God’s Workmanship

Key Verse: “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
—Ephesians 2:10

Selected Scripture:
Ephesians 2:1-10

TODAY’S SELECTED SCRIPTURE passage beautifully describes how God has given new life to the church through Christ. The brethren at Ephesus were well-versed in the curse of death that fell upon all mankind after Adam’s disobedience. Paul reminds them in these verses that they were once dead because of their sinful condition. “By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.”—Eph. 2:3, New Living Translation

We recall Jehovah’s encouragement to Israel through the Prophet Jeremiah: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11, The Living Bible) God has plans for Christians as well—that of a new life in Christ. Paul continues our lesson by saying, “Even though we were dead in our sins God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, gave us life together with Christ—it is, remember, by grace and not by achievement that you are saved.”—Eph. 2:4-6, JB Phillips New Testament

Here the apostle emphasizes that it is by God’s unmerited favor that we are saved and given new life. It is also because of God’s love and grace that we are termed “his workmanship.” We are God’s workmanship in that he created us, and that he redeemed us through the precious blood of his Son, Christ Jesus. (Gen. 2:7; II Cor. 5:21; I Pet. 1:18,19) We are also God’s workmanship as we are made fit for his service according to his own pleasure and purpose.—Phil. 2:12,13; Col. 1:16

Paul explains the purpose of God’s workmanship in this portion of our lesson: “God did this so that in the future world he could show how truly good and kind he is to us because of what Christ Jesus has done.” (Eph. 2:7, Contemporary English Version) The church is therefore prepared “for” future good works, not merely “by” good works of today. We are to develop now in preparation for these good works to come in God’s kingdom.—Matt. 6:10

Our Key Verse explains that we are to become alive in Christ Jesus as a New Creation. If faithful, we will share with Christ in becoming part of the symbolic “new Jerusalem” and its “temple” mentioned in Revelation 21:2,22. Paul thus asks, “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” (I Cor. 3:16, NLT) The Apostle John adds: “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God.”—Rev. 3:12, New American Standard Bible

The Scriptures show us that Christ Jesus is the “corner stone” of this symbolic temple. His footstep followers are now being shaped, fitted, polished and prepared as living stones for places in this temple, “whose builder and maker is God.” (I Pet. 2:5-7; Heb. 11:10) If faithful unto death in our development as God’s workmanship, we will be “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ,” fully prepared to be part of the promised seed of Abraham, which will bless all the families of the earth. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. … And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”—Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:8,16,26-29