What Kind of Workmanship Are You?
In dealing with a frustrating dental situation, my husband had to return to the office with a partial that had just been delivered a day earlier. The anchor tooth that was loose a week earlier came out, destabilizing the whole prosthesis. Shoddy work from a dentist in a rush? He alluded to what a good dentist would do, and my husband stopped him, saying, “You are a good dentist, right?” Repairs are underway, needless to say.
It is easy to look at your life gone awry and think, “What a mess!” Honestly, there are days that you couldn’t have planned any worse. There are many valley days that have you looking up and wondering what the Lord might be doing because you just don’t see it. But you and I are His workmanship. Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
A couple of observations:
1. We are – this is a collective work involving the body of Christ. Ephesians is written to believers.
2. We are what? HIS workmanship. Workmanship is the degree of skill with which a product is made, but it is also the product or result of labor and skill. We (the body) are (present tense) His (possessive, belonging to the King of the universe) workmanship – His product that results from His labor, His skill! It’s not my workmanship. Mine is messy, incomplete, at times inadequate, but it is not my workmanship that is the focus. It is HIS! The product of our lives as the body of Christ is God’s product based on His infinite power, skill, wisdom. I can’t, we can’t, HE CAN!
3. Created – we are not just His product, we are His creation, special, unique, not to be duplicated. We are His masterpiece because we are crafted by a master craftsman.
4. In Christ Jesus – the creating occurs within the context of Christ. Earlier in Ephesians 2, verses 1 to 3, we understand that outside of Christ, we walk in a whole bunch of ugliness. That ugliness is not in Christ, but as His workmanship, as His creation, we are IN CHRIST.
5. Created for what? Good works! As His body, we are made according to His skill and creativity to do good works.
6. Which God prepared – God put these works together, not us. It didn’t happen by committee but by divine decision. There weren’t multiple ideas tossed out and discussed. He prepared them. There was a plan!
7. Beforehand – when? Before we were created? Before we were saved? At the point of His designing the entire plan for mankind? Before – in advance of now – from the foundations of time!
8. Why? That we should walk in them! What good is a design if it is tossed aside? A blueprint is useless if it is not carefully read. Directions for assembling a bike are useless if you don’t follow the guide – you might end up with extra pieces and a bike that doesn’t function. Works prepared from the foundation of time for His people – our job is to complete them, walk in them.
Your work may be different than mine. We may have different life situations, but we have one Lord. We may have different hobbies, but we have one Master Craftsman. Finding out what those works are is exciting, helping one another to discover those works is exciting. Proverbs 3:5-6 assures us that as we trust in Him with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding, acknowledging Him in all our ways, He will direct our paths. Trust Him, seek His will, and walk in the good works that He has prepared for you. You are not shoddy workmanship by any means, you are his masterpiece!