What an awesome privilege and honor it is to be a new creation in Christ, but are we simply to wait for our Lord’s return, without doing anything else? Do we just have to attend the occasional church service, read the daily devotional, say the sporadic prayer, and stay out of trouble? Is this all there is to the Christian life? No, not at all, as our purpose on Earth, as sons or daughters of God, is so much more magnificent and breathtaking. We are ambassadors of God’s goodness and have the responsibility of bringing His goodness into the sphere of everything we do and everything we are. Ephesians sets forth this amazing responsibility of the Christian believer.
Ephesians 2:10 (New Jerusalem Bible):
We are God’s work of art, created in Christ
Jesus for the good works which God has
already designated to make up our way of life.
New King James:
For we are His workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus for good works, which God
prepared beforehand that we should walk
New Living Translation:
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created
us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good
things he planned for us long ago.
God has made us what we are, creating us in
Christ Jesus for the good deeds which are
prepared beforehand by God as our sphere of
For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus
with a view to good works which God prepared
beforehand in order that within their sphere we
may order our behavior.
Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible:
His! In fact we are-his workmanship,
Created in Christ Jesus on a footing of
good works, which God prepared
beforehand, that, therein, we might walk.
What wonderful words “we are His workmanship.” What an awesome responsibility and privilege to be His workmanship created in Christ Jesus. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are worthless or will not amount to anything. You are His workmanship! The first word in the Greek text is “His,” emphasizing we are His workmanship and not our own. We did not save ourselves, and we are not self-made men or women. This workmanship is all of God and originates from His loving heart. His workmanship is where Christianity begins.
The word “workmanship” is the Greek word poiema, which means “a thing made or produced with effort, object, and design; a work of art especially a poetic product, and a masterpiece. We are God’s poetic masterpiece. God is the poet, the sculptor, and the artist, and we are the masterpiece. Poetry is masterfully chosen words, that mixed with rhythm and sound, express great depth of meaning and emotion. A poem is an expression of a vision that is rendered in a form that arouses the emotions and touches the heart. Poetry is the chiseled marble of language, it is a paint spattered canvas, but the poet uses words instead of paint, and the canvas is the human heart. Poetry evokes emotion and deep thought, often calling the human heart to action. Poetry inspires, enlightens, defines, and unfolds.
As God’s poetic masterpiece, who is the audience that we are to have such a great impact upon? Who are the listeners who are stirred and deeply affected by the beautiful poetic expression of language and art? The audience is the world. The listeners are our communities, cities, states, and nations. Once we are created in Christ Jesus as a son or daughter of God, God wants our lives to be His poetic masterpiece to the world. God wants our lives to be a beautiful poem of His love and goodness that inspires, touches, and stirs the human heart to return to the loving arms of God Almighty.
The Greek word poeima is only used one other time in the New Testament and this other usage gives further insight into the meaning of this wonderful word.
Romans 1:20 (Amplified):
For ever since the creation of the world His
invisible nature and attributes, that is His
eternal power and divinity, have been made
intelligible and clearly discernible in and
through the things that have been made (His
handiworks) (poiema). So men are without
excuse [altogether without any defense or
English Standard Version:
For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal
power and divine nature, have been clearly
perceived, ever since the creation of the world,
in the things that have been made (poiema). So
they are without excuse.
God’s other poetic masterpiece is His entire creation of the heavens and earth, from the majestic mountains to the breathtaking oceans; from the beautiful flowers to the flowing rivers; from the sensational sunset to the glorious stars. The poetry of creation, this wonderful work of art and beauty in God’s handiwork in the heavens and earth, testifies every day to God’s goodness, love, mercy, power, and heart. God revealed His wonderful heart and His awesome power by His work of art in creation. You would have to be a fool to not believe in God and His goodness from the witness of His breathtaking creation. The poetic masterpiece of creation allows us to clearly see the divine nature and eternal power of God. The creation testifies to the beauty of God’s design, the perfection of His handiwork, the goodness of His heart, and the wisdom of His works. The heavens and earth are a majestic poem about God.
The poiema of God is too be seen by the human eye, felt by the human heart, experienced by the human mind, and heard
by the human ear. The poeima of God is not to be hid under a bush, concealed in a room, or buried underground. The poeima of God is to be clearly seen and manifested to the world so that all might see a wonderful glimpse of the heart of God. The words “clearly seen” in the Greek mean: to behold fully, to distinctly apprehend, and to discern clearly. The poiema of God is created so that all people can fully behold and distinctly comprehend the amazing characteristics of our loving God. God wants the beauty of who He is and the wonderful grace of His goodness to be seen and understood by every human being on the face of the earth. The poiema of God is the artist’s most magnificent masterpiece, and it reveals many details of the awesome power and glory of Our Creator, our Father, our Lord, and our God.
