Today’s passage presents us with a choice. We can “let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live,” as the Message translates the first sentence of verse two.
Or we can become God’s workmanship. It’s an interesting phrase, most likely drawing on the imagery of the many artists practicing their craft in the city of Ephesus, a city well know for its devotion to the arts. Paul is saying that our lives, too, can be a work of art.
How? By embracing the salvation offers to us in Jesus Christ. And it turns out that when we do this we don’t just kick back and wait to enter Heaven as our God given right, but we do the “good works which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life” (vs. 10, NIV). To accept the gift of salvation that God freely offers us in Christ is to take the path he prepared ahead of time for us to walk.
When we do this, we make the choice to stop following “the course of this world” and “the spirit that is at work among those who are disobedient.” We choose instead to become God’s glorious “masterpiece”. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
I was at a meeting at 7:30 this morning, Saturday. Part of what we were meeting about was to fix the handicap ramp near the front of the church to make it more accessible for wheel chairs.
When I left the office at 11AM to go do a wedding, one of the men from our meeting was already out in the parking lot fixing the problem. It was clearly hard work; though it was a cool morning, he had already worked up a sweat.
Clearly there were a lot of things he could’ve done with his day; things most people would do with their Saturdays. But he chose to do God’s work instead.
That’s the choice this passage presents us. Which way will we go?