Before we were baptized into Jesus Christ (see Rm 6:3), we "were strangers to the covenant and its promise" (Eph 2:12). We "were without hope and without God in the world" (Eph 2:12). We were far from God (Eph 2:13, 17). Without Christ, a barrier stood between ourselves and God (see Mt 27:51) and between Gentiles and Jews (Eph 2:14).
Jesus changed all this through His cross (Eph 2:16). "This means that you are strangers and aliens no longer. No, you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God. You form a building which rises on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Capstone" (Eph 2:19-20). "Once you were no people, but now you are God's people; once there was no mercy for you, but now you have found mercy" (1 Pt 2:10).
Before we lived in and for Christ, we were dead (Eph 2:1). After becoming new creations in Christ, we began to live. Therefore, we:
- owe the Lord constant thanks and praise forever,
- must love people enough to tell them the good news of Jesus, and
- should rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4).
We are in A.D., not B.C. Praise; witness; rejoice!