"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Derwin L. Gray, in chapter 3 of Limitless Life, talks about turning from a “Mess to Masterpiece”. He shares Ephesians 2:10 at the end of this chapter and encourages us to “think about the ways God has used the messes of your life to prepare you to do something for His glory.”
So what is this verse all about???
Last week we looked in depth at Ephesians 2:22, and looked at the overview of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. You can find that post here. Paul wrote to teach SOUND DOCTRINE, and to encourage the Church at Ephesus to put that doctrine into action in their lives. In Ephesians 2:11-22, Paul was speaking to the Church about their one-ness in Christ; the fact that they were being built up TOGETHER to create the BODY that God dwells in. This verse is taken from that passage that precedes that, and teaches about who makes up that body…those who are:
Verse 10 is the ending statement to this passage, so we have to look back to see exactly WHO is the “we” and “us” that Paul is alluding to being “God’s MASTERPIECE”. It is those who have accepted the “GIFT from GOD” (v8) ~ that is SALVATION. He is talking to those who are “ALIVE TOGETHER WITH CHRIST” (v5 ESV). Ladies! If you have received this gift from God…you were once dead, but now you are ALIVE. You once lived “following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature” (v3), but God has SAVED you from that! You don’t have to live like that anymore!
Child of God ~ if you believe that you are a sinner and that when Jesus died on the cross, your sin died with Him…if you believe that when Jesus rose again, you were raised up with Him into a new life…if you have asked God to forgive you and believe that ALL your sins–past, present, and future–have been forgiven, and that you are seated WITH Jesus in Heaven…then God wants to show you the “incredible wealth of HIS grace” (v7). If that is you ~ then God gave Paul these words for YOU! YOU are “God’s MASTERPIECE”!
Claim this TRUTH in your heart today! Remember there is NOTHING we can DO to earn this grace. We are SAVED by GRACE through FAITH. Have FAITH and believe that God created you to do an incredible work for Him!
I love looking at cross-references through-out Scripture to help me understand on a deeper level!
“Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” Isaiah 43:7 NLT
God MADE His people. He CREATED you and me! WHY? To bring GLORY to His name. God had a purpose in mind when He created you. You are not here by chance.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
When you are SAVED by GRACE through FAITH you are made NEW! God turns your life from one of a MESS into one that is a MASTERPIECE! Claim that truth in your life!
“Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3 NLT
“and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24 NIV
“Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.” Colossians 3:10 NLT
That is our call ~ we are to ACKNOWLEDGE the Lord by believing that we are His MASTERPIECE, and that He has made us to be like Him! So:
“Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.”
A Little Greek!
The Greek word that is translated as “masterpiece” in the NLT Bible is “poiéma“. It is a “thing made”. This greek word only appears TWICE in all of Scripture ~ Ephesians 2:10, and Romans 1:20…
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 ESV)
WOW!!! Do you know what it means to be God’s masterpiece??? It means that before the very creation of the WORLD, God prepared good works for you to do, and by doing them GOD’s “invisible attributes” can be seen.
God MADE you!
God created you IN Christ Jesus…you are a PIECE of the MASTER!
You are a demonstration of the “power” and “divine nature” of GOD!!!
When you are working for the Lord, people should be able to see GOD at work, not you!
God CREATED you! Let’s look deeper at the word “created” that appears in Ephesians 2:10. It comes from the Greek word “ktizó“. I just LOVE what the HELPS word-study says: “which applies only to God who alone can make what was “not there before” (Latin, ex nihilo, out of nothing, J.Thayer); figuratively to begin (“found”), especially what is habitable or useful.”
This made me think of Ephesians 5:8: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light”, and 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
We were CREATED by God in the womb. Our very existence is at the hands of God. However, we are also a NEW CREATION when we accept Christ in to our hearts. We are saved, made a new creation, by God alone! We are taken from a life of darkness, into light. We are given what was not there before ~ the Holy Spirit living IN us. We are made useful to do His work and proclaim His POWER and DIVINE NATURE!
We are made a brand-new MASTERPIECE! Do you know what that means??? The old is GONE!!! The old labels, the old identity, the old past…GONE!!!
Some More Greek!
“GOOD” ~ The Greek word used by Paul is ‘agathos’ which means ‘intrinsically good, good in nature’.
The GOOD things that God has planned for us aren’t necessarily all about show and what we look like ~ they is INTRINSIC ~ they is internal ~ they is inherently good in that they come from God. They come from a righteous heart and mindset, and are done for the right reasons.
“Things” = “WORK” (NIV) ~ in Greek…‘érgon’ “is a deed (action) that carries out (completes) an inner desire (intention, purpose).” God plants His Word deep in our hearts (Psalm 119:11), that Word causes His desires to become OUR desires and He will grant us those desires (Psalm 37:4) ~ I believe He will give us what we need to do His work!
God planned this good work long ago…“proetoimazó” is the Greek word translated here, and has a meaning of preparing in mind and purpose. God has prepared work for each and every one of His children to do in this world. He has a purpose in mind for each work that we will perform ~ that is to bring HIM glory and honor, and proclaim His power and divine nature!
We need to take up these opportunities to be ONE with Christ, and to live out our faith in this world as His MASTERPIECE!
So What Now???
Child of God, you are a new creation (Galatians 6:15), and you are seated in the Heavens IN Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6), you are CALLED by NAME by the God who formed and made you for His GLORY (Isaiah 43:7).
Please remember that you are not made new BECAUSE of the work that you do–that would be boasting in your own works. You are made new ONLY through the redeeming power of the blood of Christ! HOWEVER, as a RESULT of God making you a BRAND NEW MASTERPIECE in Christ Jesus…you have the Holy Spirit and His desires living inside your heart that will bring about a desire to do good works FOR God!
We need to ask God to clean our hearts from all the labels of the past, renew our spirits to align with His, and remember the JOY of our salvation (Psalm 51:10). We need to PROCLAIM that JOY, and that we are a MASTERPIECE created by God, to the world at all times (1 Peter 3:15). We need to remember that God “chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Ephesians 1:4 NIV.
Child of God…allow God to renew your spirit each and every day, and be obedient by carrying out the good work that He CREATED you for. Go out and PROCLAIM to the world that YOU ARE GOD’S MASTERPIECE!!!
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'” Matthew 28:18-20