Ephesians 2:1-10 – Sacrificing as the works of art made by the hand of God

Updated: Feb 28

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-- by grace you have been saved-- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God-- not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.


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This is the Epistle reading selection for the fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It follows an Old Testament reading from Numbers, which tells of the Nehushtan, or the bronze serpent on a pole, which saved the souls of the Israelites who were wandering from Yahweh. There is also Psalm 107 read prior to this Epistle reading, which sings, “Some were fools and took to rebellious ways; they were afflicted because of their sins. They abhorred all manner of food and drew near to death's door.” Finally, it accompanies the Gospel reading from John, when Jesus said, “God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”


In this reading, I feel it is important to explain that this is the beginning of chapter 2 and the only reference point possible for verse 1 can come from chapter 1, which ends with the verse 23. The last two verses in chapter 1 make a complete “sentence,” which states, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” With that known, verse 1 in chapter 2 begins with the capitalized word “Kai,” which is a marker word that denotes importance to follow, not simply the conjunction “And.” Still, as an important "And," one needs to know what this is being added to.


Verse one actually begins with the two words, “Kai hymas,” before a comma mark forces one to focus importantly on “you.” That “you” was the Christians of Ephesus, but “you” is important because it refers to every reader thereafter, who seeks to be a true Christian.


Relative to the end of chapter 1 placing focus on the church, “you” becomes the central focus of any form of church possible. Because Jesus defined a “church” [“ekklasia”] as “any time two or more meet in his name [i.e.: in the name of Jesus Christ],” this makes “you” be importantly introduced as to what a true Christian is. Only true Christians make up the church Jesus referred to, as Paul knew well.


Once one knows the beginning of chapter 2 is placing focus on individual Christians, with “hymas” being the second person plural, in the accusative case, Paul then completed the first verse by saying all were individually “dead” [“nekrous”] in “being” [“ontas”], before they were transformed into true Christians.


In the two Greek words written following the comma after “you” [“hymas”], "nekros ontas" can also translate as saying “existing mortal” or “living in a corpse.” That is important to grasp, as it is not an insult, but rather a statement of fact. A body of flesh is dead matter without the spirit of a soul within it. When the two are separated, the body of flesh returns to its only state possible, which is death.


When this fact is understood, Paul then explained why this is also a condition of death imposed on a soul, which is eternal. He stated the soul is kept in a state of death because of its “transgressions” or “trespasses” [“paraptōmasin”], which are then importantly [the use of “kai”] stated to be “the sins of you” [“hamartiais hymōn”].


By repeating “you,” Paul is saying the death of the body of flesh is natural, but the death of an eternal soul is due to the “lapses” in the flesh done by souls. The use of “kai” makes “sins of you” most important to grasp, because the Greek word “paraptōmasin” can also state “sins,” such that Paul understood by repeating that focus through saying, “the sins of the flesh [death] are the sins of the soul, which cause death to the soul.”


Verse 2, according to the NRSV translation, says, “in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient.”


The translation read aloud makes it appear as if verse 1 continues to imply “sins in which you once lived,” stating Christianity represents a change of lifestyle. With the reality being Paul placed a comma after stating “death,” relative to “the sins of you,” meaning one’s souls’ sins, so the soul needs rescue from the death sins cause. The comma separates the next segment of words, making them relative to but subsequent to, such that the comma says “death” is relative to knowing “once you lived” or “once you walked” [from “pote periepatēsate”], where the essence of “periepatēsate” is how the soul once conducted the flesh to act sinfully.


This revelation then leads to two segments where Paul says the soul was “following,” where the Greek word “kata” is repeated, better translated as “according to.” When that translation is amended, Paul said “according to your soul being’s” desires. The only “following” a soul does, as stated by Paul, is “according to” what makes one’s soul profit, without care for other souls. Thus, “according to” becomes relative to external urges that come from [NRSV translation] "the course of the world; and, the ruler of power in the air." This translation gives an incomplete picture of what Paul wrote.


