Waking with The Word | Ephesians 2: 9-10
Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. :10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Yesterday we spoke on the subject of salvation and it is important to note that verse 9 is still speaking of salvation. The reason I have separated verse nine from verse eight is because I wanted to look at works and not salvation. It’s vitally important not to group the two together in the same category because salvation is completely apart from works. There is no amount of good works that could save or lack of good works that could condemn. Works do not produce salvation, but salvation produces good works. We said yesterday that faith is not the byproduct of salvation but rather a precursor and the avenue through which God ‘s Grace finds us, through the eye of faith. The opposite is true of good works, good works only come after salvation and are not a precursor to salvation but a product of salvation. Never confuse works with salvation or inter-tangle the two, to do so will most certainly have your faith resting in works equally or more than grace. Now “Should we sin that grace may abound? God forbid.” God didn’t save us to sin but rather from sin and any person that believes that they can go on sinning because salvation isn’t dependent upon their good works is simply turning the grace of God into lasciviousness and using their liberty for a cloak of maliciousness. Good works do not save us but they are evidence of salvation. Can the world tell that there is a difference in you? Do you go the same places, use the same language, have the same relationships as before? A Simple but very true and powerful statement I heard years ago was this: “No change means no change.” If the God of heaven and earth moves into your heart, if the Spirit that moved upon the face of the waters at creation, if the Son of God who died for the sins of the world doesn’t change you, then you’ve not met Him. You may have heard about him or read about him, but you don’t know him. I’m not saying you will be perfect, far from it, but you will be different. Sin becomes bitter, prayerlessness becomes heartbreak, cold devotions feel like the dead of winter to the soul that has felt His embrace, you will fall, you will make mistakes, sometimes even horrific sin may creep into your life but your heart will hurt, you will long for a right standing with the one you have sin against. These falls and trips in our Christian life teach us we do not want to fall and trip anymore and God is faithful to chasten His children, as we should be to our children. The hurt of the fall and the chastening hand of our father makes us never want to sin again and this is where a misstep can be made. Which brings us to our next phrase “His workmanship.”
We mature as Christians and learn the folly and hurt of sin and we begin to try and produce good works to counter act our mistakes. This at first glance seems like logical thinking and I suppose in the human thinking it would be so but… the scripture teaches us that we cannot produce good works. This at first seems very depressing to the soul who longs to please God, we want to do right, we want to please him but attempt after attempt we fail. That is because we are operating in the mind set of Cain, bring our fruits to God thinking it will please him, when what God required was the sacrifice of a innocent Lamb. Dear reader, we are taught and most often we rely completely on God for our salvation and understand it is God that saves us but when it comes to good works we take the full responsibility upon our self. As if to say, “Thanks Lord for saving me but I’ll take it from here.” This is absurd thinking, we should rely on God to produce good works in our life as much as we rely on Him to save us, because both are impossible to us without Him. He is the vine we are the branch; He is the root we are the fruit; He is the head we are the body. Galatians five tells us about the fruits of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, :20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, :21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. :22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, :23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. :24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. :25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
God does expect fruit in your life but not fruit at the hands of our flesh. It is the fruit of The Spirit that he wants to reap from our lives. Which brings us to a subject Paul presents in many of his epistles, walking in the Spirit. Paul instructs us to walk in good works, not to produce them and in other places throughout his epistles he instructs us to walk in the Spirit. Stop offering God the fruits of your efforts and walk with him and let him bring to fruition the fruits of the Spirit in your life. Walk with the Spirit, what does it mean? How do I do it? Do you have a spouse or even a friend that you enjoy their company? How do you fellowship with them? Do you go for walks? Do you have conversations? Do you go places with them? Do you comfort one another? I would imagine so, now do those same things with your Savior through the Spirit. He didn’t leave us comfortless but He sent another comforter, His Spirit, and we can fellowship with Him, when can talk to him, we can ride down the road with him, we even lay down and wake with him. Fellowship, converse, receive comfort at his hands. It is through this walk with Him that we can see fruits of good works in our life. Fruits will begin to spring forth and not at the effort of self but from the relationship you have with Him. Children are the product of a close relationship between husband and wife, in the ideal situation, and good works in your life are a the product of a close relationship between you and the Savior and in a broader sense Between Christ, the bridegroom, and the Church, the bride.
Salvation is ordained by the Father, obtained by the Son and operates by the Spirit.
Sanctification is ordained by the Father, obtained by the Son and operates by the Spirit.
According to the riches of His Grace!!