This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.
We Are God's Workmanship!
Meditation on Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The Reformed Church has insisted that justification is by grace through faith and not by human works. Does this mean that our good works have no place in our salvation? The answer is, “No!” Sound Reformed theology insists on works that follow justification as a consequence and evidence of it. The same Spirit who assures us that we are justified also works our sanctification. Sanctification is, as you know, a part of the ‘ordo salutis’, the work of the Holy Spirit applying the benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection to believers. There is also an unsound Protestant understanding that eliminates the necessity of works altogether.
Where do good works fit in our salvation?
God has prepared our good works. God has prepared them from before the foundation of the world in His eternal decree. He has prepared every one of our good works, not only in general, but definitely. He prepared good works for the whole church and for every individual believer. These good works manifest the complete glory of God in Christ. He not only prepared the good works, but He prepared us for the good works. (Each human author in the Bible was prepared by God for the writing of the Bible so that in their own style, background, and personality they could infallibly write God’s Word.) So each one of us as believers is being prepared by God for the work He has in mind for us. The purpose is that we should walk in good works. To walk in good works means that we live with our whole heart, soul mind, and strength according to the counsel of God for His glory and the benefit of others.
We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus. This is not a reference to our original creation in Adam, but to our formation as God’s people in Christ. What a wonderful new creation it is! The original creation was out of nothing. This creation is not simply out of nothing or even of unfit material. It is out of material that was the very opposite of the thing that was formed from it. We were in sin and guilt. We were corrupt. There was no human possibility that we could do good works. But God in Christ Jesus made us His workmanship. God recreated us in Christ! From children who shared the likeness of Satan through the Fall, God made us children of God. From those who were dead in trespasses and sin, we were made alive, prepared to do good works to the glory of His name. By nature, we were enemies of God, Now we are friends and servants of God. Christ merited all things that were required to made us new creatures. In Christ’s ascension into heaven, He received the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Christ. That Spirit He poured out upon His church. Through that Spirit we are created as new creatures who love God and are careful to seek to please the God of our salvation. Let us sing with our children:
Kids under construction, the Lord is not finished with me.
He’s still working on me, To make me what I need to be. It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars, the sun and the earth, and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be, ‘Cause He’s still working on me. There really ought to be a sign upon my heart. Don’t judge Him yet, there’s an unfinished part. But I’ll be better just according to His plan, fashioned by the Master’s loving hands. In the mirror of His Word, reflections that I see, make me wonder why He never gave up on me. But He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray. Remember He’s the potter, I’m the clay. He’s still working on me, to make me what I need to be. (Gaither music)
Rev. Audred Spriensma (Wife: Alva)
Ordained: January 1981
Pastorates: Atwood, MI CRC - 1981; Bethany, S.Holland, IL CRC - 1984; Grandville, MI - 1992; Missionary to the Philippines - 2002; Kalamazoo, MI - 2007; Byron Center, MI - 2010; Home missionary (Byron Center PRC), 2017Website: www.prca.org/missions/domestic
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