“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10, ESV).
You are saved by the rich grace of God. No matter what you’ve done in your life, his grace is enough. No A-pluses, no good-enoughs, no extra credit required. You don’t need to dig yourself out of your hole or pick yourself up by your bootstraps or overcome your failings or earn a golden ticket because it’s not about doing good works to get God’s approval. This grace and faith and salvation miracle? It’s all God’s.
But . . .
. . . here is where we so often stop. We’re fantastic at quoting (and arguing about!) Ephesians 2:8-9 . . . and we stop there where Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, didn’t stop. God had more to say about this grace and faith and salvation miracle!
Let’s consider again how he brings this idea of grace and salvation to a climactic, purpose-full conclusion: “For we are his workmanship . . .” (ESV). “For we are God’s handiwork . . . “ (NIV). “For we are God’s masterpiece . . .” (NLT). The Greek word here is poema which means something created or made—and it’s also the root from which our English word poem is derived.
You are not an automaton stamped out in a factory. Like a labored-over work of art, you are dreamed up and created by the very hand of God. You are God’s unique workmanship!
Paul keeps on going: “[We are] created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (2:10).
God hand-crafted you for his good purposes—to work his good in this world! He made you to do something! These aren’t “brownie-point good works”—Paul already told us clearly that we don’t earn our salvation. These are poema-good-works. This is joining with God in doing what he made us to do.
So what role does “doing” play in our lives as followers of Jesus? We begin our discussion here: We live as God’s grace-loved masterpieces and embody God’s good, redemptive work in the world.
What is God inviting you to do?
* * * * *