You Are Created in Christ Jesus for Good Works
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).
According to Ephesians 2:10, this gospel message that leads to salvation extends well beyond that moment when we cross over from death to life. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection ushers us into a new way of life altogether, one characterized by good works.
These good works have been prepared for us beforehand by God. And as a new creature in Christ, we are to walk in them. But how do we know what they are?
In one of their many conversations with the Lord, the disciples asked Jesus this: “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (John 6:28)
Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29).
Paul echoes this truth in Colossians 2:6: “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.” This new life that we have been raised to live is a life of faith. But this still begs the question concerning good works. Isn’t there something that God wants us to do other than merely trust Him?
In a word, no. We are His workmanship. What counts as far as God is concerned is faith in Jesus. As we trust Him and our hearts respond to the leading of His Spirit in us, we will see the good works He has prepared for us begin to flow through us. And they will be recognizable.
Here is how. First, God gives us new desires. Paul calls them the desires of the Spirit. According to the terms of the New Covenant, these desires equate to the laws God puts into our minds and writes on our hearts. They flow from God’s love and are different, night and day, from the desires of the flesh.
Forgiveness is one of those desires God’s Spirit works in us. It is not normal, humanly speaking, to want to forgive someone who has hurt us deeply. But as children of God, forgiveness of others is a work God has prepared for us to walk in. We know it because God places that desire to forgive in us.
Calling up all the courage that we can, we step out in faith and extend forgiveness. What we first experience happens inside. Extending forgiveness calms the soul, brings peace to the heart and turns an anxious moment into one that surpasses understanding.
And then we see God’s work within the relationship. Maybe not instantly, but over time, it becomes clearer to us just how He is working what was a painful situation together for good.
You are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. As you trust God to lead you in all you do, you will begin to see the result of his perfect plan for you. Your relationships will gain a new level of understanding and care, your decisions will take on new meaning, and your actions will take on the hallmarks of love and acceptance of others.
Step out in faith and extend forgiveness to those around you.