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EPH 2:1–2:22 ©

The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians 2

2Before you trusted the Messiah, you were spiritually dead—you were unable to stop sinning. 2You used to live in a sinful way, guided by the spirit of this world. You were guided by the ruler of the evil spirits who controls the authorities of this world. This ruler is Satan, who now works through the people who disobey God. 3All of us used to live in the same way as these people who disobey God; we did the evil things that we desired, things that would bring pleasure to our bodies and our minds. We deserved that God should be very angry with us, just as he is with the other people.

4But God is very merciful to us because he loves us very much. 5God loved us so much that even when we were spiritually dead and constantly sinning, he made us alive by joining us to the Messiah. Remember, when God saved you from being spiritually dead, he was being very kind to you in a way that you did not deserve. 6God saved us from being spiritually dead just as he raised Jesus from being physically dead and he made us spiritually alive with him. Then he gave us seats of honor to rule with the Messiah Jesus in heaven. 7He did that to show to everyone in all future times how exceedingly gracious he is in being kind to us by joining us to the Messiah Jesus.

8So God was very kind to you in a way that you did not deserve when he saved you from being spiritually dead. He did this because you trust in Jesus. You have not saved yourselves; this is a gift from God—9a gift that no one can earn, so no one can boast and say that he has saved himself. 10So God is making us what he wants us to be; through the Messiah Jesus he has created us as new people to do good things—things that God had previously arranged for us to do.

11So remember that previously you non-Jewish people according to who your ancestors were did not belong to God’s people. The Jews insulted you by calling you “the uncircumcised.” They call themselves “the circumcised.” By this they mean that they, not you, are God’s people, although circumcision is something that humans do that only changes the body, not something that God does that changes the spirit. 12Remember that, at that time, you were separated from the Messiah. You were foreigners to the people of Israel. You did not share in the things that God promised in his agreements with them. You did not confidently expect that God would save you. No, you were living in this world completely without God. 13But now, because you have trusted in Jesus the Messiah, God has brought you into his family, even though before that you did not know him. This was possible because the Messiah died on the cross for you.

14It is the Messiah who has made it possible for Jews and non-Jews to live peacefully with each other. He made the two separate groups into one group. The two groups hated each other, but he took away every reason for hating each other when he died for all of us. 15He made it no longer necessary for us to obey the commandments and requirements of the Jewish law for him to accept us. He did this in order to make the Jews and the non-Jews into one new people who would live peacefully together because of their relationship to him. 16He did this in order to reconcile both groups to God as one group by dying on the cross for all of them. By dying for them, Jesus made it possible for them to stop being enemies to each other and to God. 17Jesus came and announced the good news that we can be at peace with God; he announced this to you non-Jews, who did not know about God, and to us Jews, who did know about God. 18Because of what Jesus did for us, both Jews and non-Jews now can come to God the Father with the help of God’s Spirit.

19Therefore now you non-Jews are no longer left out of God’s people, but instead you are fellow members with those whom God has set apart for himself, and you belong to God’s family. 20You are like stones that God has put together into a building, and the apostles and prophets are like the foundation stones of that building. You depend on what they have taught, just as building stones depend on the foundation stones below them to form a wall that is upright and strong. The Messiah Jesus himself is like the cornerstone, which is the most important stone of the building. 21Jesus determines where each person belongs, just as the cornerstone determines where each stone fits in the building. Just as a builder joins stones together to make a holy temple, Jesus is assembling his family of believers to be one holy group which serves the Lord. 22Because you belong to Jesus, he is building you up together, both Jews and non-Jews, into one family that is like a building in which God lives by means of his Spirit.

EPH 2:1–2:22 ©

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