God’s Workmanship

The Faberge Egg is considered one the most exquisite objects of art in the world. The story began when Czar Alexander III decided to give his wife the Empress Maria Fedorovna an Easter Egg in 1885, possibly to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their betrothal. Carl Faberge is the master artist who created these eggs and they are a symbol of luxury and beauty and royalty.         

The Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome took Michelangelo four years to complete this masterpiece. Along with his monumental state of David, these two works are the epitome of Renaissance art and sculpture. The Parthenon in Greece. The Taj Mahal in India. The pyramids in Egypt. The Coliseum in Rome. Big Ben in London. The palace of Versailles in France. The Statue of Liberty. The Great Wall of China.

These amazing structures represent the most famous buildings in the world. These are icons of artistry, creativity, and years of design and building. Venice, Italy, is known for exquisite and expensive glassmaking. Ireland is known for Waterford crystal which is supposed to be the most exquisite in the world.

Why do I draw your attention to works of art, sculpture, and architecture? None of these would be famous, expensive, or exquisite with a master designer who labored with great talent and care to create something spectacular. Behind all works of art, there is the master artist. Behind all buildings, there is an architect. Behind all sculptures, there is a sculptor. Behind all pottery there is a master potter.

And behind all of our salvation in being a new creation in Christ, there is the ultimate artist, designer, sculptor, painter, and builder—God Himself.

Paul gives this wonderful description in Ephesians 2:10 of how God has made us for Himself: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Paul says that we are God’s workmanship.

This is an amazing word. We are the masterpiece or the masterwork of the living God. This word really means the masterwork of a great artist and can encompass any work of great art—it could be a sculpture, or a building, or a tower, or a bridge, or an intricate piece of pottery. It was often used of a craftsman making a crown of beauty. It carries the image that God is the master builder or the master artist who has created a masterpiece of exquisite beauty and design.

There is a dignity to being a Christian.  God in His infinite mercy as the Creator has made us Christians. He is the Potter and we are the clay and He has fashioned us into this great work of art for His pleasure. Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

What should our response be to the dignity and privilege of being described as God’s workmanship—His masterpiece? It shouldn’t bring pride, but humility and joy. There is a great joy in knowing that we were once dead and children of wrath and sons of disobedience enslaved to sin and now God has created us into His workmanship. The beauty of the gospel is that we were nothing before salvation except dead, rebellious sinners, and now God has made us or created us into His workmanship.

I think many of our problems as Christians would be solved if we began to think of ourselves as God’s workmanship and objects of His love and acceptance. Let me ask you a question: Do you view God as this disapproving Father in heaven who is just waiting for you to mess up and He has this look of consternation on His face. Or do you see this Creative Father who has taken you out of the depths of depravity and sin and fashioned you into a new creation where you are now the object of His love and affection and His workmanship?

Paul uses this “creation” language. Just as God spoke the universe into existence by the power of His word, He spoke the gospel into your heart and made you alive in Christ. Here’s what’s staggering. In the physical creation, God created the universe out of nothing. There was nothing there in the first place and God created and spoke and everything came into being. But yet in our salvation, God didn’t create out of nothing. He created out of deadness, rebellion and sin. He took those who were rebellious and created in them a new life.

2 Corinthians 4:6 reads, “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

It’s so important to remember that becoming a Christian is not self-help or moral improvement or some type of self-reliance where we make some changes to our habits and follow a list of do’s and don’ts and try to be so religious.

It’s not moral improvement or self-help, but a new nature. It is a new creation. It is by grace you’ve been saved and God alone has done it. God re-created you into His workmanship. You were dead. You were rebellious. You were an object of His wrath and He in His infinite mercy and great love as the Great Artist fashioned us into new creations in Christ to be His workmanship—His masterpiece.

What does this imply? It means that God is at work on you. God is shaping you. God is not done with you yet. God is the master Potter and He is fashioning you and molding you and cleaning up the rough edges and ultimately His goal is to transform you to be more like His Son Jesus. Paul writes in Philippians 1:6: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

 

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