Summary: So far in our series on what we are as Christians we’ve looked how we are a child of God, we are a temple of the Holy Spirit, we are a slave of God, and we are a part of the body of Christ. Today, we will see that we are God’s workmanship.
WHAT AM I? (part four)
INTRODUCTION: So far in our series on what we are as Christians we’ve looked how we are a child of God, we are a temple of the Holy Spirit, we are a slave of God, and we are a part of the body of Christ. Today, we will see that we are God’s workmanship.
1) We are handcrafted. Eph. 2:10a, “For we are God’s workmanship.” We are God’s handiwork, as the Amplified version reads. This is the only verse where we are described using this term. The Greek word here is poinma from which we get the word “poem” and it can also be translated to mean “a work of art” or “masterpiece.”
Doesn’t that sound pretty special? I don’t look at myself as a work of art. Maybe 20 years ago, but today, not so much. I’ve been called a piece of work before, but not a work of art. But the reality is that’s what we are.
God has hand crafted you-first in the womb when he created you and again as a Christian. First it was physically; now it’s spiritually. God is crafting his spiritual character in us. Like an artist he’s painting his canvas. Like a sculptor he’s chiseling away at us until we are a finished masterpiece.
The thing to remember about that is that the chiseling isn’t fun. Having God chip away at us is a process, sometimes a painful one; but a necessary one. He’s getting rid of the stuff that doesn’t belong-to reveal the art underneath. “Dr. Ronald Meeks, a Biblical Studies teacher at Blue Mountain Community College, writes: I have not had the opportunity to travel much, but several years ago my dad won a trip to Italy through his business and he asked me to go along. A highlight of the trip was visiting Florence, the great city of the Renaissance. One afternoon out of curiosity I went to a museum where some works of Michelangelo were displayed. As we viewed the half-finished sculpture of St. Matthew the tour guide explained that this unfinished work was a prime example of Michelangelo’s philosophy of art. He believed that in a stone there was a figure or statue waiting to be released. The work of the artist was to free the statue from the stone. The statute was so lifelike that I thought any minute St. Matthew might just step out of that huge stone.”
At first we’re just a block of marble-nothing too inviting or marvelous. But when the master craftsman goes to work on us things start to change. And we become something to behold-with distinguishable features that stand out and draw attention. Whether it’s a blank canvas turning into a wonderful painting, a block of marble turning into a beautiful statue or a brick of clay turning into an exquisite vase, we see there is a transformation that needs to take place. Sometimes, throughout the process, we become marred and God has to take care of that.
Jer. 18:1-6, “This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”
Israel had been disobedient; they had become marred clay. But God is able to take marred clay and refashion it. Marred means blemished, flawed, stained, disfigured. That’s what happens to us through disobedience. But if we don’t harden because of it we can keep our softness and pliability so the potter can fix the imperfections, reshaping and reforming until we are that finished work of art.
2) The art critic. In the art world you will always find the one critic that seems to readily find fault and pick out some flaw. They would be considered hard to please. There are times when we are the critical ones. Whether it’s being critical with how we look or that we’re not as smart as the next guy or not as gifted as the next girl we find fault with how God is working on us. We think we know better. We think we have the right to call the shots.
Rom. 9:20-21, “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ”Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?”