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. (Eph. 2:8-10 ESV)
I always have enjoyed the fact that our celebration of Christmas ushers in the New Year. Christmas is about new beginnings coming through Jesus the Messiah. Christmas is about God becoming man to pay the price of redemption and bringing new life. Christmas is also about God becoming man to provide for us a new way of living.
Last week we briefly looked at Ephesians 2 with Christmas in mind. The coming of Christ was for Him to revive us, rescue us and raise us. This week we will continue our look into Ephesians 2:8-10 and see Jesus revived, rescued and raised us to a new way of living.
For By Grace Are You Saved
Paul wants to make one thing clear here, there is absolutely nothing you have done to earn your salvation. Salvation did have a price, a price that no fallen human being could ever pay. The price of salvation came at the cost of Jesus, fully God and fully man, living, dying, and raising back to life for your sins. A salvation which is freely given by grace.
What is grace? Grace is God’s unmerited favor on those who deserve his wrath. There is nothing we could ever do to earn our salvation, God graces it to us through Christ. Salvation is the free gift of God to those He calls.
Not By Works
Paul continues to point to grace because we are saved by God’s grace, we have no reason to boast. No work of accomplishment caused God’s favor to rest upon us, it is merely an act of God’s grace. So there is no reason to think of ourselves better than our fellow man.
Some could lead to the conclusion that if works don’t save me, and I am saved, then works don’t matter at all. Which is not at all what Paul is communicating. Paul proclaims loudly, you are not saved by anything you do, but I do not believe Paul is proclaiming works don’t matter at all.
We Are His Workmanship
One of the reasons I love reading Paul is because the Spirit guided his writing in such a way that he answers what could be misunderstandings in his writings as he is writing. Paul squashes any misunderstandings in the very next verse telling believers you “were created in Christ Jesus for good works”. Paul tells the Ephesian believers and the Spirit tells us today through the Word, you are not saved by your works but you are saved to do good works in Christ.
Believer lets delve deeper to the flow and meaning of the verse. Workmanship, is a fascinating word in the Greek, Preceptaustin has done some great research, which I am grateful for concerning this word workmanship. In the Greek its POIEMA which we get our English words POEM and POETRY. Poiema means “something made” and in context is something made by God, the Spirit of Christ. Before Christ tells you to do anything he points out that we as believers are pieces of divine poetry in the hands of God. But God doesn’t stop there, Paul continues to point out that as His pieces of divine poetry we are created to do good works in our world. This is your purpose, to do the good works the Father has placed you on this planet to do. Now if your mind isn’t blown yet, God prepared these works, which you are supposed to do, beforehand. The Apostle Paul’s final words in this verse, “we should walk in them.”
We are ambassadors for Christ in this world, as ambassadors we are called to be representatives of the kingdom of God in every aspect of life. As believers we bear the imprint of our Creator, our lives should shine the glories of God. As God’s poetic masterpieces we should infiltrate the culture with kingdom living, if the world doesn’t see Christ in us, how will they see Him?