This is going to be a short one – a liberating insight I had this morning while meditating on scripture. This one from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Specifically, Ephesians 2:8-9 which says, “ For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
When any world-class, state-of the-art manufacturing process claims that its operations are ‘untouched by human hands’ it stands as a guarantee for quality and purity. The awe- inspiring truth is that God makes the same claim about His work in us! We are His workmanship –entirely His and no ‘human hand’ has touched that process. It reminds me of what John wrote in his testimony about Jesus – Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. In short, human intervention has not been allowed to ‘contaminate’/interfere with God’s workmanship. Paul goes as far as to say that we’ve been saved by grace through faith – and even that (faith) is not something we coughed up on our own but is a gift from God. Why such stringent ‘quality -control’ standards? Paul gives us the short answer – “lest anyone should boast”. God will not share the ‘credit’ with anybody. Why not? Is it because He wants to hog the limelight? Unlikely : ) One reason that comes to mind is that ‘pride’ is poison to our souls – therefore all pretensions to human achievement have been summarily dismissed! Another is the idiocy of the ‘created’ boasting against the Creator. To quote the prophet Isaiah here, ” But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand.”
The more I chew on this truth, the more joy it gives me. The new nature that I received when I put my faith in Jesus is God-like in its purity – it is something that has been wholly put in place by Him without any help from my end…it is, to use that word again ‘ uncontaminated’ by me. My part then, my ‘work’ in all of this, is to simply accept this marvellous truth. And the more I soak it in, the more it will inform my identity and in turn my actions. He does not need me to ‘prop up’ His work, or embellish it or ‘help it along’ in anyway. My new nature is His workmanship – and that sets my being profoundly at rest. Woah!!!
If this is news to you and you are stirred to know more or curious about this ‘new nature’, do feel free to write in..