Yesterday, we learned that God’s mercy and love for us made us alive together with Christ (2:5). Today, we will learn about two more things His love for us has made possible.
First, those who believe in Christ have been raised up with him. Just as Christ was resurrected, believers have also been resurrected. We identify with Christ’s death and His resurrection (Romans 6:1–10). We die to our old selves, the sinful ways, and have a new life in Christ leaving behind those old ways. We are new creations in Christ and the old has passed away (2 Corinthians 5:17). God raised us up with Christ through His resurrection. Praise God for a new life that identifies with Christ!
Second, God has seated believers with Christ in the heavenly places. Because of God’s love for us and through Christ, believers claim citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20). God has exalted His Son Jesus because of the work He did on the cross; and through Jesus’ sacrifice, God exalts His sons and daughters here on earth. As we studied in Ephesians chapter 1, God’s behavior toward Christ is similar to His behavior toward believers—raising them from the dead and seating them in the heavenly realms.
In verse 7, just as he mentioned in Ephesians chapter 1, Paul speaks of the riches of God’s grace—the immeasurable riches of redemption, forgiveness, and salvation expressed to us in His kindness through Jesus Christ. The riches of salvation so magnifcent it cannot be measured.
In verses 8 and 9, Paul again emphasizes the truth that by grace we are saved through faith. The basis of salvation is grace, and the means is faith alone (Romans 3:22, 25; Galatians 2:16; 1 Peter 1:5). Faith in Christ allows us to acquire the free salvation of God. Our salvation is not because of anything we have done but rather a free gift God has given us. God is the source of salvation and not humankind. God’s favor shone upon us—a free gift, one we do not deserve, a way to restore our relationship with Him and give us new life, eternal life with Him—in Jesus, salvation offered to all. Because God’s salvation cannot be earned through works, no man can boast. We boast in the Lord, for He has worked on our behalf (1 Corinthians 1:31).
Paul begins verse 10 by proclaiming that we are God’s workmanship, which means a masterpiece or a work of art. God’s people are His masterpiece, the culmination of all His creation. God’s workmanship, His creation, is to result in good works (Titus 3:8). God’s purpose for us is to do good works, and He has prepared this path for us. We don’t have to do it alone. God works in and through us to produce these good works. In weeks 4, 5, and 6 of this study, we will discuss this path of good works in more detail as Paul discusses them in Ephesians chapters 4, 5, and 6.
What does it mean to you that you are God’s workmanship?
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