And your Life Also
By: Pastor Tim James (Tim is a futurist not a preterist)
For 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
This text is a place of comfort for the believer if he is able to see the beauty therein. It is a comparative phrase or sentence that declares an opposite condition and estate than that which is declared in verses 3-4. When we were dead in trespasses and sins we walked under the rule of the prince of the power of the air governed by our own lust to fulfill the desires of our minds. But we have been saved by grace, given wonderful faith, resurrected from the dead with Christ in newness of life and seated with Christ in the heavenlies. God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose in grace that was given us in Christ before the world began.
Whereas once we were driven to fulfill our wickedness we are now ordained to fulfill the will of God. We are his workmanship (poema). The sense in which the word poem is used is the sense of perfection or a perfect work in rhythm, orderliness and beauty. “His” workmanship embraces the whole of His work in the redemption of the elect (1:3-14; 2; 5-9). It embraces the complete salvation of our soul. But the beauty goes yet further to contain your life also. This is God saying of you who are created in Christ Jesus, “let us make man in our own image”.
The phrase “good works’ do not apply to specific acts of goodness but rather to the entire life of the believer. The believer no longer walks “among whom” that covered our whole existence. Now he walks, not to the crippled cadence of the lust of the mind but to a higher and nobler existence because in Christ he is created for good works. Also, a second principle governs of life. We are created for good works and the good works are prepared by God for us to walk in. That covers the spectrum of life. Not only are we created for good works but the good works that we will walk in…are ordained to walk in…are already prepared for us. All of the life of the redeemed, believing sinner is arranged for him by the gracious hand of Almighty God (II Sam. 23:5; Psalm 37:23). Simply stated, the believer is fully equipped for all that lies in his path because all that lies in his path is prepared for the equipment that he has been given. They are a perfect match. For every thing that comes our way we are equipped because everything that comes our way is made for our equipment. This is true comfort as I face the day and whatever it might brings. There are two principle set in order, two exacting principles that will not change. 1. God has prepared me in Christ for whatever the day has in store, and 2nd though what lies ahead for me is not known by me it is known by God and made to order for me.
What is meant by good works? It means life, general and specific, the ups and downs, the in and outs, every crisis and every calm moment. Your life is your good works. Living is good works. Work is nothing more than being about the business of living. Good works are in specific relation to what Christ has done for His people (Titus -14). In the latter portion of this book Paul assert another way of looking at good works (). Note the marginal reading. Good works are defined as professing honest trades, or doing a days work for a days pay. Good works are everyday matters of everyday life. In this passage the word good has to do with utility or usefulness. When we come to our text in Ephesians the word “good” means intrinsically good. That being so, then these good works flow from God. This is blessed truth and the source of great comfort if we can but believe it. God has foreordained the works of the one that He is conforming to Christ. He has gone ahead of His elect preparing the place to which he will arrive so that when I rise in the morning and get about the business of the day, He has arrange the universe so that my works will be in harmony with His character and will. Can we do anything else but gladly bow to His wise design. Look at Genesis 45:8. What was Joseph confessing? He was confessing that the pit, the lies, the dungeon, the brutality, the exile and the imprisonment were ordained of God. They were all part of the good works that God had ordained for him (Gen. 50:20; Deut and ).
We do not know what tomorrow is bringing but we know that God is preparing tomorrow, and that He has laid up resources in Christ that are equal to whatever the day brings. He has created us for good works and prepared the works for us to do.
Can we stray from the path? Can we walk again in the desires of the mind? Yes. What are we to do? Come back to where you left and start again and you will find ultimately that where you strayed was a way prepared that you might see the value of what you had left. I will go no further into the realm of His sovereignty lest I find myself trying to apply human logic to divine truth. This is your life, it is the good works that you were created for and what is to come, be it pleasure or pain, joy or sorrow it is prepared for according to how God has equipped you (I Cor. 10:13). He has gone before you to make the way and clear a place for you to pitch your tents (John 14:3; Hebrews -20).
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.