ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 230


believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy
Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he
will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be
his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.
Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love
for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you. I
pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in
your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light
so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he
called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s
power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised
Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right
hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or
power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the
world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and
has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the
church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all
things everywhere with himself.
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.
You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—
the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at
work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to
live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like
everyone else.
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though
we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ
from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For
he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in
the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can
point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his
grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are
united with Christ Jesus.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit
for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things
we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things
he planned for us long ago.

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