You were dead through the crimes and the sins in which you used to live when you were following the way of this world, obeying the ruler who governs the air, the spirit who is at work in the rebellious. We all were among them too in the past, living sensual lives, ruled entirely by our own physical desires and our own ideas; so that by nature we were as much under God?s anger as the rest of the world. But God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy: when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with Christ ? it is through grace that you have been saved ? and raised us up with him and gave us a place with him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.
This was to show for all ages to come, through his goodness towards us in Christ Jesus, how infinitely rich he is in grace. Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit. We are God?s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it.
|Ep 2:5-6; Jn 3:16
?. When we were dead through sin, God made us alive together with Jesus Christ,
Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing for joy.
Know that he, the Lord, is God.
He made us, we belong to him,
we are his people, the sheep of his flock.
Go within his gates, giving thanks.
Enter his courts with songs of praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.
Indeed, how good is the Lord,
eternal his merciful love.
He is faithful from age to age.
A man in the crowd said to Jesus, ?Master, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance.? ?My friend,? he replied, ?who appointed me your judge, or the arbitrator of your claims?? Then he said to them, ?Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for a man?s life is not made secure by what he owns, even when he has more than he needs.?
Then he told them a parable: ?There was once a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land, thought to himself, ?What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.? Then he said, ?This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them, and I will say to my soul: My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time.? But God said to him, ?Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?? So it is when a man stores up treasure for himself in place of making himself rich in the sight of God.?