What an astounding truth that there are only two poetic masterpieces of God set forth in the New Testament. The first is God’s magnificent creation of the heavens and earth, and the second is the new birth creation of a person in Christ Jesus. We know that both are God’s creation and His handiwork. We know also that both are created to be a witness and testimony to the goodness and love in the heart of God. Both are intended to draw a person closer to God and give understanding as to the nature, power, and beauty of God Almighty. There is a great summons, invitation, or call, coming from the poiema of God to all people, to enter the heart of God, to know him deeply and personally and let His healing touch make you whole in Christ. The poeima of God is to have a deep emotional effect on the heart and soul of a person and increase their hunger to have a relationship with God Almighty. The poeima of God is to deepen the desire of a person to seek Him, trust Him, love Him, and know Him. The poiema of God is to touch a person’s heart with the overwhelming goodness of God.
So then is the new creation in Christ just for the purpose of our own salvation and redemption? Are we simply to wait out the time until our Lord returns, since we have the gift of eternal life and we are already in the door? Or is there another noble purpose for the new creation in Christ Jesus which God magnificently created in the depth of our being when we confessed Jesus as our Lord and believed God raised him from the dead. The poetic masterpiece of the new creation is not to lie dormant inside a person, but was clearly created for the noble purpose of good works. The scripture could not be clearer. We are created in Christ FOR good works. We are ambassadors of God’s goodness and bring His goodness into the world. We are to bring forth good works from the energized source of the new creation, the Christ in us, to the world. The good works do not originate from our own strength or power, but from His new creation in us. The good works are to be God’s poetry, God’s inspiration, God’s heart, and God’s goodness in action. We are the poiema of God’s goodness.
These good works, which come forth from God’s poetic masterpiece of our new creation in Christ, are to inspire, heal, touch, mend, repair, and restore. These good works are rooted and grounded in God’s love. Every Christian believer has been called to a ministry of good works that touch the heart, soul, and needs of people emotionally, physically, and spiritually. God has prepared a purpose and calling for each one of our lives in the body of Christ, where we are instrumental in bringing works of God’s goodness to the world.
We are always producing works in our daily life. What kind of works are we producing? What types of works are coming forth from our mouths, our hands, and our hearts? Are we wise master builders, building a beautiful poetic masterpiece of good works on the foundation of Jesus Christ? Or are we building works of selfishness, pride, lust, greed, anger, and hatred on a foundation of sinking sand? What are you building? Do our works touch people with the very goodness of God? Do our works touch people with the love of God? Do our works glorify God and testify to the fathomless depths of the goodness of God? What does your building look like?
A lifetime of Christian service to our Lord is a lifetime of good works that rock the devil’s kingdom and bring God’s light and love to our generation. The good works that are birthed out of our new creation in Christ are supposed to be of such a quality that the world has never seen or known. These are God energized good works that are full of His power, His healing, His love, His tenderness, His mercy, and His grace. These good works are revolutionary. These good works are earth-shattering. These good works are life-changing. These good works are energized from the very heart of God. Our way of life, our sphere of action, and our element is in good works. God expects us to walk and order our behavior in the sphere or element of good works once we are born again and created anew in Christ. God has given us the spiritual ability to produce works of goodness in this world. The journey of the Christian life is our union with Him as we grow each day more and more Christ-like in our thoughts, words, and deeds. As we grow and deepen our relationship with the Father, and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, we will walk more and more in the way of life of God’s good works energized in and through us. God will touch and heal many with His goodness through our lives.
The good works flow out of our union with Christ. We have a new life in Christ and a living vital bond to our Savior. We have the seed of Christ birthed within us, and a deep spiritual bond of life, power, righteousness, and unity with Jesus Christ. God has united us to Christ in the new creation. We abide in Him and He abides in us. We are one with Christ, as His life is our life, and we are justified, sanctified, righteous, and redeemed because of our union with Him. Every blessing, every healing, every deliverance, every victory, every strength, and every freedom comes from our union with Christ. In Christ, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing and we are absolutely complete in Him in every way. Nothing is lacking. This perfect union with Christ is the well spring of our good works. The river of good works flows out from our intimate bond and living connection with Christ.
