Saved with a Purpose (Part Two)- Ephesians 2:1-10

Paul begins the good news in verse 4, with the phrase “but God”, God has done something about our problem of being “dead”. And what has He done? He has made us alive ! He has done so because of His great love for us, shown to us in His mercy and grace. Through these He has saved us, united us to God in Christ. His mercy closed the door to hell, and His grace has opened the door to heaven, we “have been saved” (perfect tense, once and for all). We deserve death, but God in His grace gives us life. Not only this, we have also been raised up with Christ and are seated with Him in heaven, united with Him in His death, resurrection and ascension, delivered from death not only here and now but for all eternity, never again to be separated from God by transgressions and sins. The reason for all of this is given in verse 7, which begins with the Greek hina – “in order that”. The reason God does all of this is for His glory, which is seen above all else through His grace, mercy and love. No other “riches” compare with the grace God has given us in Christ Jesus. We are then given the how of salvation, how we have been saved, and we have by saved by grace through faith. Salvation is a gift of God’s grace, and faith is simply the means through which we receive the gift. This gift is freely offered, but is accepted only through faith, through trusting in what Christ has done for us rather than trusting in anything of our own to save us. This grace here is contrasted with works, for grace is faith in Christ, while works is faith in self. Faith in Christ leaves us nothing to boast about, for Christ does it all and we merely believe it. We are then given the purpose of our salvation in verse 10, in which we are told we are God’s “workmanship”. This is the Greek word poiema, which is used to express God’s creative purpose shown in His creative activity, seen here also through Paul’s use of the term “created”. He touches here on the fact of our new identities, our change of nature which comes when we are “created in Christ Jesus”. We as human are born in Adam, but created in Christ Jesus, and the use of poiema here shows there is a purpose to this creation. Everything God creates He creates for a purpose, and that includes every born again believer. Each of us has a specific purpose in life, which is expressed here by the expression “good works”. These works are specific to each believer, each of us has a unique purpose and a unique “job” to do in building God’s kingdom. These works are “prepared beforehand”, literally “made ready before”. They were in His mind before He created us, so He therefore created us with all we need to do them. He has a specific purpose for each of us, and has given us all we need to fulfill it. May we all discover what that purpose is and live it out in our lives.

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