“For you are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Thank you so much for choosing to stop by! We are being changed by the Word of God weekly as we dive into the depths of the riches of Ephesians. This week we set our sights onto verse 10. Here’s the recap. (The link for chapter 2 study guide is at the bottom of the page.)
YOU ARE GOD’S MASTERPIECE
The word “workmanship” is the Greek word “poiemia- it is where we pull the English word poem from. It is sued for various terms of art like: poetry, paintings, sculptures…etc. The idea is of something that has been skillfully crafted.
When someone creates “art” they are expressing the cries of their heart. A masterpiece is the outworking and the unveiling of the master’s heart. Each of our lives is a canvas on which the Master is producing a work that will adequately portray His heart and His intentions to the world. Because we are a piece of the Master, we are a WORKING, animated display of His glory.
In Genesis 1, as Gods eyes surveyed His creation, HE said “it is good”. Now, on this side of the cross, as He looks at the new creation in Christ, He says “behold this is a masterpiece!”
CREATED FOR GOOD WORKS
The Greek term for “works” here in this passage is the word “ergon” which means: that which has been called and ordained to accomplish.
When we are talking about our works, in this context, it is referring to more than just activity. This goes beyond being busy, it is what reaches down into the depths of Gods heart and reveal our callings. these works are pieces of our calling. When we stand at the end of our lives and look back at the overview, all our works will fit together like puzzle pieces and we can say we accomplished what the Lord set before us; we fulfilled our callings.
These works, have been created for us before we were even created. Before the foundation of the world was laid, God laid the foundation of our callings. Since these works were created for us, they were molded by the great Artist Himself, so that we would fit perfectly into them; cohesively and completely.
Concept flows out of context; so, in order to understand more about these works we must look at what the council of the word says.
Genesis 2:15 is the first mention of the mans “works”. Here we see man placed in the garden and given something to accomplish. In order to bring about the completion of the task, man cultivated the land that was given to him to work. This springs to life a concept about our “works” that we often overlook; cultivation.
To cultivate a field in order for it to be ready to produce a harvest, there is s preparation period.
We must go through a season of preparation, when God prepares us for our works that are prepared for us. otherwise, our works would smother and crush us.
For us to be prepared for our prepared works we, like the field for the harvest, must be ploughed. When a farmer ploughs a field, the ground is fallow (it is idle and dormant). So, in order for the seed to be planted to bring about a harvest, the ground must be loosened and “upturned”.
There are areas in our lives, in our hearts and minds, that needs to be upturned. There are things in our heart that needs to be loosened and turned up toward the heavens. There are things that we withhold from our Maker; a heart full of pride and bitterness, plans and aspirations, heartbreaks and disappointments. These things make our hearts fallow ground; they need to be upturned.
Hosea 10:12 New International Version (NIV)
Sow righteousness for yourselves reap the fruit of unfailing love and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord,until he come and showers his righteousness on you.
Two types of works
Galatians 6:8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
If we looked back to Genesis 2:3-17, God freely gave Adam and Eve free range from any tree in the garden. However, there was one tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil that God set off limits. This represents to us the choice between the flesh and the Spirit. yet, we can see from history that when we choose the flesh, like Adam and Eve did, that our works are turned into toil. What was once pleasing and liberating, now turned into labor and a struggle. (Woman’s work, to bear children, was now painful. Man’s work of the field now was labor.) Sowing to the flesh steals the joy from our works!
It was ultimately deception that turned their works into toil, that persuaded Adam and Eve that what God had given them wasn’t enough and to cross the border of the flesh. Satan cannot have our salvation, we are sealed in the Spirit (Ephesians 1), yet he can steal our effectiveness. And if he cannot get our effectiveness than he will deceive us into believing that we aren’t being effective. Think about it, what’s heavier to bear than ineffectiveness? And so, he turns our works into toil.
Man lost privilege to cultivate for the kingdom, after they sowed to the flesh. Now, Christ has given us back that privilege.
He has given us something to accomplish!
John 4 is the beautiful display of an exchange between one who was thirsty and One who had what she thirsted for. Yet, within the verses we can see the heartbeat of Jesus’s works; He was hungry, his disciples went to get Him something to eat. When they returned, HE said in verse 34
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work”
What gives us fulfillment and satisfies that hunger in the pit of our souls is to accomplish these works that have been prepared for us and us for them.
But as humans usually do, we get all twisted and tangled in our works. We tie our identities to our harvest and so when things don’t pan out like we had hoped we grow weary in doing good.
Webster’s definition for accomplishment is: very skillful, very successful, having done many important things.
The Greek definition for the word is: to complete or to finish a goal.
The world gauges’ accomplishment by quantity, God gauges it by quality; if we did what He laid before us with our entire hearts turned “upward”.