Every work of Jesus Christ upon the earth was good. His entire ministry was a ministry of good works that brought healing, freedom, and deliverance. Now the Apostle Paul declares in Philippians that “for me to live is Christ.” When people see us, they should see Christ. Christ lives in and through us and reaches out to the world through our words and actions. Our works are to be good, for his works were good. Our lives should be a living reflection of the heart of Jesus Christ. We can do the same good works Jesus Christ accomplished in his daily walk because he lives in us.
The lyrics of “What would Life be Like” by Big Daddy Weave speak to this truth:
All our hearts they burn within us
All our lives we’ve longed for more
So let us lay our lives before the one,
who gave His life for us
That he made the lame walk and the dumb talk
And He opened blinded eyes to see
That the sun rises on His time
Yet He knows our deepest desperate need
And the world waits while His heart aches
To realize the dream
I wonder what life would be like,
if we let Jesus live through you and me
What would our daily life be like in our homes, at our jobs, and in our communities if we let Jesus live through you and me? What a revolutionary impact we can have in the world when Jesus lives, breathes, moves, and loves through you and me.
God has called us as Christians to do the same marvelous and amazing works that Jesus
John 14:12 (English Standard Version):
Truly, truly I say to you, whoever believes
in me will also do the works that I do, and
greater works than these will he do, because
I go to the Father.
The truth in this verse is absolutely astounding. As Christian believers, we are to do the same good works that Jesus Christ did upon the earth, and even greater good works. What a calling! What an honor! What a responsibility! Do you believe that you can do the same good works Jesus Christ did, and even greater? The words “will also do” are in the indicative future in the Greek, which leaves no doubt or debate that this action is real and intended, not just a mere possibility. You can do the same good works that Jesus did! This is an absolute reality if you believe in Jesus and walk in the power of the new creation in Christ. We are in union with him; we do the works together. God energizes the good works through Christ and our union with him. Do you realize that in the new birth, the very energy, power, and life of Christ flow through our entire being? The fullness of Christ dwells in our new nature and enables us to work together with God to produce works of love, goodness, and power.
Jesus Christ is no longer physically walking upon the earth, so we must now continue to do his good works. In Christ, we must heal the brokenhearted, set the captives free, hold forth the word of life, love people with compassion, and break the grip of spiritual bondage. We can do even greater works in Christ by leading people into the new birth, where they receive the gift of holy spirit, become born again sons and daughters of God, clothed in righteousness, reconciled to the Heavenly Father, and justified from the penalty of sin. This is the ultimate good work of leading a soul to salvation in Christ, which was not available until the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the holy spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
Titus 2:14 (KJV):
Who gave himself for us, that he might
redeem us from all iniquity, and purify
unto himself a peculiar people, zealous
of good works.
New Living Testament:
He gave his life to free us from every
kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make
us his very own people, totally committed
to doing good deeds.
Bible in Basic English:
Who gave himself for us, so that he might
make us free from all wrongdoing, and
make for himself a people clean in heart
and on fire with good works.
New Century Version:
He gave himself for us so that he might
pay the price to free us from all evil and
to make us pure people who belong only
to him-people who are always wanting to
do good deeds.
The Message Bible:
He offered himself as a sacrifice to free
us from a dark, rebellious life into this
good, pure life, making us a people he
can be proud of, energetic in goodness.
Jesus Christ gave His own life for us and paid the price to redeem us from all sin, so that we would be God’s own purified, special people who are zealous, totally committed, and on fire for good works. We studied earlier the Greek word translated “peculiar” in the King James Version, but this truth is well worth revisiting, as explained in Wuest’s Word Studies of the Greek New Testament Volume III:
Christians are the peculiar people of God.
We use the word sometimes when we speak
of something odd or strange. But that is not
its use here. The word is translated from a
Greek word which is made up of two words,
one which means “around” as a circle, and
the other which means “to be.” It can be
charted by a dot within a circle. This will
help us to understand the meaning of the
combined word. As the circle is around the
dot so God is around each one of His saints.
The circle monopolizes the dot, has the dot
all to itself. So God has His own all to Himself.
They are His own private unique possession.
He has reserved them for Himself. The
expression in I Thessalonians 1:1, “The church
of the Thessalonians in God,” has in it the same
idea, for the Greek case is locative of sphere.
