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We Are God's Workmanship | Ephesians 2:8-10

September 3, 2023 Speaker: Jonathan McLeod Series: Shaped to Serve

Topic: Salvation Scripture: Ephesians 2:8–10

New Series

Today we’re starting a new series called Shaped to Serve

The key verse for this series is Ephesians 2:10, which says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Not Saved by Works

Before we get into Ephesians 2:10, let’s look at verses 8 and 9. Verse 8 says, “You have been saved.” Ephesians is a letter written by the apostle Paul to the church in Ephesus. Let’s look in these two verses for answers to three questions about the Ephesians’ salvation.

  • What were they saved from? In verse 3, Paul says that the Ephesians had been “children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” They were saved from divine judgment. Our sin makes God angry. But remember that God is not quick to anger; he’s slow to anger.
  • How were they saved? Look at verse 8: “For by grace you have been saved through faith.” The Ephesians were saved by grace through faith. 
  • How were they not saved? Verse 8 goes on to say, “And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” The Ephesians were not saved by works. Verse 9 says, “Not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Salvation is a gift (given by grace), and it’s our choice whether or not to receive it (through faith). So we can’t boast that we’re saved because we’re better than other people.

Faith + Works ≠ Salvation

Faith − Works = Salvation

But Saved for Works

Salvation is “not a result of works,” but it should result in works. 

Verse 10 begins by saying, “For we are his workmanship.” When Paul used the word “workmanship,” he would have been thinking of something a person makes with his/her hands. 

The next word in verse 10 is “created”: “created in Christ Jesus.” God re-creates us. He makes us new. Paul writes, in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that the person who is in Christ is a “new creation.”

Paul is saying to the Ephesians, “You are God’s workmanship (i.e., created in Christ Jesus), and you have a purpose. Notice the next three words: “for good works.”

Faith ≠ Salvation − Works

Faith = Salvation + Works

Now look at the end of verse 10: “which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk [i.e., live] in them.” God has prepared good works for us to do.

Shaped to Serve

God has shaped each of his children in a unique way so that we can serve in a unique way.

How has God shaped you?

Think about the good works that he’s prepared for you to do.

Are you willing to do those good works?

Consider what God was willing to do for you.