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You were spiritually dead through your sins and failures, all the time that you followed this world's ideas of living, and obeyed the evil ruler of the spiritual realm — who is indeed fully operative today in those who disobey God. We all lived like that in the past, and followed the desires and imaginings of our lower nature, being in fact under the wrath of God by nature, like everyone else. But even though we were dead in sins God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, gave us life together with Christ — it is, remember, by grace that you are saved — and has lifted us to take our place with him in Christ Jesus in the Heavens. Thus he shows for all the ages to come the tremendous generosity of the grace and kindness he has expressed towards us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace that you are saved, through faith. This does not depend on anything you have achieved, it is the free gift of God; and because it is not earned no man can boast about it. For God has made us what we are, created in Christ Jesus to do those good deeds which he planned for us to do. [J.B. Phillips]