God’s Saving Word: Faith
Ephesians 2:1-22: All of us were spiritually dead because of sin, but God has restored us to life with Christ. Christ has broken down the walls that separated Jews and Gentiles and has united people of faith.
From Death to Life
2 In the past you were spiritually dead because of your disobedience and sins. 2 At that time you followed the world’s evil way; you obeyed the ruler of the spiritual powers in space, the spirit who now controls the people who disobey God. 3 Actually all of us were like them and lived according to our natural desires, doing whatever suited the wishes of our own bodies and minds. In our natural condition we, like everyone else, were destined to suffer God’s anger.
4 But God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, 5 that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved. 6 In our union with Christ Jesus he raised us up with him to rule with him in the heavenly world. 7 He did this to demonstrate for all time to come the extraordinary greatness of his grace in the love he showed us in Christ Jesus. 8-9 For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it. 10 God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.
One in Christ
11 You Gentiles by birth—called “the uncircumcised” by the Jews, who call themselves the circumcised (which refers to what men do to their bodies)—remember what you were in the past. 12 At that time you were apart from Christ. You were foreigners and did not belong to God’s chosen people. You had no part in the covenants, which were based on God’s promises to his people, and you lived in this world without hope and without God. 13 But now, in union with Christ Jesus you, who used to be far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ.[a] 14 For Christ himself has brought us peace by making Jews and Gentiles one people. With his own body he broke down the wall that separated them and kept them enemies. 15 He abolished the Jewish Law with its commandments and rules, in order to create out of the two races one new people in union with himself, in this way making peace. 16 By his death on the cross Christ destroyed their enmity; by means of the cross he united both races into one body and brought them back to God. 17 So Christ came and preached the Good News of peace to all—to you Gentiles, who were far away from God, and to the Jews, who were near to him. 18 It is through Christ that all of us, Jews and Gentiles, are able to come in the one Spirit into the presence of the Father.
19 So then, you Gentiles are not foreigners or strangers any longer; you are now citizens together with God’s people and members of the family of God. 20 You, too, are built upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets,[b] the cornerstone being Christ Jesus himself. 21 He is the one who holds the whole building together and makes it grow into a sacred temple dedicated to the Lord. 22 In union with him you too are being built together with all the others into a place where God lives through his Spirit.
Today’s Key Verse: Ephesians 2:4, 5a
God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ.
How is a life of disobedience to God described (verses 1-3)? According to verses 4-10, what is the source of our salvation? Have you ever felt “spiritually dead” as mentioned in verse 5. If so, what brought you back to “life in Christ”? What has Christ done to unite people of faith (verses 11-22)?
Lord God, thank you for your abundant mercy and love and for offering me life through your Son, Jesus. Renew and revive my spirit each day, and nurture me each day with your precious and holy Word. Amen.
Ephesians 3:1-21: The apostle Paul describes his mission to the Gentiles.