Ephesians 2:8-10 When a man finds his purpose, he finds himself
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Man is created as sons with the purpose of joining God in His works of building His kingdom. God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26). Grace is given to believers for restoration to the full stature of His son so that they may find their calling and join God in His work. Paul reminds the church of their divine calling and to do all to accomplish it, which is man’s greatest blessing.
For by grace you have been saved through faith.
“Grace” is defined as God’s mercy and initiative to reachout and to restore fallen man to full stature of a son of God. It is the power that comes from heaven to save and sanctify man from the power of sin and death. What is in humanity that attracts God’s mercy that causes Him to sacrifice His own Son? Humanity carried the breath of God (the Spirit of Sonship) that made Adam an image of God. As every man and woman have in them a seed of Christ’s “DNA” making them to “irresistible” to God’s mercy and kindness. Hence, by grace and out of God’s initiative and mercy, He gave His own Son to restore humanity back to Himself. For God did not desire anything other than to reconcile His sons towards Himself.
Now, man can experience salvation on God’s terms, which is through faith. Here, God requires man to recognize his own sinful nature, which causes him to deny God’s purpose and laws over his life. Hence, to be saved through faith is first to acknowledge God as Lord and to repent from his evils ways to walk in the truth. In doing so, he appropriates with gratitude the gift of salvation through which he become a son.
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Salvation is a gift to be received on God’s terms and never on man’s: And this is not your own doing. When man sins against God, he becomes a slave to the devil and the elements of the world, having lost all rights over his own life, being deprived and condemned forever. It is paramount that man recognises that self-centered living apart from God’s rule as sinful, unacceptable and deserving of condemnation. However, it is considered unreasonable among modern churchgoers to commit one’s self unreservedly to God’s truth and to consider Him Lord. It is no wonder that many still find their wavering mentality towards God’s rule as not sufficiently evil to warrant God’s condemnation and hence they ignore the need for God’s forgiveness.
“Not a result of works” can be paraphrased as not a result of man’s effort of justifying his innocence. Man “works” in an attempt to justify himself before God and to shield his darkness before man. He works to put up a facet of righteousness and take advantage of God’s patience and mercies towards sinners.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
The purpose of man is to do good works as commissioned by God. As Adam was created with the breath of God, his very existence cannot be divorced from the purpose of God for him; man’s purpose mirrors that of Christ Jesus’ commission in the world. God has a plan for every man and woman that forms their life goal and core purpose of their existence. Salvation is a means to reinstate the sons of God to their calling, something that is much bigger, that is to restore the world towards God’s rule.
1. The posture of one’s heart will determine the level of grace bestowed upon him. God’s grace is not given unconditional per se; He chooses those whose hearts are pleasing to Him and bestows His grace upon them. The virtues of humility and repentance pleases God and He comes near and delivers them from troubles (see Psalm 34:18-19). In a sense, the grace for salvation is given to those who humble themselves acknowledging Christ as Lord over them. Although they fall short of God’s standard, God sees their hearts and bestows His grace and strengthens them to do His will. Therefore, as we guard our hearts from the pride and pleasures of the flesh, we will experience His grace in greater measure.
2. When a man finds his purpose, he finds himself. Many well-meaning people and churchgoers do not find the need to reconcile with God or to acknowledge Him as Lord because they do not understand the purpose of their existence. Yet many remain as babies in their spirit because they do not seek God’s will or purpose for their lives. They presume the sole purpose of their existence is to live off the goodness of the land and refrain from harming others. Hence, there is little drive to navigate out of their comfort zone and the cares of life to discover God’s calling. Hence, even with an abundance of wealth and entertainment they feel bored and unfulfilled. However, when a man finds his calling and the purpose of his existence, he starts to experience freedom and bear fruit in all areas of his life. Man is created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand.
1. Man works for which two reasons? To justify his innocence before God or as an expression of his love towards God and others. Is your works and service motivated by pride or by love and responsibility?
2. Spend more time listening to God and understand what He wants you to do concerning the day’s work and less time praying about your personal needs.
Dear Lord, give me a pure heart so that I may please You and bring joy to those around me. Help me understand Your instructions so that my work may bring You pleasure. Give me a greater measure of grace to overcome temptations, to heal my hurts, to make the right decisions, to be patient with all and to do greater works. As I put You first, bless me according to Your infinite grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.