Ephesians 2:10

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

1.) The word “workmanship” is from the Greek word where we get our word “poetry.” We (the Church) are God’s poetry. We are His craftsmanship. We are his workmanship.

2.) The fact that we are created in Christ Jesus indicates to us that the workmanship (poetry) that we are is in relation to Redemption. As such the “created” that is being referred to here is not the created, as in being born, but the created as being re-born. The Church has been placed in the realm of the new creation. (Indeed, we are so part of the re-creation that St. Paul will soon say that God’s workmanship is already sharing in Christ’s ascension as we are now seated in the Heavenly places.) The thrust here is, because of God’s work in Christ, that the Church is now living in the already inaugurated “age to come.” That is the age of which we are now His workmanship.

3.) As now living in this “age to come” reality we now walk in a “age to come” fashion. The works that are produced in us and that we thus produce are consistent with the “age to come” we are living in.

4.) We were re-created for the end of good works. A Christian who has been re-created, who has been placed into the age to come, who has been seated in the heavenlies with Christ, can no more not produce good works then an apple orchard can not produce apples.

5.) Of course when St. Paul talks about our living in this current age of renewal he fixes Christ front and center. Christ, being the firstborn from among the dead, is the one in whom the age to come finds its existence. So, if we are in this age to come it is only because we are first in Christ Jesus, who is Himself the “age to come.” The King is tightly associated with His Land and His Rule.

6.) Note the tie between God’s eternal decrees (“Which God hath before ordained”), the completed work of Christ as being the instrument of the “new creation,, in which we now reside (“In Christ Jesus”), and our existential every day walk as Christians (“that we should walk in them”). There is a seamless web spun here by the inspired Apostle between Redemption planned, Redemption Accomplished, and Redemption applied.

All this to say that the idea of a Church that is conformed to this world is one of the greatest grotesqueries that could ever be conceived. Such a worldly church is the very opposite of what Paul is screaming at us in this passage. Having been united to Christ we are now living in a new age, with a new disposition and a new ethic. God ordained for us our Christ, our re-creation, and our walk.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

7 thoughts on “Ephesians 2:10”

  1. The more I study the Scriptures, the more that the sins revealed there appear as precise opposites of Godly order. And the little babes shall teach us.

  2. This question comes to mind seeing the phrase “created in Christ Jesus,” but it’s been on my mind lately. Do scripture and reformed theology support a supra-lapsarian idea? Does our re-creation in Christ presuppose something spiritually or logically prior to the fall itself? (Maybe the parable of the wheat and the tares is relevant here?)

    1. Adam,

      Can you tease that out a little bit more?

      I think I would say “yes,” the recreation was ordained prior to the ordination of the fall.

      But of course the word “prior” is always difficult when you talk about a God whose decrees have been eternal.

      1. I thought for a long time that the argument between supra and sub was absurd for that very reason — God’s decrees are eternal. But of course I had never actually read the literature. Recently I read Warfield in favour of sub-lapsarianism but I found it unconvincing.

        My thought is this: if we take the original creation and its history as intended from the beginning to foreshadow something greater, (For example, the original marriage as a “mystery” pointing to Christ) then to say that election and reprobation are logically subsequent to the fall might be missing the mark. The parable of the wheat and the tares seams to suggest that the good seed (Christ’s seed) were created with their eternal identity and redemption already in view (Romans 9?), and that history awaits “the revelation of the sons of God.”

        From what I understand, the supra-lapsarian position is that the distinction between elect and reprobate is logically more basic than the historical means of making that distinction manifest (fall and redemption).

      2. Adam,

        I am supra-lapsarian as well. It is important to note that the ordering of decrees is usually thought of as a logical ordering and not a sequential or temporal ordering. It is hard, at least for me, to keep that distinction in mind. I’ve never heard that argument about the parable of the Tares though it makes sense.

        I do favor the kind of supra-lapsarian that Joshua references. I believe that we have to understand the beginning from the intended end. It is for this reason that I think eschatology along with protology should be one of the first disciplines we introduce theology students to. The end was always in God’s mind from the beginning.

  3. Ephesians 3:9-10 is the locus classicus for supralapsarianism. There have been, historically, two different supralapsarian positions, and of the two one is certainly more convincing. Teleological supralapsarianism seeks to reflect the logical structure of the decrees, which says that whatever occurs last in chronological order must occur first in logical order, since the desired end logically governs all the steps that must proceed its accomplishment. Thus, the election of men unto glory and reprobation is first, followed by the application of benefits unto the elect, followed by the provision of salvation, followed by the ordination of a Fall, followed by a Creation–the reverse order of which is the exact chronology of redemptive history.

    Gordon Clark’s commentary on Ephesians lays out a concise case for supralapsarianism of this teleological variety when he reaches chapter 3.

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