Today’s epistle (according to the Greek lectionary) is one of my favorites.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
I love the way our works
is related here to God’s workmanship. The Greek is Ï€Î¿á½·Î·Î¼Î±/poema, ancestor of the English word “poem.” This verse also subtly brings home the point that our actions are fashioning an enduring reality — our works. Some translators of English prayerbooks want to downplay the references to works, using “actions” or “deeds.” “Works” is simply a more satisfying reference to this verse, which gives a proper framework for understanding their importance.
This verse also completes a passage often misquoted by Christians of other confessions:
BRETHREN, God who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God: not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. [emphasis added]
We are not saved by good works; we are saved for good works.
The URL to trackback this post is:
Copyright © 2002–2011 Kevin Robert (Basil) Fritts, all rights reserved.