As Christians we know that we have been created in Christ Jesus for good works. But knowing this and doing this are two different things. It can get overwhelming and even paralyzing to think that God has called us to share the gospel and make disciples. So how do we do it? How do we complete this important work?
This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loves us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift from God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepares beforehand that we should walk in them. -Ephesians 2:1-10
The magnitude of the truth found in these verses is overwhelming. It is almost impossible to attempt to understand the severity of our sin and that we were once enemies of God, but God — But God!!! — loved us despite our disobedience and sent Christ Jesus to bring us from death to life. It is amazing and as much as I want to write and discuss every word, phrase and sentence found in this passage, I feel the Lord leading me to focus in one the verse.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (V 10)
For we are His workmanship… His. We are His — we are not our own — and He worked us together for a purpose. He is the creator and we are the created. Every strength and weakness, every situation or circumstance of our lives have been thought out and planned out by Him for a reason.
…created in Christ Jesus for good works. We are not on our own, we are not free standing, nor are we separate from others. We are in Christ, ingrafted with Him, joined with Him, a part of His body. Sown together for sweet, restful fellowship with Him and His people. And the fellowship is designed to produce good works.
…good works, which God prepared beforehand… God prepared the work that we are to be doing. Here is the central point I am trying to make with today’s post, so let me say this again: God prepared — He designed, planned, created, and framed — the works that He has for us to be doing. He did it. Not us. Our job is not to come up with a game plan, our job is to submit to His.
So often I feel paralyzed in my Christian walk because I don’t know what needs to be done. I don’t know what to do next. I attempt to come with a list of things I should be doing to share the gospel and make disciples. I want to plan and make happen, and there is nothing wrong with planning and preparing, but attempting to do this without the leading of the Holy Spirit is where I go wrong. I forget that apart from Him I can do nothing good (John 15:5), yet for some reason I still try. I want to be running the show. I want to be directing and planning the works in my life. I keep trying to take the reigns from the One who reins only to find my self stuck and fruitless.
…that we should walk in them. God designed us each for a purpose. He has commissioned each of us to follow Jesus and make more followers of Jesus. He has commanded us to love Him with all that we are and to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). However, the details of how we each are to do this are different. They are different because we are each different. The situation we are placed in are all unique. The people in our lives diverse and distinct. And because of this, we can’t ignore the work that God has created for us to do. We must do it. God doesn’t need us, but He has invited us to do work that has eternal significance for ourselves and the individuals He sets in our path.
This work may seem overwhelming. It may seem like it is too much to be responsible for. We may feel ill-equipped and under prepared. And we are. We are. Or at least we would be if we were on our own. But we’re not. We are created in Christ Jesus. He is actually the one doing the work. He is the one loving others and saving souls. You and I are just the tools He wants to wield to do the work.
Lord in heaven, I want to be used by you to reach the lost. I want to see more sinners ingrafted with you. But I fear it is not happening because I am trying to create work and do work separate from you. Forgive me. Lord, I submit to you. Use me as you see fit. Open my eyes to the work you have already prepared. I know that you walk with me in this work and it is you alone who brings more people into your kingdom. Thank you for inviting me to witness it happen and be a part of it. Please don’t let me miss a second. In the name of your Son I pray. Amen.
As with all #QuietlyThrough posts, this was written while reading quietly through God’s word. If you’re looking for a simple Bible reading plan that moves at an easy pace then the Quietly Through reading plan may be for you.
Only by grace,
“But God…because of His great love for us.” This. This is what keeps me focused on Him. What reminds me that it’s not about me…it’s about Him. We are called to make disciples and you’re so right the magnitude of the verses you shared – if we could just get it. Great post, thank you!
We so often get it backward, don’t we! We think we were looking for God. We try to work in our own strength. And we think our works save us or keep us saved. But God … He did it all and continues to do it all. We’re to let Him work in us and through us for His glory. Thanks for fleshing out this passage for us. Blessings!
Yes, we do get it backwards. I know this truth, but I habitually continue to strive under my own power. I’m so, so thankful for His patience.