Ephesians 2

God has made us alive with Christ

1 Remember how you lived before. You did wrong things and bad things. As a result, you were dead in your spirits. 2 You lived in bad way, like the people who belong to this world. You were obeying Satan, who rules the powerful spirits in the air. Those spirits are working now in everyone who refuses to obey God. 3 At one time, all of us lived like those people. We did whatever bad things our bodies wanted to do. If our thoughts made us want to do something, we did it. Because we were like that, God was angry with us. He should have punished us, just like everyone else.

4 But God is very good and kind! He loved us very much. 5 Because of our sins, we were dead in our spirits. But God gave us a new life, because we are united with Christ. Yes, God has saved you because he is so kind. 6 Also, God raised us up with Christ, so that we now sit with Christ in heaven. God has done this for us because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 He wanted to show, for all future time, how very kind he is. He has helped us so much because of what Christ Jesus has done. 8 When you believed in Jesus, God saved you because he is very kind. You could not save yourselves, but that is God's gift to you. 9 He has not saved you as a result of any good things that you have done. So, nobody has any reason to be proud about it. 10 It is God who has worked in us to make us what we are. He has given us a new life because we are united with Christ Jesus. He saved us so that now we can do good things in our lives. Those are good things that he has already prepared for us to do.

Christ has brought Jews and Gentiles together

11 So, you who were born as Gentiles should remember what you were like before. Jews insulted you because nobody has circumcised you. They themselves are proud that men have circumcised them as God's people. 12 At that time, you did not know about Christ, God's special Messiah. You did not belong to the nation of Israel's people. You did not know about the good things that God had promised to his people. You were living in this world with nothing good to hope for. You were living without God's help. 13 You were far away from God. But now, God has brought you near to himself, because you belong to Christ Jesus. That is possible because of Christ's death on the cross as a sacrifice.

14 It is Christ himself who has brought peace between Jews and Gentiles. He has brought those two groups together, to be one group. He has destroyed the things that made them separate. As a result, they are no longer enemies. 15 When his body died on the cross, Christ took away the power of the Jewish laws and rules. In that way, he made the two groups join together as one new group of people. As a result, he caused them to have peace. 16 As a single group, Christ brought Jews and Gentiles back to God. He stopped them from hating each other. He did this by his death on the cross.

17 When Christ came, he told people God's good news about peace. He told that message to you Gentiles, who were far away from God. He also told it to us Jews, who were near to God. 18 Now we all have received the same Holy Spirit, because of what Christ has done for us. As a result, we can all come near to God the Father.

2:17The Jews already knew about God. God had given them his Laws. He promised to take care of them if they obeyed him. He promised to send his special Messiah to save them. The Gentiles did not know about any of those things.

19 So now, you Gentiles are not strangers among God's people any more. You belong to the group of God's people that he rules. You belong to God's family, as all God's people do. 20 You are like a house that God is building for himself. God's apostles and his prophets are like the strong stones under the house. Jesus Christ is like the most important stone in the house. 21 He makes the whole building stand together strongly. In that way, all God's people together become like a special house that belongs to the Lord. 22 Because you belong to Christ, God is building you all together into his house. That is where God lives by his Spirit.

2:22The church is the family of God's people. It is not important where you were born. It is not important whether you are a Jew or a Gentile. If you trust in Jesus Christ and in his death on the cross, God gives you his Holy Spirit. He takes you to belong to his own family. He does that as his gift to you, because he is kind.