These two statements about how a soul acts “according to” sin, is first said to be “according to the age” [from “aiōna”]. This is then expounded on the “conditions of this world” [from “tou kosmou toutou”], as its own segment between comma marks. The second way one’s soul acts to sin is “according to this [the soul being] ruler with the authority from the air” [from “ton archonda tēs exousias tou aeros”]. This is then further explained as being “this spirit who commands activity in these sons those of disobedience.”


All of this says the outer influence is based on the “age” of man, and what that “age” has degenerated into, thereby accepting as allowable ‘norms’ that which was then sinful. Sin is sin throughout all ages, but the ages bring about waywardness. The inner influence is the soul believing it is a little-g ‘god,’ because it is a breath of eternal life from Yahweh, so it has all the authority is wants over its ‘kingdom’ it rules - that in and over the flesh.


When Paul makes a point of calling all souls who sin and are thus condemned to death as the life breath that moves from one mortal body to the next [reincarnation means sentenced to death because of past transgressions]. These are called “the sons of disobedience” [from “tois huiois tēs apeitheias”]. Here, the spelling of “sons” in the lower-case becomes the opposite of “Sons,” which is a spiritually elevated state of “being” or “you.”


The Greek word “apeitheia” not only translates as “disobedience,” but also as “willful unbelief,” such that the word’s usage implies: “properly, someone not persuaded, referring to their willful unbelief, i.e. the refusal to be convinced by God's voice.” (HELPS Word-studies)


By grasping how Paul explained to Christians in Ephesus what they knew of themselves having this experience - having been controlled by external influences of the world and the inner lusts of a soul - one can then see why Paul then wrote in verse 3: “All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.”


Here, Paul is translated as saying “following the desires of flesh and senses,” which are mutations of “influences of “the world” [“kosmou”] and the “power of the air” [“exousias tou aeros”]. They are now stated as “flesh” [“sarkos”] and “thought” [“dianoia”]. This state of being is “natural” [“physei”], but it is controlled by “impulses” [“orgēs”], which become the “wrath” that befalls a soul ["us"], even when our emotions will lead our bodies of flesh to do good deeds on occasion.


It is this natural state of being that the Christians of Ephesus understood, Paul was then led to write in verse 5 (according to the NRSV translation): “But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us.” This translation is misleading, when one does not slowly read divine Scripture for purposeful insight.


Verse 5 begins with the capitalized word “Ho,” which is a word of importance due to its capitalization. The word, however, is disregarded in the ways of human syntax, as a word unnecessary to translate into English. The word appears to be a useless article, as stating nothing more than “the;” but the capitalization transforms the word to an important “This,” which become a significant statement about this “natural” state that brings “wrath” upon one’s soul.


“This” is then stated to be the exception (“but”) that is “God” [“Theos”]. The importance becomes a reflection of that which is “natural” as a state of being for one who is without Yahweh, the One God. All souls are born naturally into flesh without God.


It then becomes important to see God as the source of “mercy” or “pity, compassion” [from “eleei”], which God has a great “wealth” of in His “being.” This is then a statement how sinners can become saints, due to the forgiveness God offers to all who will naturally fall prey to the lusts of a body of flesh. Repentance can mean that the sinful body can be made alive by a cleansed soul.


It is natural for a body of flesh to become the baby of the soul, such that whatever the baby asks for the parent gives. This type of care for a baby can lead a soul to become the slave of the baby. That child then leads the parent soul to greater and greater sins, even though the parent soul believes the baby was given to it by God for the purpose of giving the baby everything within its power as a soul to allow. Because God is the parent of the soul, He too understands how easy it is for a parent to become led by the child, rather than teach the child moderation. Allowance for this is why God breathes a soul into flesh in the first place: a soul wants to exist in the flesh. However, God also knows the wraths a soul will bring upon itself, due to allowing the flesh to mislead it too much; so, the soul naturally cries out to God for help, just like a baby in need.


