“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph 2:10b)
How far ‘in advance’ did God prepare these ‘good works’ and what exactly are the ‘good works’ we are supposed to do?
Well, at a bare minimum they were prepared around four thousands years ago, and the ‘good works’ is our participation in God’s world-wide kingdom expansion!
That’s right, the ‘good works’ was first recorded in Genesis chapter 12, when God promised Abraham, and Abraham’s children by faith (Gal 3:29), that they would be a blessing to all the families (peoples) of the earth!
From where did we get the idea that the ‘good works’ are something other than participation in the Great Commission? And from where did we get the idea that this was the exclusive domain of missionary professionals?
Similarly, in the same book Paul says that, ‘ascension ministries’ have been given to ‘equip God’s people for works of service’ (Eph 4:12). Works of service, are works that directly or indirectly result in the advance of Christ’s kingdom among all peoples. From where do we get the idea that the ‘works of service’ were anything but participation in the world Christian movement?
The scripture quoted above should be quoted in its fuller context, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – and not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph 2:10)
For sure we are not saved by works but we sure have been saved for works!
For this reason we have become God’s ‘workmanship’ – with the starting point being created anew in Christ Jesus. Being filled with the Holy Spirit was another milestone, which empowers us to be His witnesses (Ac 1:8), He then ‘makes us fishers of men’ (Mt 4:18-19) and from there we continue our journey into a life time of ever increasing fruitfulness in the extension of His glorious kingdom! No wonder Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:10)
The fact that every New Testament believer is privileged to be involved in the greatest and most significant happening on planet earth should give us reason for continuous celebration. That fact that we were saved for this very purpose should give us cause for sober reflection!