Monday, August 13, 2018

Ephesians 2:8-16

The faithfulness of Christ has paid off big time for you. Through him God has generously gifted you with salvation. This salvation isn’t something you possess -- rather something which possesses you. 9 Again, it’s not something you’ve accomplished -- the basis for pride. 10 Rather, collectively we are GOD’S masterpiece. He has re-created us so that through our connection with Christ Jesus we’ve become a part of his new creation. He did this so that we can implement the agenda that he drew up for us long long ago -- the agenda filled with good things (in contrast to the shady agenda of the world).

11-12 So, for example, remember how you used to be considered Gentiles because of your non-Jewish heritage. The Jews, for whom circumcision was considered to be the physical marker of who was included in God’s promises, called you all the “uncircumcised.” So, you were definitely outsiders. Of course, at that time you were not connected to Christ. In the context of Israel you were merely low-status foreigners -- people without the standing of those who are citizens. That is, as outsiders, God’s covenant promises didn’t really apply to you. You had nothing in this world -- no status -- no hope -- no God. 13 But now, through the blood of Christ, you have a pathway to citizenship. Thanks to Christ Jesus, you who were once despised outsiders are now beloved insiders.

14 Christ is our peace. He brought both Jews and Gentiles together into one group. We all used to hate each other, but when Christ’s body was nailed to the cross he destroyed the walls of hatred that separated us from each other. 15 He abolished the detailed rule system of the Jewish Law in order to create a new kind of person. There used to be two kinds of people but now through the peace of Christ he has created one kind of person from the two. 16 The cross of Christ, which put an end to our hostility toward God, has also brought us together as one body -- ending the hostility between different kinds of people. This reconciliation is the masterpiece.