Relative to this parent-child comparison, Paul continued in verse 5 by stating, “out of the great love with which he loved us.” In this segment of words, Paul is equating “great love” [“pollen agapēn”] to God’s “wealth of mercy.” In this, the Greek word “agapēn,” as a form of “agape,” has to be seen as not a form of “love” that is that known by a body of flesh [like “wrath, like everyone else” – meaning “like all other emotions caused by the flesh’s control over a soul”].


The Greek word means “benevolence, good will, esteem,” all relative to the “mercy, pity, and compassion God has in great supply. It cannot be seen as if God has feelings that overcome Him, leading Him to acceptance of the sins of a soul let loose in a body of flesh. That kind of “love” becomes synonymous with feelings of desire, thus lusts.


It should be seen as a statement of a parent’s love for the child, where “love” means forgiveness for having done wrong, after a promise never to do anything that will damage the “love” between a parent and child again. Therefore, when Paul said “God loved us,” the meaning is God had compassion and pity for those who realized the errors of their ways and begged God for help.


Here, Paul divided a line of thought, begun in verse 5, by making verse 6 become a statement that branches from the forgiveness of God. In that verse Paul wrote, “even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—”. Here it still appears the line of thought continues [due to the hyphen], but divine language cannot be gulped up too quickly. One must desire to understand what this subset of being without God says.


Here, Paul repeated his beginning assessment of “you” as a soul “dead through trespasses,” or sins. The forgiveness of God’s love is then stated to be the transformation from death, so one’s soul becomes “alive together with Christ” [“synezōopoiēsen tō Christō”]. This separate statement by Paul, following one saying a soul was “dead from transgressions, is really saying “made alive together with” [“synezōopoiēsen”]. The intent is to say a soul that was dead has been ”made alive together with God.” This intuited meaning must be seen, so one can then see how Paul said (in the same breath) “this togetherness is called the Christ state of being.” That means “made together with God” makes a soul in a body of flesh become “the Anointed One of God.” The presence of a hyphen forces one to focus solely on this element that is “the Christ.”


It is then after the hyphen that Paul continued by stating, “by grace you have been saved.” Here, “by grace” [“chariti”] must be understood as “a favor” of God. The element of “saved” [“sesōsmenoi”] means one’s soul has been “rescued” from death. In between, the word translated in the past tense, as “has been,” is “este,” which is a present tense verb that says, “you are,” meaning one’s soul ceases being dead by a promise to be alive, by escaping death from sins. This is then stating a cleansing of one's soul, through God’s favor given out of love. That clean slate is when one's marriage to God welcomes the anointing of one's soul as “the Christ.”


Following the segment of words that were set off by hyphens, relative to the “favor of salvation,” Paul wrote verse 6 so it began with the word “kai.” That beginning makes it important that one understand what has just been said about the Anointing a soul receives by being made alive together with God, as His favor for true repentance. The importance introduces one to: “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (The NRSV translation read above.) Within that translation is hidden another use of “kai,” such that “and seated with us” is also important to understand.


This places the word “synēgeiren” between two presentations of “kai,” makes it important to realize the deeper meaning of “he raised up together”. That is the third person singular form of “sunegeiró,” where the aorist tense makes the word refer to a simple past act. That says “he, she, or it [was] raised up along with,” where “he” becomes indicative of God [not God’s Christ]. The aspect of being “together with” refers to one’s soul merging with God, which becomes a statement of God’s Holy Spirit – God’s extension into the material plane – where a soul is seen as a spirit of God that has been elevated via marriage to God, through merger with His Holy Spirit. The two together (both from God) make a natural-state-led soul spirit become subservient to God, as a soul “raised” by a divine-state-led Holy Spirit. It is then most important to grasp that meaning.


From that comes the second use of “kai,” where that divine marriage makes one’s soul become “seated together in this spiritual realm.” That realm is where elohim (gods) live on earth – holy souls in bodies of flesh [i.e.: Apostles or Saints]. Paul then said (through the use of capitalization) this marriage of the soul with God’s Holy Spirit is what defines one being in “the Anointed” state of being that is “the Christ.” Therefore, that soul in a body of flesh, as a Saint, ceases being whatever name he or she went by before this divine transformation was allowed by God. The marriage of spirits means one of God’s breaths of life into death (a soul) has just taken on the name of God [the Christ], so the flesh that Holy Spirit controls then takes on the name “Jesus.”


