ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 231

E p hesia n s
Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called
“­uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. In
those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from
citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant
promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God
and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once
you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him
through the blood of Christ.
For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles
into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the
wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law
with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews
and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.
Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means
of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to
He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away
from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come
to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has
done for us.
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.
Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the
prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully
joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through
him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God
lives by his Spirit.
When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit
of you Gentiles . . . assuming, by the way, that you know God gave me the
special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. As I briefly
wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. As you read
what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his
Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.
And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good
News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part
of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they
belong to Christ Jesus. By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given
the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.

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