At one time you were like a dead person because of the things you did wrong and your offenses against God.
You used to act like most people in our world do. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God's will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience.
At one time you were like those persons. All of you used to do whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted so that you were children headed for punishment just like everyone else.
However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God's grace!
And God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus.
God did this to show future generations the greatness of his grace by the goodness that God has shown us in Christ Jesus.
You are saved by God's grace because of your faith.a This salvation is God's gift. It's not something you possessed.
It's not something you did that you can be proud of.
Instead, we are God's accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.
So remember that once you were Gentiles by physical descent, who were called "uncircumcised" by Jews who are physically circumcised.
At that time you were without Christ. You were aliens rather than citizens of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of God's promise. In this world you had no hope and no God.
But now, thanks to Christ Jesus, you who once were so far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Christ is our peace. He made both Jews and Gentiles into one group. With his body, he broke down the barrier of hatred that divided us.
He canceled the detailed rules of the Law so that he could create one new person out of the two groups, making peace.
He reconciled them both as one body to God by the cross, which ended the hostility to God.
When he came, he announced the good news of peace to you who were far away from God and to those who were near.
We both have access to the Father through Christ by the one Spirit.
So now you are no longer strangers and aliens. Rather, you are fellow citizens with God's people, and you belong to God's household.
As God's household, you are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
The whole building is joined together in him, and it grows up into a temple that is dedicated to the Lord.
Christ is building you into a place where God lives through the Spirit.