ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 228


for them. Their hope is secure because the same power that raised
Christ from the dead is the power that also sustains them.
Paul begins the main body of his letter by emphasizing the same truth
as in Colossians—that following Jesus means beginning a whole new
way of life in a new kind of community. Paul identifies the recipients as
Gentiles but emphasizes that in Jesus they are now fellow citizens with
all of God’s people and full members of his family. They were previously
in exile—“in this world without God and without hope”—but now they
have been joined to the Messiah. Because Christ has torn down the wall
of hostility that once divided Jews and Gentiles, one new human family
has come into existence. Paul refers to this family as God’s new holy
temple—the place where God makes his home—built on the corner­
stone of Jesus himself.
This has always been God’s mysterious plan: to bring all the world’s
people together in Christ. And Paul’s own special mission is to announce this Good News throughout the Roman Empire—especially to
the Gentiles. Overcome by this vision for the world, Paul writes his
second prayer, giving thanks for the great love of Christ that makes it
all possible.
How is this vision to be implemented in the believers’ life together?
They should each use the “special gift” God has given them to help
both the community and its individual members to become mature. In
practical ways, they should allow God’s Spirit to renew their thoughts
and attitudes. And as he did in the letter to the Colossians, Paul instructs them in how the light of Christ should show itself in their household relationships. Paul concludes by pointing out that God has given
them everything they need to resist the “mighty powers in this dark
world” and continue to walk in Christ’s light.

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