We have been saved, not of works, but for good works. How vast the difference! How essential the understanding of that difference to the health of the Christian life. Not of works which we have done. And yet for good works—as the fruit and outcome of salvation, as part of God’s work in us, as the one thing for which we have been created anew.
If works could have saved us, there would have been no need for our redemption. Because our works were all sinful and vain, God undertook to make us anew. We are now His workmanship, and all the good works we do are His workmanship, too.
So complete had been the ruin of sin, that God had to do the work of creation over again in Christ Jesus. In Him, and especially in His resurrection from the dead, He created us anew, after His own image, into the likeness of the life that Christ had lived. In the power of that life and resurrection, we are perfectly suited for doing good works.
The eye, because it was created for the light, is most perfectly adapted for its work. The vine-branch, because it was created to bear grapes, does its work naturally. And so we, who have been created in Christ Jesus for good work, may rest assured that a Divine capacity for good works is the very law of our being. If we but know and believe in this our destiny, if we but live our life in Christ Jesus as we were created in Him, we can—we will—be fruitful unto every good work.
We have been prepared for the works, and the works have been prepared for us. God has a life-plan for every one of His children, with work apportioned according to the power, and with grace provided according to the work.
Good works are God’s objective in the new life He has given you, and therefore they ought to be your objective. We educate all our children with the thought that they must have their work in the world. When will the church learn that its great work is to train every believer to take his share in God’s great work and to abound in the good works for which he was created? Let each of us seek to take in the deep spiritual truth of the message, “Created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand” for each one of us and which are waiting for us to take up and fulfill.
The Scripture quotation is taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.
Adapted from “Created in Christ Jesus for Good Works” in Working for God, by Andrew Murray (1828-1917). Work is in the Public Domain.