From Death to Life 

Ephesians 2:1-10

In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God.  You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil.  He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn't obey God.  Once we were also ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds.  We had made God angry, and we were going to be punished like everyone else.

But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God's wonderful kindness is what saves you.  God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven.  God did this so that in the future world he could show how truly good and kind he is to us because of what Christ Jesus has done.  You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve.  This is God's gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own.  It isn't something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about.  God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live.  That's why he sent Christ to make us what we are.

Contemporary English Version The Holy Bible (New York , NY: American Bible Society 1995) p.1422-1423.