The common mistake most [if not nearly all] Christians make is reading the words “Christō Iēsou” [“Christ Jesus”] as one name (and one name only), which becomes “Jesus Christ.” This makes it seem that the last name of Jesus was Christ, which is not the truth of what Paul wrote. If God truly wanted Paul to write with that intent in His Mind, the two words would be written as one: Christōiēsou.


In divine text, each word is written with divine purpose; and, two capitalized words do not merely state proper nouns, as names, but each states the importance of the words. As such, each word stands alone as a statement of importance, with meaning beyond simply a name. The two capitalized words go together because a soul of death that begs God for forgiveness from past sins has been divinely transformed into God’s extension on earth [His Christ], which makes that Saint become reborn in the name of Jesus.


Here, it is important to realize that the names in the Holy Bible are not like the names people today seem to come up with, using a sack and scrabble letters that are randomly pulled out. Each name is capitalized because of the meaning behind the name. The stories of name changes in the Holy Bible then state a divine transformation taking place.


Abram transformed from one who represented “Exalted Father,” to one who reflected “Their Protection” as Abraham. Jacob’s name changed from “Supplanter” [Holding the Heel] to Israel, meaning “He Retains God.” Saul was a name meaning “Asked For,” but his name changed to Paul, meaning “Small,” after he had a vision of Jesus. Thus, from seeing the significance of a name, a sinner’s soul goes from whatever name they held in the flesh to Jesus, a name meaning “Yahweh Will Save” or "Yah[weh] Saves."


When one realizes that the name of Jesus was told to Mary by the archangel Gabriel [Luke 1:31], to think “Christ Jesus” is the name of Jesus, that name would say “The Anointed Yahweh Will Save” {Christ Jesus]. That makes Jesus fit that name, but Jesus was not the only human being named Jesus. Just as Jesus was not the only one to have a name that said “Yahweh Will Save,” God cannot be limited in who He can approve to be His Son, also Anointed by His Holy Spirit in marriage to a soul. This means to only see Jesus identified by Paul here, as “Christ Jesus,” is limiting God; and, is itself a sin by thinking that.


From this statement about the meaning of “Christ Jesus,” the line of thought then continues (following a comma mark) in verse 7. The NRSV translates that continuation to state: “so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”


Here, again, is the presentation of “ages,” like that stated in verse two [“aiōna” in the singular number, verses “aiōsin” now in the plural number]. This becomes Paul stating that God [the third person pronoun “him” – “autou”] will continue to “show the immeasurable riches of his grace,” where that sums up verses 4 and 5, restating the “wealth of God’s mercy” translating into His “favors” continually saving the souls of human beings,” throughout the “ages” of time.


This is then Paul prophesying to us today that the same “kindness” [“chrēstotēti”] shown “towards us in Christ Jesus.” The word stating “kindness towards us in Christ Jesus” need close inspection to fully grasp.


The Greek written by Paul is: “chrēstotēti eph’ hēmas en Christō Iēsou,” where a viable alternate translation can be: “uprightness on the basis of us souls among the Anointed [as] Jesus [reborn].” This makes it not simply being the “kindness” of God that wants everyone in the future to believe there was a man everyone liked to call “Jesus Christ,” but a statement that the continuation of the concept of being reborn in the name of Jesus Christ comes from Saints and Apostles who will have changed from being “you of death from sins” to being “us upright” from forgiveness of sins. It forces one to accept “chrēstotēti” means a state of “righteousness” that can only come from one’s soul having been “seated with God’s Holy Spirit,” as one “Anointed” in the holy name “Jesus.” This says Paul foresaw true Christianity being God’s gift continuously, given freely to lost souls who truly seek to be found.


To make sure all the true Christians in Ephesus understood clearly what was said [including all to come “in the ages to come”], he began a new line of thought in verse 8. The NRSV translates that to say, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—“. In this translation, once again, a capitalized first word is disregarded, due to the rules of syntax.


