We are God’s workmanship created for good works
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them,” (Eph. 2:10)
In Theological circle, it is a known fact that Paul wrote to the Ephesian Church and by extension to believers everywhere. Also, that the letter he wrote was not addressing issues such as heresy or specific situation like we find in the Church at Corinth. Notice that the Corinthian Church had a handful of issues, such as quarrelling, lawsuits and immorality, among others (1 Cor. 1:10-17, 5:1-5, 6:1-7). But here at Ephesus, the case was different, as he simply wrote to encourage believers and to build up their faith in God.
Therefore, his main focus in the letter was to remind believers that they were God’s artwork, masterpieces and workmanship. Further, like a poem, that God composed them. And so, being God’s masterpiece, it was God that made them the way they were. So, if one is tall or slim or fat or black or with an open teeth, he/she is the handiwork of God’s hand. The Scripture was right: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows very well”, (Psalm 139:13-14). Indeed, God made them and made us fearfully and wonderfully too.
It is not surprising, therefore, for the Hymn writer in Ancient and Modern 442 stanzas 1 and 3 to acknowledge thus:
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;
All things bright, etc.
Necessarily, we should appreciate who made us the way we are. God is aware of whatever flaws or weaknesses we may have. It requires, therefore, that we should not brood over our known flaws or weaknesses. He who made us already in His wisdom has taken care of it. Of course, what we call weakness sometimes in the eyes of God may turn out to be our greatest strength in our dealing with Him. Remember, Jeremiah complained of being a youth, but what was God’s reply? “Before I formed you in the womb I knew thee” Jer. 1:5. Also Moses complained of not being eloquent in speech, but God still desired to use him, (Ex. 4:10). So, the Maker knows us all and He has a plan for those He made. His plan reveals His deep love for those He made. Therefore, as a child of God, we should stop panicking, but trust this God, Who made us for His praise and glory.
It is good also that we remind believers that they are God’s work in progress. Impliedly, they should not be writing themselves off, particularly as God has not done so. Sometimes, you may see people and feel that they are sluggish in making a breakthrough, but suddenly towards the tail end, they make it big. Truly, the reason may not be far-fetched, because God our workmanship knows the end from the beginning. What we need do is not to lose hope, but to continue to trust Him who made us.
Let it be stated that God, Who created us, created us for good works, which it calls for caution so that we may not derail from His plan for our lives. He wants to bless us this year, but we need to listen to the scriptural advice of Paul: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God,” (1Co 6:9). Cheers!
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.