Some Wonderful Words
by Inglis Fleming
“We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10).
Consider them well, O my Soul!
View the Worker. It is God Himself who has wrought. He is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. He has counselled for the glory of His Son and is carrying out in His excellent working all that which He has planned. He chose to work in creation, and we do well to “consider the wondrous works of God” in the heavens above and in the earth beneath. Now He has chosen to work in a New Creation for His own glory and for the honour of His beloved Son.
View the material. “We” are His workmanship. All that we are as Christians is the result of His operation. He has quickened us out of death—the spiritual death in our sins, in which we were. He has made us to live in His sight. Verses 1 and 2 of the chapter show the awful evil in which we were found under the power of the prince of the air—the devil—and being swept along on the world’s tide down, down, down to the judgment. “BUT GOD” has acted with us—He has taken up the most unlikely material, to new create us that we might be according to His own gracious thought, the good pleasure of His goodness.
View the result of His work. It is “very good.” We who were dead in sins, afar off, without hope, without God—even we are now “in Christ Jesus.” “Created in Christ Jesus.” All that we were in our natural condition is a thing of the past. To that we have died. Our “in Adam” history has been closed for ever, never to be reopened. Our “in Christ” history is begun, never to be finished. “In Christ Jesus,” it speaks of assurance (2:13), of acceptance (1:6), of access (2:18), of adoption (1:5) and of abundance of blessing (1:3), heavenly and eternal. “In Christ Jesus,” we are near in His nearness, and dear in His dearness to God our Father.
View one of the objects He had in view in His work. “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Our salvation is “not of yourselves” and “not of works” lest any man should boast. But it is of God and “unto good works.” Works before salvation are “dead works” which cannot please a living God. From all such we need to have our consciences purged before we can serve the living God. All our works until we are created in Christ Jesus are soiled with self and sin. They are done with a view to our own good or gain or in an attempt to establish our own righteousness, while we do not submit ourselves to the righteousness of God. They who are in the flesh in their natural unconverted condition, cannot, cannot, CANNOT please God. They need a new life, a new nature, a new power before that which is well pleasing to God can be produced. Now as new created by the Holy Spirit given to us, we can bear fruit for His acceptance.
Not law-works, but love-works are those which suit Him. It is to the works of glad hearts knowing Him that He has created us. These are the works for which He empowers us by the Holy Spirit. Following Christ—walking as He walked, seeking the glory of God—going about doing good in seeking the salvation of sinners and the well being of saints, while the heart rises in thanksgiving and praise and worship to Him who is the Source of all our good. May such works be wrought by us for His glory.