The verse states (in the Greek): “Tē gar chariti este sesōsmenoi dia pisteōs , kai touto ouk ex hymōn ; Theou to dōron ,” which literally can translate to say, “This indeed gratitude souls are rescued by reason of faith , kai this not from out of yourselves ; God this a sacrifice”.


The capitalized word “This” places focus backwards onto “Jesus” [from “Christō Iēsou”], where “indeed” the name of “Jesus” is one earned, so received with true “gratitude” by the soul taking on that name, having received it from a “favor” from God. That name comes upon one’s “being” [root word “eimi” for “este”] as a sign of that one soul having been “rescued” or “saved” from death in a sinful body of flesh. This salvation does not come from simple belief in Jesus Christ, because it can only come from true “faith,” after having proved to God the commitment of marriage. Then after one is Anointed in the name of God’s Holy Spirit, can one then truly say, “Yahweh Saves” ["Jesus"].


The Greek word “pistis” is said by Strong’s to mean “faith, faithfulness,” with usage including “faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness.” The word is rooted in “peithô,” which means “persuade, be persuaded.” According to HELPS Word-studies, the proper intent of “pistis” is “persuasion (be persuaded, come to trust); faith.” As such, “faith” is said to “always [be] a gift from God, and never something that can be produced by people.”


This makes it different from “belief,” as people can believe in anything, especially if told to believe, without needing personal experience. It is personal experience that “persuades” one to have “faith,” from having come to know something on a deeper level, where trust has developed through the reality of personal experience. Therefore, having heard people say to believe in Jesus Christ is not the same as coming to know God personally through marriage to His Holy Spirit; as only then can one fully comprehend what it means to take on a name that says "Yahweh Will Save” me personally.


From that realization, one sees a comma mark followed by the word “kai” [a syntactical error], such that a pause reflecting on “faith” is then importantly shown to mean “this” [faith] cannot come “from out of yourselves.” The importance of this segment of words, relative to “faith,” is that “faith” demands oneself [a multiple as “yourselves”] be joined with God to know the reality of Anointment as Jesus [“Christ Jesus”]. When one is alone, without God, there is no divine marriage of the soul to the Holy Spirit, so one cannot truthfully call oneself “Yahweh Will Save.” Alone, one can have untested beliefs, but “not faith from out of yourself.”


Here, the Greek word “ex” means “from, from out of.” (Strong’s) It can intend a meaning in usage as “from out, out from among, from, suggesting from the interior outwards.” HELPS Word-studies says of this word: “properly, "out from and to" (the outcome); out from within.” When this word is attached to the word “hymon,” as a statement of what can possibly come “out from within one’s self,” this becomes an important statement [“kai”] that “faith in God is impossible by a soul alone.” It says [in reverse], “faith is a soul married to God,” where one has come to ‘Biblically’ know God.


From this conclusion being drawn, one can then understand the final segment of verse 9, which states, “it is the gift of God” [from “Theou to dōron,” which literally says, “God this gift”]. This says a soul must be married to God for faith to be possible. One can say one believes in God, but that cannot be proved simply from saying those words to others – “thus faith not from out of oneself.” Faith is therefore a “gift of God,” such that the word “dōron” acts as a statement of a wedding “present.” That “present” can then be seen as the presence of God within oneself [joined as one with one’s soul], so faith is not the words of oneself speaking, but having the ability to have God speak through oneself, as one of the gifts of God’s Holy Spirit.


Paul clarified this by writing in verse 9: “not the result of works, so that no one may boast”, which is a two-part clarification. Here the negative “ouk” is repeated, making it address his having written “[faith] not from out of yourselves,” where the word translated here as “the result of” is the same “ex” that says “from out of.” This now clarifies that inner lack of faith being outwardly expressed.


This, certainly, makes the word “ergon” correctly translated as “works,” but the word can also indicate “tasks, deeds, acts, or things done from physical works.” This means words expressed outwardly and charitable deeds, where one makes sure others give one credit for having done acts of faith, are not the purpose of marriage to God. That is not God’s works through a body of flesh.


