DEVOTIONAL – NOV 18
WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP
Leslie M. John
There are two passages that can be considered under this title.
Firstly, the words of Lord Jesus Christ, who says…
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:5-8)
Lord Jesus was not saying here that the salvation of all those who do not remain in Him as branches receiving sap from the root will be lost, and they will be cast into hellfire; but He says if we do not remain in Him we will be cut off from the power source, and cannot achieve any good results by our works.
The Almighty God is glorified when we bear much fruit and remain as His disciples. Just as Abraham was the root of the ‘olive’ tree in the Old Testament period, Jesus is the root of the ‘vine’ in the New Testament period. The Lord says if we do not remain in Him we will be cut off and we will wither. Men gather the withered branches and cast them into the fire. On the contrary if we remain in Him we will not only bear fruit for Him but our prayers said in accordance with His will and purpose will be answered
Secondly, the words of Apostle Paul, who says…
“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)
Our good works do not precede our salvation but they follow us. It is by faith in Lord Jesus Christ that we are saved. It confirms that good works that we do before receiving salvation, although they are good service in human sense keeping good conscience, yet they will not be the cause for our salvation.
None of the good works that we do before accepting Jesus as savior will entail us to have place in heaven. After we are saved, God shows us our role in doing well for others. We are foreordained to do good works by God because we are His workmanship and we glorify not only Him but also His works.
“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4 KJV)
“You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:4 NIV)
Greek word “ekpipto” (Strong’s number 1601), means “to drop away; specially, be driven out of one’s course; figuratively, to lose, become inefficient” and this is the word translated as “fallen from” in Galatians 5:4, which is to say that whoever is justified by the Mosaic Law is out from the purview of “Grace”. The Law points to sin and never to the salvation; and by keeping Mosaic Law no one is justified nor will ever be justified righteous, and the Scripture says…
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10)
And Jesus said…
“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32)
Apostle Paul corroborates the instructions Jesus gave and says whoever tries to be justified by the Mosaic Law ignoring that which the Lord has done for us, is fallen from the grace of God.
Fundamentally, it is by grace through faith that we are saved and not by our own good works, lest anyone should boast that one received salvation by his own efforts. We wait through the Spirit for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Neither circumcision nor any of our good works or un-circumcision or any legalistic belief, or trying to find a deity on a hill by climbing several thousand steps will give us salvation. It is only faith in Lord Jesus Christ and the efficacy of His blood shed on the cross on our behalf will bring us salvation.
It is imperative that we do not lose our soul (inner-self) to eternal damnation. Bible says faith in Jesus enables us to love one another and therefore, Paul questions if all these be true then why should a believer, who ran his race well in keeping the faith should fall back or drop away from one’s course in Jesus. The Lord helps us not fall into the temptations of this world. He helps us to serve Him and to bring forth fruit unto Him. .