“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
The Gracious Salvation Of Christ: Ephesians 2:1-10
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Paul begins to remind the church at Ephesus (and each one of us) the greatest grace that we can receive from our Lord… the wonderful grace of salvation from our sins. The more we come to understand His gracious salvation, the more we should appreciate Him and the more we should be motivated to serve Him out of a heart of love and appreciation.
A very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I. The proof of our spiritual death – 1-3
II. The gracious God of mercy and love – 4
III. The gracious blessing of spiritual life and its results – 5-7
IV. The gracious giving of faith – 8-9
V. The gracious privilege being chosen to service for Him – 10
In this morning’s devotional, as a summary of his prior teachings, Paul emphasizes that our salvation is a gracious gift of God…
(Ephesians 2:10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Although our good works did not save us, nor do they keep us saved, Paul now explains why good works are very important for our lives…
For we are his workmanship,
The word translated “workmanship” is the Greek word “poiema”, it is from this word that we get the English word “poem”. In other words, our lives are a poem that He has written to reveal Himself to the world. All of His gracious workings in our lives reveal His person, attributes and workings to those who are touched by our lives. This same principle is also found in 2 Corinthians 3:1-3. In this scripture we find the Christian described as the letter (epistle) God has written “known and read of all men”…
“Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some [others], epistles of commendation to you, or [letters] of commendation from you? Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” (2 Corinthians 3:1-3)
created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
The poem of our lives are brought into existence and shaped in Christ Jesus for the purpose of performing good works that bring honor and glory to our Creator and Lord.
Please note that our “creation” described here involves both:
1. our physical life (received at our conception in our mother’s womb)
2. our spiritual life (received at our salvation experience)
We received both our physical and spiritual life for the purpose of doing good works to bring honor and glory to Christ.
“And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.” (Colossians 3:10-11)
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Before the world began, God “ordained” us, in other words, we were “prepared in advance” to a ministry of service (good works) for Him. Before we were given physical and spiritual life, God had already planned for us to perform good works in His honor.
What a wonderful thought! All of His workings in our lives had a purpose behind them…. He made us, and then prepared us, for His service! This is a clear declaration of the fact that the bearing of spiritual fruit (which is seen as good works in the eyes of others) is a very, very important purpose for the lives of God’s people.
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
Although the performance of good works will not cause us to receive, nor retain our salvation, it is still of utmost importance for the Christian. We were created and saved to perform these good works and it is through these good works that we can honor and glorify the One who has graced us in such wonderful ways.
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
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