Friday in the Second Week of Ordinary Time

Ephesians 2:10

Created in Christ Jesus for Good Works

I have decided to take verse ten by itself as it expresses the relationship between faith and works in such a clear way.  It has often been said that Paul and James are at odds with one another (e.g., James 2:18-26).  But James is not saying that works save a person, nor is Paul saying that one may believe and then go about his merry way.  This passage from Paul explains the relation between faith and works to which both men would have subscribed.

First, we understand that we are God’s workmanship; that is, we are His new creation, people whom He has made alive together with Christ, raised up with him, and seated in the heavenly paces in Christ Jesus—and all by grace through faith—the work of God.  So we are rightly called “His workmanship,” or more colloquially, each of us is His “piece of work” as He is the divine Potter and we the clay.  This is why in the very next clause we read that we are “created in Christ Jesus,” stressing again our Lord’s priority in the work in that we are the object acted upon in God’s creation; that is, we are “created” in Christ Jesus and not the ones creating ourselves in him—quite a blasphemous thought when one gets right down to it.

So now Paul may correctly address the doing of good works by these who have been so created in Christ Jesus: for they were “created in Christ Jesus for good works.”  It was the very purpose of God to create us anew, birth us anew by the Spirit in Christ Jesus so that we would honor Him by the doing of good works.  Indeed, God saved us so that we may do such works, which was His plan all along that we should do.  It was God’s purpose with the people of Israel that they would be like Him by keeping His law.  But they were unable to do so because the keeping of God’s law requires something with which we are not born; that is, the indwelling Holy Spirit who comes only with our rebirth, our re-creation, which was made possible by Christ’s work on the cross and the Spirit’s bestowal at Pentecost.  And so now we as God’s new creations have inherited the task at which they failed: to be “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession” to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9), which is to do the work of the One who has sent us, to do the work which He prepared beforehand that we should do.  And we have no excuse.  At least the ancient Israelites can say, “We had not the Holy Spirit.”  We do.  So let us go out with joy as redeemed people who have every reason to proclaim His excellencies.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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