Summary: Regardless of how we see ourselves, if we confess Jesus as Savior, in God’s Eyes we’re each a Masterpiece in the making.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV) “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them..”
From the New Living Translation: “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
1)We’re saved by grace and we can’t take credit for it because it’s a gift from God.
a.I read about an instant cake mix that was a big flop. The instructions said all you had to do was add water, mix and bake. The company couldn’t understand why it didn’t sell -- until their research discovered that customers didn’t trust a mix that only called for water to be added. Apparently people thought it was too easy. So the company changed the recipe and added to the directions on the box to add one egg. The idea worked and sales jumped dramatically.
b.That story reminds me of how some people react to the plan of salvation. To them it sounds too easy and too simple to be true, even though the Bible says, "By grace you have been saved through faith...; it is the gift of God, not of works" (Eph. 2:8-9).
c.They feel that there is something more they must do, something they have to add to God’s "recipe" for salvation. They think they have to do good works to earn God’s favor for eternal life.
d.But the Bible is clear -- we are saved, "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy" (Titus 3:5).
e.The cake manufacturer had to change his formula to sell his product. But God has not changed His "formula" to make salvation marketable because it’s not for sale. It’s a free gift.
2)Look at verse 10, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
An old Indian, after living many years in sin, was led to Christ by a missionary. Friends asked him to explain the change in his life. Reaching down, he picked up a little worm and placed it on a pile of leaves. Then, touching a match to the leaves, he watched them smolder and burst into flames. As the flames worked their way up to the center where the worm lay, the old chief suddenly plunged his hand into the center of the burning pile and snatched out the worm. Holding the worm in his hand, he said,"Me. . .that worm!"
3)The Indian saw himself as a worm plucked out of the fires of hell.
a.But the verse we just read says God didn’t see him as a worm, He saw him as a Masterpiece in the making.
4)All of creation reflects the handiwork of God.
a.I love Iowa because of the 4 seasons.
b.Spring brings flowers, green grass, trees start budding leaves.
c.Corn and beans begin to sprout in the fields.