“ For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
The Apostle Paul says that we are His workmanship. The word used is ‘poiēma’. Paul says that we are God’s poem; His work of art; His masterpiece! When was the last time you thought of yourself as an expression of a divine poem, a godly work of art or a heavenly masterpiece?! Paul says, in Christ Jesus, this is exactly what we are!
Earlier in his letter to the Ephesians, Paul described our salvation in terms of a resurrection from the dead, a liberation from slavery and a rescue from condemnation. In each instance, it declares that the work is God’s for dead people cannot bring themselves to life again, nor can captive and condemned people free themselves. Paul is saying that our salvation through Jesus Christ is in effect creation, re-creation and new creation. What Paul is saying is that good works are indispensable to new creation. We don’t do good works to somehow cause salvation, for indeed apart from Jesus Christ none of our works please God (Isaiah 64:6) but, having been made new, good works are a consequence and evidence of salvation. We are not saved because of works, but we are created in Christ Jesus for good works for which God fashioned us and so that we should continuously walk in them. Paul ends verse 10 with the statement: “that we should walk in them”. This is a beautiful Hebrew idiom for our manner of life. Formerly, we ‘walked’ in trespasses and sins in which the devil had us trapped. This walk wasn’t pleasing to God in any way and in actual fact caused Him great grief and disappointment but now, because of Jesus, we can walk in good works that merit God’s delight, favour and blessing as a way of life. The contrast is complete. It is a contrast between two lifestyles (evil and good) and behind them two masters (the devil and God).
Paul refuses to whitewash the truth as such a course of action leads to superficial solutions. Jesus Christ is the answer; only in Him is there resurrection out of death, and creation out of nothing. Because of Him, there is beauty where once existed only ashes. As you go about your day today, remember that good works flow from what God does in us, rather than God’s work in us flowing from our works. It was always His plan and purpose for good works to flow from His grace. Whatever you do today, do it to the best of your ability for the glory of His name as His ‘poem’ to the world around you.
When I gave my life to Jesus two and a half years ago, I was a single mother with two children and I was concerned about how I was going to make ends meet in the long term. I sometimes felt overwhelmed by the responsibility of being a single mother with no family support.
The hours I can work outside my home are restricted for various reasons and I was training as a jeweller in the hope that I might be able to earn a living by running my own business but as time when on, I felt God asking me to take a leap of faith and change what I was doing so that I could allow God to lead me through the creative gift He has blessed me with. I felt that God was asking me to train as a calligrapher which was not something I had ever considered, or even been interested in, as an unbeliever. After praying for months alone and with Christian friends, I decided to take that leap of faith; I stopped making jewellery and enrolled on a calligraphy correspondence course. One of the biggest motivations that encouraged me to do this was the fact that I would be able to write the Word of God as I trained and that, in time, I would be able to run a business as a biblical scribe and illuminator. At present, I feel God is speaking to me about spreading the Gospel in the marketplace and I am excited about the idea of doing this, specifically using the gift He entrusted to me. I no longer feel overwhelmed about making ends meet and I no longer feel that I am “managing alone.” I believe that God is with me in this and I feel this is why God blessed me with a creative gift.
What has God said to you through today’s promise?