God’s Workmanship #2

Saturday, March 3, 2012

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 KJV).

When we Pauline dispensationalists proclaim God’s grace, are we really encouraging people to pursue careless, frivolous lifestyles, as our (legalistic) critics claim? God forbid!

Religion deceives billions through indoctrination: to wit, lies repeated long enough are accepted as truth. Works-religion (legalism) prevails in the professing church today: “Perform so God can save you!” Thus, the average church member, upon hearing the Biblical truth, “God will save you, regardless of your works,” they mistake this as careless living. They are programmed to accept error as truth; consequently, they reject contradictory information (God’s truth!).

When we Pauline dispensationalists declare, “Salvation is by grace through faith plus nothing,” we mean salvation is COMPLETELY independent of our performance (Romans 3:28; Romans 4:1-5; Galatians 2:21; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; et al.). Grace saves us solely because of the merits of Jesus Christ at Calvary; grace does not save us on the basis of our good works—grace is unmerited favor (Romans 11:6).

Grace is what God can do for us because we sinners can do nothing for God. The Greek word translated “workmanship” in today’s Scripture is poiema, meaning “creation,” from which we get “poem.” Interestingly, poiema is used one other time in Scripture: “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

From salvation and the Christian life to the origin of the universe, the emphasis is not on the creation—(us, the heavens, and the earth), but on the Creator, Jesus Christ (see Romans 1:25). The focus is not on the poem (workmanship), but rather the POET (Creator)!

God the Holy Spirit is doing something amazing in us believers. He is transforming us from the inside out for His glory. “Our” good works are God’s sound doctrine working in us. It is God’s work (1 Corinthians 15:10; Galatians 5:16-26; Philippians 1:9-11). Indeed, we are God’s workmanship!

Published by

Christian ambassador (Shawn Brasseaux)

Grace and peace! What a privilege to be an ambassador for the risen Christ here on WordPress! I am a Pauline dispensationalist Christian saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus plus nothing! My goal is to "have all men saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:3,4). I seek to preach Jesus Christ crucified for our sins, buried, and raised again for our justification as the only way to salvation. Also, I seek to edify and perfect the saints using dispensational Bible study and the Authorized Version King James Bible!

3 thoughts on “God’s Workmanship #2”

  1. Hi,
    I agree with what you say. But we must also remember that faith without works is dead. So if faith is dead then salvation by grace cannot be attained. So we do works not because they are a requirement for salvation but because we have faith (James 2:18). This is what some in the church miss however.

  2. Hello Henry. This is a very difficult and confused topic because people do not use God’s Word God’s way. They mix up doctrines that God gave to people other than us. Hopefully, you will see these simple truths of the Bible (most churches willingly ignore this because they prefer their tradition).

    We must be very careful about applying Scripture to us when that part of the Bible was not written to us. All of the Bible is FOR us, but not all of the Bible is TO us or ABOUT us. For instance, when God told Noah to build an ark, obviously that was God’s message to Noah–that is not something God expects us to do. Likewise, James is not writing to us. Look at James 1:1: “to the twelve tribes scattered abroad.” James says he is writing to ISRAEL; we are not Israel. In fact, James is an apostle of Israel, according to Galatians 2:9. We are Gentiles/non-Jews, so again, James is not talking about us. What James is writing about has nothing to do with us.

    James is writing to Israel that lives under the Mosaic Law. These Jews CANNOT be saved by faith alone; they need faith AND WORKS. When someone asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” In Matthew 19:16-18, Jesus said, “Keep the commandments.” Please notice Jesus did NOT say “believe.” Jesus said, “he that believeth AND IS baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). Jesus did not say, “He that believeth shall be saved.” In Israel’s program, works were necessary for salvation. Peter repeated that in Acts 2:38, and in Acts 3:19, Peter said that if Israel was to have forgiveness at Christ’s Second Coming, Israel had to be water baptized FIRST. That’s what James is writing about. If one of these Jews believed in Christ, but rejected that water baptism, they were not saved; water baptism demonstrated their faith. If they refused that water baptism, they’d be burned up in God’s wrath/”fire” (Matthew 3:7-12). That’s what James is talking about. This has nothing to do with us. Israel was saved by works, but we are not saved by works today because God is dealing with us differently.

    Paul is God’s spokesman to us. We are under grace, not law (Romans 6:14,15). We don’t have to keep rules and regulations for salvation, like James said, because God is dealing with us differently. God doesn’t deal with us like He dealt with Israel. James wrote that Israel needed works and faith for salvation; Paul, our apostle, the man God sent to us (Romans 11:13; Romans 15:16; 2 Timothy 1:11), said nothing about “Faith without works is dead.” Therefore, that (the legalistic doctrine in James) does not apply to us.

    Yes, Ephesians 2:10 says Christians should do good works, but our salvation does not depend on good works. This was not true in the book of James. Salvation did depend on works in Israel’s program, so we need to leave that verse where it belongs, otherwise confusion will result.

    Hope that helps!

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