For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared for us to do.The beautiful thing about this verse is how close one feels with God when thinking that He has shaped us with His own hands. Many times we wonder why God would love us so much. Well, for much of the same reason why I still have some art projects I made in 6th grade. It isn’t the quality of the piece, it is its relationship with me. Likewise, it is our relationship with God that causes God to love us so.
But it is also important to remember the context. Overall Paul is comparing faith to works, where faith is the means of salvation instead of what humans would expect: works. So why does Paul take the time to celebrate good works in this verse? After all, that is precisely what he is doing.
The reason is simple. He is describing works as the goal instead of the means. Faith is the means of salvation; works are the goal. We are saved and reborn so we can do the good works of God. This recalls Genesis 1:27-28, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” When we were created, we were, in part, delegated authority here on earth to subdue it and take care of it. We were to be God’s vassals; His representatives here on the Earth to keep it beautiful.
It is therefore not surprising that even now, when He restores us to righteousness and cleanliness, He also restores us to purpose. We are called to live out His decrees, and put things in order here. So we are created for good works, and recreated for good works. But we are not recreated by good works, and that is his point.
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