Ephesians Chapter 2 Part 10
“Not of works, lest any man should boast. 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: 9, 10).
V.9- “Not of works…” When you work, you exert effort, use energy, to accomplish something. It’s doing something to gain something. When you work you get some sort of payoff. Either there’s a paycheck at the end of a time period, or you get veggies from your garden, or your house shines or your car runs smoothly. There’s always some result from your work.
Let’s read Romans 4:1-8. “What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.’” (NKJV) (To impute is to charge or credit.)
That’s exactly why you cannot receive salvation by works. Salvation by works would only lead to a religious spirit. If you could obtain salvation by works, God’s position of Benefactor would be eliminated. Not only that, the Word says that we would become prideful and begin to boast about how we got ourselves out of sin. It’s nothing at all that we do beyond belief in God and His Son that buys our salvation.
Is that belief passive? No. Once we believe in Jesus as Savior and accept the free gift of salvation, we demonstrate it to others by our works. But it’s not only the kind of work done by the hands, although that is a visible demonstration. It is especially a work done in our heart. The more time we spend in prayer and study of the Word, the deeper our belief becomes. The deeper our belief, the deeper our faith, the closer we become to God. Then we prove our relationship with Him by our good works.
Paul and Silas went to Thyatira. While there, they made disciples and baptized them. Paul also delivered a young girl of the spirit of divination. This angered the owners and they brought charges against Paul and Silas before the court. When all the people rose up and made a fuss, the magistrates tore their clothes and ordered both men beaten and jailed. The jailer being scared of what would happen to him should these men escape put them in the deepest recesses of the jail and shackled their feet. Paul and Silas were unable to move yet they prayed and sang praises to God. All the guards and prisoners heard them. Suddenly there was an earthquake and the jail doors opened and the shackles fell off the men.
When the guard saw what had happened, he pulled out his sword to kill himself. Paul told him they were all there, and not to hurt himself. This impressed the jailer so much, he fell at Paul’s feet and asked how he could be saved. (This shows that even in the midst of trials, when things are their darkest, God still makes ways for us to witness for Him.)
Paul then said the words that stand true till this day, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). As we believe, and pray diligently for our loved ones, they are also saved. We are not told to make a sacrifice, or to do any sort of works that our families will be saved. It says, “Believe only,” and you and your family are saved. The rest is formality. The sinner’s prayer and the things that go with it are ways to make your own heart believe what your spirit already believes. There is no other way to be saved then to believe. Believing comes by faith, and faith by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
Though satan would have you believe otherwise. He wants you to think you need works in order to be saved, because he knows there are no works that man can perform that are worthy of salvation. If he can make you feel inadequate to receive salvation, he can keep you from your blessed eternity with the Master. But it’s not by works but by faith in God’s love for us that led Him to send Jesus as our propitiation that can waken us to salvation.
V.10- In several places in Isaiah we are called the “Work Of My Hands” by God. You can see this in Isaiah 19:25; 29:23; and 45:11. God’s workmanship is us, the new creation, new creatures. We are saved by grace children of God. We have been quickened by God; given new life. We don’t achieve all the perfection of Christ at once; however, it is something we need to walk out daily. Read Philippians 2:12, 13.
We are eternal beings who will never suffer the fires of hell. And we are created to do good works. (Agathos: Strong‘s #18: That is good in a physical and moral sense, and which produces benefits.) These are moral, decent works that will lead others to Christ too. As soon as we become new creatures in Christ, we should begin to act like it. Our thoughts should be on other people, and not ourselves. We should develop the habit of giving to others. We need to learn that good works include worshiping God and praising Him. We are able to perform the actions of praise and worship because we are now righteous in God‘s eyes, and He longs to hear our praises. We are not a re-make of sinful Adam, but a new creature in Christ. We are become brand new (II Corinthians 5:17).
God has prepared His works that He wants done. We don’t have to guess what they are. Let’s look at some of the works God has appointed for Christians to do for Him:
1- Ephesians 5:18, 19 - And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…
2- Matthew 10:7, 8 - And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
3- James 1:27 - Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
4- I Peter 3:15 - But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear…
5- Matthew 7:7 - Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you…
6- Matthew 14:16- But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
There are so many more works that God has given us to accomplish. We are to love one another, be kind to each other, rebuke, correct, and pray for each other. You can’t run out of things to do for the Lord. Only your own imagination limits you from taking Scripture and translating it into action.
More studies at http://www.newbeginmin1.org/BIBLESTUDYOPENING.html
About: I am a pastor, wife for almost 43 years, mother of a son and daughter, grandmother of three boys and one girl. As pastor of New Beginnings Ministry, it is my daily task to work on our two websites as well as monitor our chat rooms. We have a weekly Bible study on Sunday and Thursday nights at 8:00 eastern time in the chat rooms. Everyone is welcome to join us. I also write revsnotes which are occasional studies or musings I send to a list of people who have signed up to receive them, write guest articles for www.Ciloa.org and blog here at praize.Back to Blog | Add to Buddy List
- May 2013 (3)
- Apr 2013 (2)
- Mar 2013 (7)
- Feb 2013 (10)
- Jan 2013 (14)
- Dec 2012 (4)
- Nov 2012 (6)
- Oct 2012 (5)
- Sep 2012 (7)
- Aug 2012 (6)
- Jul 2012 (7)
- Jun 2012 (9)
- May 2012 (9)
- Apr 2012 (10)
- Mar 2012 (17)
- Feb 2012 (15)
- Jan 2012 (2)
- Oct 2011 (1)
- Sep 2011 (1)
- Aug 2011 (2)
- Jul 2011 (1)
- Apr 2011 (2)
- Mar 2011 (1)
- Feb 2011 (1)
- Jan 2011 (1)
- Dec 2010 (1)
- Nov 2010 (2)
- Oct 2010 (1)
- Sep 2010 (1)
- Aug 2010 (3)