But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much,
that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's special favor that you have been saved!)
For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms -- all because we are one with Christ Jesus.
And so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus.
God saved you by his special favor 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 that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Don't forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders by birth. You were called "the uncircumcised ones" 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 God's people, Israel, and you did not know the promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope.
But now you belong to Christ Jesus. Though you once were far away from God, now you have been brought near to him because of the blood of Christ.
For Christ himself has made peace between us Jews and you Gentiles by making us all one people. He has broken down the wall of hostility that used to separate us.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)