“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”
We’ve been saved by grace. God pursues us, plain and simple. Christ died for us, to save us, before we were even awake to our need for him. We did nothing, absolutely nothing, to earn this grace, and there’s nothing we can do to ever deserve it.
I have trouble with that, to be honest. Along with the Midwest nice that gets in the way of dealing with conflicts in the right way, we also have this pesky Midwest work ethic. I don’t do undeserved or unearned very well. But when I set aside my own pride and look at the sacrifice of Christ- what amazing love.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
We’ve been created, saved by unearned grace, so that we might do good works. It’s our purpose.
Now, this verse is so beautiful, but the English language translations are bad at communicating that.
The word “workmanship,” or sometimes translated as “handiwork?’ A better translation of the original Greek for that word is actually something more akin to "poetry."
We are God’s poetry.
And what is poetry, after all? Poetry is truth- truth spoken in a beautiful and unique way.
We are each a poem that God has written- you express beauty and truth in a way no one else can.
Poetry we are- but more than that. We’re poetry in motion- moving, living, breathing- active. We’ve been given a purpose, given tasks (and your tasks are different than mine or hers!) into which only our specific poetry can speak truth.
And living a God-honoring, holy lifestyle, doing those works- that is our song of gratitude to God.
And that’s why we live a certain way, behave a certain way- so that the poem of our lives is unfettered and is spoken clearly to a world searching for truth.