Grace and Works – God’s Great Poetry

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that spiritual salvation is by grace through faith and is the gift of God–not by works. (Ephesians 2:8-9) So, what possible connection could God’s “grace” have with our “works”?

The answer is found in the next verse, Ephesians 2:10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

God saved us by His Grace, so we are “His” workmanship. The Lord took us as lost sinners and made something special of us through His Love and Mercy: “But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).” (Ephesians 2:4-5) God “made” us alive together with Christ. We were “dead in trespasses,” but He made us alive “together” with Christ. Our life is forever connected to the Life of Jesus Christ. His Death is our death. His Resurrection is our resurrection. His Life is our life. His Joy is our joy.

Another way of saying this is that we are God’s great “poem.” The Greek word for “workmanship” is poiema . The English word “poem” comes from it. We are God’s spiritual “poem,” His workmanship, the Divine work of His Mercy and Grace.

God has some poetry that He wants us to write to the world. We are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” The word for “prepared beforehand” means “previously prepared, ordained.” How long ago did God do that? Paul told the Ephesians at the beginning of his letter that God “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.” (Ephesians 1:4) God chose us before He created the world for a purpose and that is for “good works.” The words mean tasks that have at their core a value of moral goodness,  jobs that are good in character and beneficial in effect.

God wants to write “Love” poems to millions of people all over the world and He does that through us: His great poems of Grace. When we do good works, we are writing spiritual poetry to the glory of God. When we do good works, we are doing what God prepared for us to do before He had even created the world. How amazing is His Grace!

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries

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