The Poetry of Grace

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

potteryAhhh… Thank God for the beautiful words of Ephesians 2:8-9. Grace to save us. Grace to build up faith within us. Grace as the most generous of gifts. Grace that is freely given — not earned, not accomplished, not awarded like a merit badge. And this grace makes us whole. Even in our brokenness and our ongoing struggles, this grace shapes us, builds us, forms something in and out of our lives.

And this grace is the context within which we understand the verse that follows. Read it all together: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

“Handiwork” is the word poema–it’s something made, something crafted, a masterpiece. It’s the word from which we derive “poem” and this idea of poetry can give us a unique way of understanding God’s beautiful working in our lives.

mosaicYou are divinely, intentionally, handmade by God. You — your story that includes pain and brokenness and areas of weakness and failing — You are God’s grace-shaping masterpiece. The Artist can create stunning and divine beauty even out of the broken pieces of one’s life! In Christ, you are whole and are being made whole (the journey isn’t done!) . . . and it’s for a purpose: to do the good work of God that he’s prepared for you to do in this world! God desires to work his goodness and love and healing and grace in this world through you. Even today, in whatever is on your plate, God has goodness — blessing — to give to the world through you.

Being “whole” doesn’t mean you’ve got it all figured out or that you’re earning “perfect-Christian” merit badges from God! It means you’re wholly-reliant upon grace, you’re wholly-immersed in God’s love, you’re wholly-dependent upon God for your identity and life’s purpose.

How is God shaping you with his love? How is he writing his poetry of grace in and through your life? How are you now, and how are you continually becoming, his masterpiece?

Thank you God for these words of truth that defy the darkness and confound what we, at times, believe about ourselves! Help each of us us more deeply embrace your truth at the core of who we are: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

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2 responses to “The Poetry of Grace

  1. For the sake of sahring the ENTIRE truth,

    I’m guessing that you believe in OSAS and or through faith alone salvation?

    What then do these passages mean in relationship to your position?

    John 3:5

    Mt. 19:17

    Mt. 16:18-19

    God Bless you, patrick working4christ2

    • Patrick,
      Thanks for engaging in this post. My goal in writing a post about grace (or any post for that matter) isn’t to write an extensive theological treatise on a subject. My goal on my blog, over all, is to share thoughts that lead those who know and love Christ to know and love him more. Rather than citing my own personal stance on some of the issues that can be used to divide us, I’d say that this site is a space for Christians of many different stripes and traditions; though we may not all agree on certain issues, my aim is to have fellowship among believers — both Protestant and Catholic readers and also Christian readers who may disagree about any number of issues. I’d say that Ephesians 2:8-10 speak a clear message, BOTH about God’s free grace and also clearly, in v. 10, about the good work God has purposed for us to do on earth. I hope that this blog is a place where we can on essentials find unity, on non-essentials extend liberty, and in all things maintain charity. I’d also point to the Nicene Creed to clarify the essentials upon which Christians can find unity.
      I hope this is helpful to you. Again, my aim here on this site is not to engage in theological debates but rather to encourage and nurture spiritual growth. Though I certainly find theological discussions very invigorating and engage in them often in my personal life, I don’t want to use this forum to do so.
      Thanks, again, for leaving a comment, and for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate it!

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