Monday, December 4

God's Workmanship

God in his providence and workmanship brought a New England fall to Mississippi in 2006 as leaves turned gold, red, and orange instead of the normal brown. God also speaks of his workmanship in Ephesians 2:10.

Eph. 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Paul tells us that we are saved by grace alone by the gift of faith in Eph. 2:8-9. Since the faith to believe is a gift from God this eliminates all boasting by the redeemed. God does everything in salvation as v. 4-5 makes clear. But then we get to verse 10 as shown above. In this verse Paul makes the following points:

(1) The believer is the work of God and not a self made work.
(2) The believer is Created in Christ Jesus.
(3) For a purpose of good works.
(4) God prepared these works.
(5) God did it in advance.
(6) God wants believers to do them.

The question arises are these works that God prepared for us to do something he hopes or desires that believers do or are they something that he has ordained that believers will do. Do good works flow from God’s sovereign powerful work of regeneration or does he withdraw his grace and leave the new believer on his own to produce works by himself. Yet another possibility is that God continues giving grace through the power of the Holy Spirit but it fails to produce any good works in the believer who simply resists the Holy Spirit with a greater power. In other words God’s sanctifying grace fails.

I think the conclusive evidence in verse 10 is shown in point 4 above. God prepared these works. He planned them and accomplishes all that he pleases (Isaiah 46:10). God does have a perceptive will that he allows to be disobeyed, but when God prepares something to be done, that indicates that he has ordained it to be done. That means that verse 10 is speaking of God’s decretive will (1 Thessalonians 4:3) and this will of decree is one hundred per cent successful (Isaiah 14:27). This means that God’s power expressed through his grace and implemented by the Holy Spirit will always result in the good works that God has prepared for a believer to do. They may be great and many or ordinary and few, but God will accomplish all that he has ordained.


jazzycat said...

This post is on sanctification and works that are produced by God's power and providence as Eph. 2:10 teaches.

Over at Bluecollar's blog he has been commenting on debate going on the subject of James 2. I encourage anyone to go there and look in on it and read Mark's (Mr. Bluecollar) excellent comments on this debate. He also has a link to the actual debate......


jazzycat said...

Link to Mark's Bluecollar Blog

bluecollar said...

Wayne, my computer is down. I am using a library computer at present. This is obviously not something I can do every day. So, that means limited access to the blogs for now.

Thanks for the plug.

I'll let you know when I get things straightened out with this ancient computer of mine.


Jonathan Moorhead said...

As a good Calvinist, I agree.

jazzycat said...

I hope it will be soon. You are certainly a blessing to many fellow bloggers and are needed on the web.

Thanks for the visit.


Steve said...

Great verse.

And great comments.