Why does God save? What is the purpose of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ? Some people say that salvation is so that you can go to heaven someday.
It is noteworthy that when you read our text you will not find that answer in there. That we might know why God saves--that is why we look at our text for today from Ephesians 2:10. The text can be divided into four parts. Paul says, “For we are God’s workmanship,” “created in Christ Jesus,” “to do good works,” “which God prepared in advance for us to do…” We will look at each one, one at a time. Paul says in verse 10, “For we are God’s workmanship…”
In this first part, Paul is addressing who we really are as believers. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are God’s workmanship. In the Greek, the word there is technically “something that is made.” But it is a word that also carries connotations of a “work of art.” So, it is not just something that is made. It is something that is made with care, with love. It is like a painting. That is what we are! We are God’s painting!
In our text, Paul says,“For we are God’s workmanship, ‘created in Christ Jesus’...” What does Paul mean by that? Outside of faith in Jesus Christ, we are sinful. Spiritually speaking, in and of ourselves we are rotting corpses. We are dead! (Eph. 2:1). But God came to save us. Therefore, he sent Jesus Christ who died on the cross to pay for our sin. He rose from the dead to conquer it! And he poured out his Holy Spirit so that he might enter us and make us alive so that we might be his workmanship! Paul says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, ‘to do good works’…”
Here is the purpose! It is not just so that we get to go to heaven. The purpose of salvation is Good Works! Doing good! In Jesus Christ, we are created to do good works! And heaven is just an extension of the grace we receive right now! Our privilege, responsibility and calling is to do good works. This is why we are saved! Good works is not something we do just in certain areas of life. No, good works is something we do in every area of our lives. We practice it at work, at school, at home, in our families, and in our marriages. Does good works describe and define your life? But what is good works according to Scripture?
The Heidelberg Catechism nicely summarizes what Scripture teaches about this: One, Good works arise out of true faith in Jesus Christ. Two, Good works conform to God’s law. Everything we do has to fit within the boundaries, the parameters of God’s law. Three, Good works are always done for God’s glory. Now, the last part of our text: Paul says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
That is, our opportunity for service, our call to do good works was all predestined for us. God planned this for us! Therefore, all we need to do is just go and do them! And we need to do them with confidence! God will bless this. He will make it work. It has been prepared in advance for us to do. Our text tells us who we are: we are God’s workmanship. It tells us who we belong to: we belong to Jesus Christ! He bought and paid for us! It tells us our task, our salvation: Good works! And it reminds us of the big plan: it has been prepared in advance for us to do!