Ephesians 1 and 2
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is my third time (give or take) reading through Ephesians. It's an amazing letter. Every time I read it, I feel "my heart strangely warmed". One of the best parts of this letter is the first two chapters. Paul expresses salvation so simply and beautifly that I can't help but be overcome with joy.
"For it is grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast," (2:8,9).
And what does this salvation include? "In him we have redmption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding," (1:7,8).
While we were sinners, paying with our lives, seperating ourselves from God, Christ came to make us alive. When we die with Christ, we live in God, through the grace of the Cross. And in this new life, we "are no longer foreingers and aliens, but fellow citizens of God's household," (2:19).
As Bonhoeffer phrased it, "Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son....Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us."