That is, it is in the sphere of God, circumscribed
by God, surrounded by Him. This is a place of
high privilege. In I Peter 2:7 the Greek text has
it, Unto you who believe, is the preciousness.”
That is, the preciousness of Jesus is imputed to us…
The Son dwells in the bosom of the Father, closest
to the Father’s affections. Marvelous grace, that
we sinners saved by grace are brought into that
favored place closest to the Father’s affections.
The Father loves us as much as He loves His only
We are as precious to God as Jesus, and are God’s unique treasure and distinctive possession. We are God’s own private possession, whom He loves with all His heart, as we have been purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ and set apart for His special purpose. We are extremely special to God as His people, as He paid the highest price for us by the sacrifice of His Son at Calvary. We are no ordinary people, but God’s beloved and His most treasured possession in the entire universe. God has pursued us since the beginning of the ages and left no stone unturned to make us His own.
Now, we just don’t sit back and enjoy this special status and do nothing else. Understanding our unique calling as birthed children of the living God and new creations in Christ, God wants us to be zealous for good works. The Greek word for “zealous” means: to boil, to be hot or glow, to have vehement passion, to be most eagerly desirous of, and to be fervent and enthusiastically devoted to. It is to be stirred to action by strong passion and to have energetic, unflagging devotion to a cause. It conveys a strong emotion and a passionate desire. It means to be totally committed and sold out with your heart ablaze. It is used to describe water boiling or metal glowing in heat. It is a fervor of heart that sells out to a cause, person, or belief and passionately pours out all their focus and strength into it. It is a burning desire that consumes the soul.
God wants us to be white hot and passionately zealous to do good works because we understand our position of worth and honor as God’s treasured children. God desperately needs us to earnestly desire to reach out and touch a dying world with the goodness of God. This zeal is rooted and grounded in our union with Christ and comes from our new nature in Christ. It is a spiritual zeal that should far exceed the passion that an unsaved person shows for money, earthly possessions, or other worldly things. Just as Jesus Christ had a great zeal and passion to do good works during his earthly ministry, we
can be consumed with this same zeal. The zeal of Jesus Christ, the enthusiasm of Jesus Christ, the passion of Jesus Christ, the devotion of Jesus Christ, and the desire of Jesus Christ lives in us for we are His and He is ours. We can live, move, and breathe in the passionate zeal of our Lord as we do good works upon the earth. We can live our lives in the divine energy of Jesus Christ, as we become more committed each day to produce works of goodness that bring God’s love and heart into the streets of our communities. God wants us to be energetic in His goodness and He works in us to produce the energy, zeal, and will to do His good works.
Philippians 2:13 (Amplified):
Not in your own strength, for it is
God Who is all the while effectually at
work in you, energizing and creating in
you the power and desire, both to will
and to work for His good pleasure and
satisfaction and delight.
For God is the One who is constantly
putting forth His energy in you, both in
the form of you being desirous of and
of your doing His good pleasure.
God’s good pleasure is the good works that He has prepared for us to walk in. He is constantly energizing His spiritual power with us and pouring into our being His zeal and energy so that we can accomplish His good works. This zealousness to do good works is a partnership with God, as together we continuously bring acts of God’s goodness to people in desperate need of His love and healing touch. God can energize our desire, and God can energize our zeal, if we only let Him by seeking Him first and loving Him with everything we are. A total dedication to the Lord as our only God above all idols and the commitment of our lives to Him as living sacrifices allows God to move freely in our hearts. We should never let our zeal to do His good works fade or fizzle out.
Romans 12:11 (Amplified):
Never lag in zeal and in earnest; be
aglow and burning with the Spirit,
serving the Lord.
Never let your zeal flag, maintain the
spiritual glow, serve the Lord.
Let us not allow slackness to spoil our
work and let us keep the fires of the spirit
burning, as we do our work for God.
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled
and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep
your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Are the embers of our heart in full hot flame for the Lord or just barely glowing? Are we zealots for Jesus to continue to do his good works on this planet, or are we just lukewarm to his call to service? Are we wholeheartedly passionate for God, or are we just a sparkler that flairs up brightly for a moment but quickly fizzles out? Are we on fire to do good works for God, or do we just want to be left alone to live our lives in isolation in accordance with our secret Christianity? Are you ready to rock this world by being fanatically devoted to do good works with your Heavenly Father and your Lord Jesus Christ? How exciting life can be as we stand in the gap and deliver to the world great works of goodness and love. What an awesome privilege!