Following a comma mark, the second half of this clarification says, “so that no one may boast.” This becomes a clear statement that a soul married to God will never go about doing or saying anything that places oneself at the center of attention. God does not need any human flesh telling anyone about how “I” did this or “I” did that, because that nullifies the marriage agreement that says first of all, “You will always wear My holy face in marriage.” Therefore, no one will take notice of a Saint in their midst, because God expects servitude to be the complete surrender of self-ego and self-will, so nothing done will ever be seen as self-serving, when one's soul is in the name of God or His Christ.


In the final verse in this reading selection [10], Paul is shown by the NRSV to state, “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” Again, it helps to get a fuller picture of what the words Paul wrote mean.


The word translated as “what he has made” is “poiēma,” where the focus is not the simplicity of something “made,” but the “workmanship” of a craftsman. When a soul is unified with God’s Holy Spirit through a bonding commitment of marriage, the body of flesh transforms from sinner to Saint.


From that position, the “workmanship” is then stated to be a “creation,” where “ktisthentes” becomes the finished product of “having been shaped” by the hand of God. In the same way that one would never give credit to a block of wood, a block of clay, a block of marble, or a blank canvass, for “having been created” by a master workman or artist at one’s craft, the same can be said about a Saint, as none of their creations from sin into righteousness came without God's working them as He wants.


This then led Paul to repeat the capitalized words “Christō Iēsou,” which (again) cannot be read as one word or a whole name. It says the creation of God is “the Christ,” or “the Anointing” of a soul in a body of flesh to be a merger with God. It is then from that merger that the creation extends into that body of flesh being seen as “Saved By Yahweh” [“Yahweh Will Save”], so it truthfully can be in the name of “Jesus.”


From having been made as Jesus reborn into the flesh, this name is then proved by “good works.” Here, the word “ergois” restates the “works,” which cannot be coming out of the creation, because the bad soul-body (of a sinner) has been molded into shape by the hand of God, so it is His Son named Jesus, who only does “good.” The purpose of an Apostle-Saint is not self-preservation but to be God's instrument that also will save others, which is how one does good works in the name of Jesus.


When Paul wrote , “which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life,” this says Jesus has been the model of all Saints since the Creation. Every leader in Hebrew history who did “good” was the master workman forming His creation in man. Jesus called himself the “Son of man” because he was a block of clay like all human beings animated by God’s life breath are. The difference was Jesus had been the design before he was born, so he did not need any changes made in the flesh, after birth. That becomes the promise for all souls in sinful flesh, who commit to marry God so He can transform them also into His Son of man. Once transformed, good works [righteousness] becomes one’s way of life.


As a reading choice for the season of Lent, the message must be seen as one’s recognition of a sinful life, where one sees death as the only expectation at the end of the line. By seeing that prior to physical death, one has to see one’s soul in need of marrying God in order to receive Salvation. This self-sacrifice must come before that union of soul to God’s Holy Spirit. One must do acts of sacrifice prior to becoming married,. so God can see one’s true willingness to commit to serve Him as a wife [regardless of one’s human gender]. This makes Lent become the ‘honeymoon’ that comes after marriage; and, the purpose of a honeymoon is to create a new you, which means getting impregnated with baby Jesus. The test of Lent is to become Jesus reborn.


Paul is a most divine writer of Scripture, as himself being one of God’s creations. In ten verses of this letter penned by Paul to true Christians in Ephesus, 207 [Word count] words were written. The true Christians of Ephesus, being themselves God’s Creations as the Christ, in the name of Jesus reborn, could read Paul’s letter and understand its meaning. They knew how to read divine text through the Christ Mind, not human brains. They would not need to read a lengthy interpretation, as this has become [now over 5,100 words]. The only ones who will need to read this Biblical commentary are those living lives of sin, seeking something to help them find salvation. Most will refuse to seek such help. Thus, Lent is never about those who refuse to admit a need to seek God, in order to avoid eternal damnation through reincarnation.