FOR GOOD WORKS

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 2:8-10

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

The product of God’s work in us is “good works.”  First and foremost, God has called us to be “holy and blameless before Him in love” (1;4).  We are created to be a holy people.  “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy'” (I Peter 1:14-16).  The word “holy” means to be separated from sin and evil; it means to be separated for God’s service. The essence of holiness is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  God is fashioning us to be His obedient and productive children.  He is conforming us into the image of His Son Jesus — “For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Romans 8:29).

These “good works” are also means of service to one another.  James says, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:14).  We are to show our faith in service to others.  We are to engage in works of mercy and justice.  We are to reach out to the poor and be willing to serve even “the least of these” (Matthew 25:31-46).

“Good works” include works of service in God’s Church.  We are to minister to fellow believers by serving them according to our gifts.  And we are to reach out to unbelievers in love as we seek to live out the gospel before them.  We are Christ’s ambassadors, “God making His appeal through us” (II Corinthians 5:26).

These “good works” are evidence that God is at work in our lives.  Good works flow out of our love for Christ.  They are not a means to earn God’s favor.  This would be a reversal of the gospel.  The good works flow from a life that has been justified by God and is in the process of being sanctified.

Do you sense God at work in your life?  Are you aware that God has taken hold of you?  Is your life different now?  If not, you are in a dangerous position.  You need to pray, “God, take hold of me!”  If you are a believer, recognize God’s work in your life — He is the potter and you are the clay.  Our prayer should be:  “Have Thine own way, Lord.  Have Thine own way!  Thou art the potter; I am the clay.  Mold me and make me after Thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.”

 

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