We are, Paul tells us in his letter to the believers in Ephesus, no longer strangers and foreigners, but citizens of Heaven, along with all the holy people of God. We are, in fact, members of God’s family. God is making us into His temple: Jesus Christ is the cornerstone, apostles and prophets the foundation, and every believer is being carefully fitted into his perfect place in the glorious temple of God.
“He is our peace,” Paul had written in his letter to the church at Ephesus. Jesus Christ, on the cross, has made it possible for men to have peace with God, and, in that newfound peace with God, the barriers between Jews and Gentiles have been taken away, making possible peace between them as well.
For centuries, there was hostility between Jews and Gentiles. Jews, proud of their position as God’s chosen people, would have nothing to do with the rest of the world; and many of the Gentile nations persecuted and even sought to exterminate the Jews. But in Christ Himself, we can find peace and reconciliation.
As Paul continues his letter to the believers in Ephesus, he calls their attention to the fact that, at one time, only the Jews were God’s chosen people. Those who were not descendants of Abraham were not members of the covenant God had made with Abraham and his children; and the Jews themselves would have nothing to do with these outsiders.
Having once again established that salvation is the gracious gift of God to those who believe in Jesus Christ, that no man can take credit for it or boast of earning it, Paul writes that God has good works planned for us who are saved.
There are some truths in our Christian faith that we need to hear repeated, over and over again. Like the old times tables in grade school, we hear these truths and repeat them enough times, and they become a part of us, an instinctive foundation in our lives on which we can build.
Such a foundation is the truth that we are saved by grace, through faith.
Because of the immeasurable greatness of God’s mercy and kindness and grace, we have been saved. And not only saved, but we have been raised from the dead by God, raised to Eternal Life with Him.