You Are God’s MasterpieceDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The first phrase of Ephesians 2:10 reads, "For we are God's handiwork" (NIV). Other translations say that we are God's "accomplishment" (CEB), "workmanship" (ESV, KJV), or "masterpiece" (NLT). The Greek original uses the word poiema, which is related etymologically to our word "poem." But poiema, related to the verb poieo (to make), had a broad range of meaning in Greek, referring to many things made by a creative agent, usually a human being.
This verse is not underscoring the fact that our every physical existence depends on God's creative power. Rather, it emphasizes our new identity in Christ. Second Corinthians 5:17 reveals, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" When we respond to God's grace through faith, not only do we receive assurance of our future salvation, but also we are remade by God's creative power. We become new people, even though we continue to live in our old bodies. In this sense, we are God's handiwork, accomplishment, workmanship, or masterpiece.
"Masterpiece," found in the New Living Translation, might be a slight over-translation of the Greek original. But it rightly conveys something about the nature of our new creation in Christ. After all, God doesn't make damaged goods or even mediocre products. Whatever God makes could, in a real sense, be called a masterpiece.
I realize that you might not feel like a masterpiece today. You may be feeling like something far less than this. Perhaps your body is aging and you're struggling even to do things you once did without a second thought. Or you may be sensing your moral and relational failures. Or you might be struggling at work. Or, you name it. How is it possible that you are a masterpiece?
My answer is that your status as a masterpiece is true, not because of how healthy you are, how accomplished you are, or how moral you are. You are a masterpiece because of what God has done in your life by his grace. You have been newly and wonderfully created through Christ, so that you might live in relationship with God and for his glory.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How do you respond to the idea that you are God's handiwork, accomplishment, workmanship, or masterpiece? Do you ever think of yourself in this way? If you were to do so, what difference might it make in the way you live?
PRAYER: Gracious God, this news is almost too good to be true. I am your handiwork, even your masterpiece? Amazing!
Almost too amazing for me to believe. I am so aware, Lord, of my foibles and failings. My body, as it ages, reminds me how far I am from any sort of physical masterpiece. And you know the ways I miss the mark in my actions and in my soul.
Yet, I am a masterpiece, not because of my effort, but because of your grace. How I thank you for what you have begun to do in me through Christ. May I see myself in light of this truth. May I live each day embodying this truth. May I be your masterpiece today, Lord, in all I do, think, say, and feel. Amen.
Image courtesy of Laity Lodge, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.