How He Works in Us ’After’ Salvation

My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was less competition there. (Indira Gandhi, Bits and Pieces, April 1990, p. 11). … More

The first verse in this “after” section, places the focus squarely where it needs to be – “on God.” Paul mentions both God’s love and God’s mercy, and each are emphasized with adjectives – “great” love and “rich” mercy. And because of those two amazing characteristics of God, two things have happened to us:

  1. Made alive (vv. 4-5): This takes us all the way back to where Paul begins by describing us as “dead” (v. 1). It is only natural and logical then that the first thing we have in Christ is life. We were dead, now we are alive. That is our testimony – that is our witness – once we were spiritually dead, but now we are spiritually alive. This incredible truth points to the fact that our entire salvation is about the grace of God, so that it overflows here as a brief taste of what is to come: it is by grace we have been saved (vv. 8-9).
  2. Raised with Christ (v. 6): To understand what Paul is talking about here, we need to glance back at the last part of chapter one (vv. 20-21). The focus there is on the power Christ has over everything because God has raised Him up and seated Him at His right hand. God did this so that in the future world he could show how truly good and kind he is to us because of what Christ Jesus has done (v. 7).

We are God’s workmanship created for......All too often we memorize (vv. 8-9) and leave out (v. 10), but then we only get the first part of the thought and miss the rest of what Paul is saying. The first thing to notice is that we are God’s “workmanship”. Works don’t save us – they don’t make us more holy or more spiritual or more important to God. But, works flow naturally out of who we have been made to be by the craftsmanship of God. We are not saved BY works, but FOR works. They are important but they do not earn us salvation. Our works flow out of who we are created to be. They are a RESULT of salvation, not a CAUSE of salvation.

Application

I am so thankful for the way the Lord has worked in me and through me. Now I want to be sensitive to how He wants to work in me and through me in the future.

Ephesians 2:4-10 (English Standard Version)


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