“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)
Paul really wants the faithful saints in Ephesus to get this right. The Jews had a history of trying to appease God with deeds and failing miserably. The Gentiles had a history of appeasing their Gods with offerings and gifts. The Holy Spirit uses Paul to explain that whether you are a Jew or Gentile God is not interested in your gifts. God is in control not man and God sets the boundaries and rules and man must obey them.
God created Jews and Gentiles as physical beings. In Christ, he creates them in a spiritual format. Spiritually, the faithful saints are the creative workmanship of God. This was not random nor without reason. It was on purpose and for a purpose. Not mankind’s purpose or reason. It wasn’t just so they could go to heaven although that is part of the promise.
It wasn’t so they could be better off than the non-faithful or the unbelievers. This spirit creation is done in Jesus to make followers of Jesus. The new creation is to do good works. What are these good works? Could those works be like the works that Jesus did? He told the apostles they would do greater works than he did. One would assume he meant the same kind.
These works are the expectation of God. The verse says he prepared the works beforehand. I don’t choose the works, and neither do you. God chooses the works and puts them in front of me. I used to think that those works were all about me. I was to go to church, pray, study the Bible, partake of the Lord’s Supper and keep myself unspotted from the world. The last one was the hardest.
This verse is not suggesting that I was created a spiritual follower of Jesus to display my goodness before others. All those things I mentioned weren’t given as works, they are just things Christians do because of who they are. God didn’t create me as a new creature to just take care of me getting to heaven. No, I think he created me to be his messenger. He created me to be his hands and legs and mouth in the world of sin and sinners.
I have food so that I can feed. I have clothes so that I can clothe. I have Jesus so that I can share him. Cups of water, visits to jail, caring for the sick, comforting the mourning, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, showing hospitality to strangers, providing for widows and orphans and so much more are the works God prepared for me. Jesus said it plain, “The poor you will always have,” and “Remember the poor.”
Are we walking in these works?