رسالۀ پولُس رسول به اِفِسُسیان

فصل دوم

از موت به زندگی

۱در گذشته، شما به علت خطایا و گناهان خود مُرده بودید. ۲و در راه های کج این دنیا قدم می گذاشتید و از سردار قدرت های هوا، یعنی همان روحی که اکنون در اشخاص نافرمان و سرکش عمل می کند، پیروی می کردید. ۳در آن زمان، ما همچون شما دستخوش شهوات جسمانی و اسیر تمایلات و افکار نفسانی خود بودیم. درست مانند دیگر آدمیان ما نیز طبیعتاً سزاوار خشم و غضب خدا بودیم. ۴اما خدا آنقدر در رحمت و بخشایش ثروتمند و در محبتش نسبت به ما کریم است که ۵اگرچه به علت خطاهای خود مُرده بودیم، ما را با مسیح زنده گردانید (از راه فیض خداست که شما نجات یافته اید.) ۶و در مسیح ما را سرافراز فرمود و در قلمرو آسمانی با مسیح نشانید. ۷تا ثروت عظیم و بی قیاس فیض خود را با مهربانی نسبت به ما، در مسیح عیسی در زمان های آینده نمایان سازد. ۸زیرا به سبب فیض خداست که شما از راه ایمان نجات یافته اید و این کار شما نیست بلکه بخشش خداست. ۹این نجات نتیجۀ اعمال شما نیست، پس هیچ دلیلی وجود ندارد که کسی به خود فخر کند، ۱۰زیرا ما مصنوع دست او هستیم و خدا ما را در مسیح عیسی از نو آفریده است تا آن کارهای نیکویی را که او قبلاً برای ما مقدر فرمود که انجام دهیم، بجا آوریم.

اتحاد در مسیح

۱۱بنابراین به خاطر داشته باشید که شما در گذشته جسماً جزو اشخاص دور از خدا بودید و به وسیلۀ اهل ختنه (یعنی یک عمل جسمانی که به دست انسان صورت می گیرد) «نامختون» نامیده می شدید. ۱۲در آن زمان از مسیح دور بودید و از برتری قوم اسرائیل محروم و از پیمان هایی که بر وعده های خدا استوار بود، بی بهره بودید. شما در این دنیا بدون امید و بدون خدا به سر می بردید، ۱۳اما اکنون شما که دور بودید به وسیلۀ مسیح عیسی و ریختن خون او نزدیک شده اید. ۱۴زیرا مسیح صلح و سلامتی ما است و این دو یعنی یهود و غیر یهود را با هم یکی ساخته است. او با بدن جسمانی خود دیواری که آنها را از هم جدا می کرد و دشمنان یکدیگر می ساخت در هم شکست. ۱۵زیرا شریعت را با مقررات و احکامش، در بدن خود باطل کرد، تا از این دو دسته در خود یک انسانیت نو را بوجود آورد و صلح و سلامتی را میسر بسازد. ۱۶مسیح با مرگ خود بر روی صلیب، این دو را در یک بدن واحد دوستان خدا گردانید، تا دشمنی دو جانبه یهود و غیر یهود را نیز از میان بردارد. ۱۷به این سبب بود که مسیح آمد و مژدۀ صلح را به شما که دور بودید و آنانی که نزدیک بودند اعلام کرد. ۱۸اکنون هر دو به وسیلۀ مسیح اجازه داریم که در یک روح یعنی روح القدس به حضور خدای پدر بیائیم.

۱۹پس شما غیر یهودیان دیگر بیگانه و اجنبی نیستید بلکه با مقدسین خدا هموطن و اعضای خانوادۀ خدا هستید. ۲۰شما بر تهدابی که به دست رسولان و انبیاء نهاده شد، بنا شده اید و مسیح عیسی سنگ اصلی آن است. ۲۱در پیوستگی با اوست که تمام عمارت به هم پیوست می گردد و رفته رفته در خداوند به صورت یک خانۀ مقدس در می آید. ۲۲شما نیز در پیوستگی با او و همراه دیگران به صورت مکانی بنا خواهید شد که خدا به وسیلۀ روح خود در آن زندگی می کند.

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