“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…” (Eph. 2:10)
Christians are meant to be the display of the power and magnificence of God’s handiwork. We are, literally, God’s “masterpiece” (as some translations have it).
This is essential for us to see. We tend to view ourselves as a work in progress. “God is doing some fine work in me – and someday I will be complete… hopefully (if all goes well… maybe).” We are fond of quoting verses that talk about us being unfinished (see Phili. 1:6 – probably the most misquoted verse in the whole New Testament!) – and about how God is chipping off all our “rough parts” to unveil the diamond underneath!
But this is not what God is saying in our verse for today. He is not declaring that we are a “work in progress.” He is telling us that ALL the work has already been done – we are already completed. We ARE a finished product. We ARE the living, breathing evidence (masterpiece!) of His power to make dead things live again.
This verse tells us what we ARE… not what we are becoming (as if God continues to work on us). This is confirmed in the usage of the words right after “workmanship.” We are “created in Christ Jesus.” The phrase in the original language is “having been created in Christ Jesus.” It is already accomplished. We are already IN Christ Jesus.
No further work is needed to bring us to life from our “deadness.” God’s handiwork is already done. We ARE now the evidence of what He can do – we ARE the proof of the extent of power that was unleashed through Jesus and what He did for us.
So why do we struggle to feel like a finished work? Why do we so often feel like we need so much more to be done in us? Why does it seem like we are STILL a work in progress?
The answer is simple… but not easy for us. It requires us to live by something that we are not accustomed to living by. It requires us to trust in something that goes against our “natural” grain. It requires us to actually live by our faith.
Faith is not as easy as we like to make it sometimes. “Just have faith,” we like to say. But Hebrews 11 reminds us that faith is nearly impossible for us.
Faith requires us to see things that we cannot see. It requires us to place our confidence in things that we never saw happen – through a Person that we have never (physically) met. It involves throwing our whole selves onto the altar of God – as a living sacrifice, wholly committed to His plans, His purposes, His truth, His ways.
As was true for the apostle is equally true for us (Gal. 2:20)… We were crucified with Christ, and no longer live for ourselves… the life we NOW live, is lived by faith in Jesus (ALL that He did and all He wants to do).
True faith brings the death of us – so that we might truly live as God wants us to live. Every day.
But the exchange is amazing. God brought us from death to life (through Jesus) – and the power that was at work to do that is still working in and through us for God’s purposes.
All that we need is to simply receive what God has done. We do that by accepting ALL that He has done for us – by faith. We ARE His wonderful workmanship…