Poetry in motion. Ephesians 2.10
4/30/2013 11:48:49 PM
April 30, 2013~Ephesians #25 in series
Poetry in motion. Ephesians 2.10
Did you ever try your hand at writing poetry? [Now you are recalling your attempts, perhaps with a crooked smile on your face, remembering… ] But can you only image the Creator writing poetry? What would it look like--the cadence, the verse … the turn of a word, clever phrase? Well, Friend, I think it might look a lot like you!
Paul wrote: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2.10, NLT
Masterpiece. That is the word used here to translate the oldest Greek word for poetry, poesis into ‘making.’ The NIV uses the word ‘handiwork’ . . . but that is only in English, because the word Paul used was an ancient Greek word, poema. You are God’s poema, his masterpiece. Consider with me … poesis –> making; poema –> masterpiece.
God has made you his masterpiece, Friend! However, when I think of a masterpiece, the first thing that comes to mind is a painting—an exquisite painting – one which the beholder stands back and appreciates; nonetheless, a masterpiece of a painting which hangs on a wall. Not so. Paul said we are a masterpiece, intended to do great things, because of Jesus Christ---and, these things he has purposed for us, individually, long ago. Purpose. Wow. That is incredibly meaningful.
Let’s step back a moment, and look at the three verses, often considered in tandem: “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.” Ephesians 2.8-10
True this—God extends grace to us, so we do not have to earn our relationship with him by doing good and right things for him; yet once in a relationship with him, because of the love we share, we endeavor to honor him with our very lives. Because we love him, we wish to learn what it means to obey his Word. Learning his Word, we know that it was our Lord who taught us to ‘love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbor as our self.’ We are to walk out God’s grace in our lives, trading in it as a matter of course. While all the good works in the world cannot put us right with God; there is something radically wrong with Christianity that does not result in good works.1
How are you doing with God’s purpose for you, his poema? Everyone wants to know he has a purpose, a reason for being … some unique destiny that is his alone to claim, explore and realize. Notice the connection between these two verses: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.2 And again, Paul’s confirmation - “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” You, Mr. Masterpiece or Mrs. Masterpiece, are meant to be fulfilling God’s unique plans for you—plans that will fill your life with meaning and satisfaction … you are meant to be poetry in motion.
1 – William Barclay, The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians 2 – Jeremiah 29.11