to Christ! 9 So no one will ever be able to boast, for salvation is never a reward for good works or human striving.
10 We have become his poetry,[f] a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works[g] we would do to fulfill it!
A New Humanity
11–12 So don’t forget that you were not born as Jews and were uncircumcised (circumcision itself is just a work of man’s hands); you had none of the Jewish covenants and laws; you were foreigners to Israel’s incredible heritage;[h] you were without the covenants and prophetic promises of the Messiah, the promised hope, and without God.
13 Yet look at you now! Everything is new! Although you were once distant and far away from God, now you have been brought delightfully close to him through the sacred blood of Jesus—you have actually been united to Christ!
14 Our reconciling “Peace” is Jesus! He has made Jew and non-Jew one in Christ. By dying as our sacrifice, he has broken down every wall of prejudice that separated us and has now made us equal through our union with Christ. 15 Ethnic hatred has been dissolved by the crucifixion of his precious body on the cross. The legal code that stood condemning every one of us has now been repealed by his command. His triune essence has made peace between us by starting over—forming[i] one new race of humanity,[j] Jews and non-Jews fused together!
16 Two have now become one, and we live restored to God and reconciled in the body of Christ. Through his crucifixion, hatred died. 17 For the Messiah has come to preach this sweet message of peace to you,[k] the ones who were distant, and to those who are near. 18 And now, because we are united to Christ, we both have equal and direct access in the realm of the Holy Spirit to come before the Father!
19 So, you are not foreigners or guests, but rather you are the children of the city of the holy ones,[l] with all the rights as family members of the household of God. 20 You are rising like the perfectly fitted stones of the temple;[m] and your lives are being built up together upon the ideal foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, and best of all, you are connected to the Head Cornerstone of the building, the Anointed One, Jesus Christ himself!
21 This entire building is under construction and is continually growing under his supervision until it rises up completed as the holy temple of the Lord himself. 22 This means that God is transforming each one of you into the Holy of Holies, his dwelling place, through the power of the Holy Spirit living in you!