“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
“Hard work…most things worth doing are hard.” Louis L’Amour
Thus far, this study on work has focused on the work we do, or the labor we perform. In other words, our jobs or employment. Today, the focus is on the workmanship God has created each believer to be in Christ.
Ephesians 2:10 begins with this phrase, “We are His workmanship.” What does this phrase mean?
The personal pronoun “we” takes us back to the immediate preceding context of Ephesians 2:1-9. The individuals the Apostle Paul addresses are believers in Christ. These are those who were dead in their trespasses and sin who God has justified by grace alone, through faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
“We are” is an indication that believers in Christ presently and actively exist in a particular condition or state of being. What Paul is describing is not what believers in Christ do, but rather who, and what, they are.
“We are His workmanship.” Believers in Christ, are His, or God’s, workmanship. The word “workmanship” (ποίημα; poiema) means that which has been created or made. The only other occurrence of this word in the New Testament is Romans 1:20. God has created, or made, each individual believer in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). In other words, sinners become believers in Christ as a result of God’s work in their soul.
What has God created believers for? That question is answered by the rest of today’s text: “…created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
God has created us in Christ Jesus for the purpose of good works. These are deeds or tasks which are morally and generous. These are acts which bring God glory, honor and praise (Matthew 5:13-16; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17; I Peter 4:10-11).
The good works God created each believer to perform God prepared in advance of the believer’s actual salvation. This preparation not only reveals the omnipotence of God but also His omniscience. Our purpose is to live, behave and to actively go about doing the good works God created each of us to do.
Dr. R .C. Sproul writes, “Good works are the vital and indispensable consequence and evidence of life with God (Titus 2:14; 3:8; 3:14; James 2:14-26). God chose His elect to make them holy sons and daughters (Ephesians 1:4-5), and He has fashioned them to be new bearers of His image (Ephesians 4:24), designed for the kind of life that conforms to God’s character (Ephesians 4:1-6:20). Our good works are the fruit of salvation, not its cause, and those who do not have good works show that they do not have saving faith (Romans 6; James 2:17-26).”
May each of us today demonstrate and display God’s workmanship in our souls by the good works which we demonstrate and display in our lives. Have a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!