Author: Ron Graham
—Simply Bible Readings
Saved by Grace
¶“1You were dead in offenses against God’s law. 2You walked in sins following this world’s age-old ways. You followed the ruler of the kingdom of the air. He is the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:1-2).
¶“3We were among them, living in the lusts of our flesh. Our works followed the will of our bodies and our own thoughts. We were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of humanity. 4But God is rich in mercy because he loved us so much. 5Even though we were dead in sin, God made us alive with Christ. You have been saved by grace!” (Ephesians 2:3).
¶“6In Christ God raised us together, and seated us together in the heavenly realms. 7In the coming ages he will show the surpassing riches of his grace —his kindness toward us in Christ” (Ephesians 2:6-7).
¶“8You are saved by grace through faith. You can't save yourselves on your own; salvation is God’s gift. 9It is not achieved by your own works, so nobody can boast. 10Rather, we are God’s work. He created us in Christ Jesus to do good works which he previously planned. So in those works we should walk” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Christ Our Peacemaker
¶“11At one time, remember, you lived as Gentiles in the flesh. You were called the uncircumcision by those called the circumcision —circumcision done in the flesh by human hands. 12You were separated from Christ. You were alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise. You were without hope and without God in the world. 13You were once far off, but now in Christ Jesus his blood has brought you near” (Ephesians 2:11-13).
¶“14Christ himself is our peace. He has made us both one. He has broken down the barrier of hostility between us. 15He did this by abolishing, in his flesh, the law of commandments in decrees. Christ created in himself one new man, in place of the two, so making peace. 16He could thus reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross. Thus he killed the hostility. 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off, and peace to those who were near. 18For through Christ, in one Spirit, we both have access to the Father” (Ephesians 2:14-18).
¶“19So then, you are no longer strangers and aliens. Rather, you are fellow citizens with the consecrated, and members of the household of God. 19You are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is fitted together. It grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22And you are part of it too. In him you are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22).