Summary: While no work we can do can help us obtain salvation, God’s intention and expectation is that our salvation will result in acts of service: good works.
Text: Ephesians 2:10
Ephesians 2:10 (NASB) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
In our Wednesday evening bible class we have been studying the parables of Jesus and we recently were examining the parable of the fig tree as recorded in Luke 13. There are many lessons to be drawn from this account but at the heart of its teaching is the concept of bearing fruit for the Lord, doing good works. In our study we have examined a number of parables which stress the expectation that God’s people will engage in good works for the glory of the Father and that thought is at the heart of the text for our lesson today.
I.Salvation Unto Good Works
A.Good works do not lead to salvation
1.Although they have no part in gaining salvation, good works have a great deal to do with living out salvation.
a.No good works can produce salvation but many good works are produced by salvation.
b.John 15:8 (NASB) 8“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
c.Good works do not bring discipleship, but they do prove it is genuine. When God’s people do good deeds they bear fruit for his kingdom and bring glory to His name.
d.James 2:17 (NASB) 17Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
2.The bible tells us about works
b.Works of the law which cannot justify a man (Galatians 2:16).
c.Works which are dead (Hebrews 6:1).
d.All of those works are done in man’s own strength and have nothing to do with salvation.
3.Before we can do any good work for the Lord, He has to do His work in us.
a.By God’s own grace, made effective through our faith, we become His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.
b.God has ordained that we then live lives of good works, works done in His power and for His glory.
II.His Workmanship and Our Creation
1. Literally, “a thing made”; “handiwork.” Referring here to the spiritual creation, not the physical.
a.Greek, poiema (transliterated into English, “poem.”)
b.The word indicates the handiwork of the master craftsman, a masterpiece. God’s church is His “poem.”
2.The grammer of the Greek at the beginning of the sentence reders it empahtic.
a.We are His workmanship. He has made us Christians.
3.The sense in which we are the workmanship of God is explained in the clause which follows: created in Christ Jesus.
1.2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB) 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
a.We are create anew in Christ Jesus
1)There is an exertion of Divine Power in the conversion of the sinner as real as in the act of creating the world from nothing.
2)The change produced is so great as to say that we are a new creature with new views, new motives, and new principles.
3)We seek new purposes, and live for new ends.
III.His Works and Our Walk
A.Created for good works
1.We are not saved by, but created for, good works.
2.Good works flow from what God had done in us.
a.John 15:4 - 5 (NASB) 4“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
3. The same power that created us in Christ Jesus empowers us to do the good works He has prepared for us.
a.These are the verifiers of true salvation. Righteous attitudes and righteous acts proceed from the transformed life.
4.To the Corinthians Paul said there was in them “an abundance for every good deed” (2 Cor. 9:8).
5.To Timothy he instructed that the believer is “equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy. 3:17).
6.Christ died to bring to Himself a people “zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14).
B.Prepared beforehand for our walk
1.Before our new creation these works were in the purpose of God, prepared to mark the course of our lives in Him.
a.We were not saved by our good works, but rather we have been recreated to do them.
b.Works do not justify but the justified one works.
2.God’s “work” of salvation and new creation over turns our “sinful works” and makes doing good works possible.
a.Believers are created to continue the good works of Jesus. This workmanship of God was no afterthought but a part of the predestined purposes of God.