Good works are ordained of God.3. God makes nothing for waste. No man can do the work of an angel. You must necessarily distinguish between principles and ends if you would speak properly and significantly. A. First, I might mention the reason in the text, where first we are said to be created unto good works, that we might walk in them. A sinner in some few acts may be very good: Judas repents, Cain sacrifices, the scribes pray and fast; and yet all were very false. Acts of justice and honesty must be clone by ways that are lawful and good. He who made these bodies of ours so beautiful, so kingly, so majestic, so unutterably wonderful; He who bent with such majestic grace the arch of the firmament; He who clothed the earth with its infinite variety of beautiful objects; will make His spiritual creation in harmony with the material; so that, when finished, it shall be said, "He hath made this also beautiful in his season." When does the image of the star start up in the chamber of the telescope? Some are converted and saved at the last hour, at their going out of the world; but even then good works are not wanting, for hearty confession of sin, and an entire hatred of it, sincere and earnest prayers, hope and trust in God, desire of grace, unfeigned love, and zealous purposes and resolves, all these are good works, and none can be saved without them. (Romans 9:21). )The heavenly WorkmanT. I always look upon those very retiring and modest people as arrant cowards, and I shall venture to call them so. (4) Works of charity and mercy; as to relieve the poor, to be good to all, to help others by our counsel or admonition. The purpose is one and indivisible: there is no ordination to salvation apart from sanctification.2. One has ten talents, another has only one. It is reasonable that every one should have the honour of his own. And that Word teaches us that whatsoever is not of faith is sin; without faith it is impossible to please God.3. But, next, God has personally prepared every Christian for good works. God's purpose is subserved by that which He makes, else were He an unwise worker. What a variety of tools! It would, of course, be a great question — concerning every particular work as it comes before you whether it is the work which God has" prepared" for you. (3) A due regard of circumstances, that it may be not only good, but done well (Luke 8:15). They have twisted laurel wreaths of glory round the brows of faith; they have kept good works in the distance. We want to remain ourselves, to preserve our personal identity, and yet to live a life which seems impossible unless we can cease to be ourselves. A tree is the same good tree in winter without leaf or fruit, as it is in the autumn when laden with fruit; and the fruit does not make the tree good, but the tree makes the fruit good, and good fruit shows that the tree is good.5. What, then, are good works, as the fruit of faith? The new creature has new works. "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things," etc. God will look upon it, and say, "Yes, it is My workmanship, and I am pleased with it." For the mind of man may as properly be said to work as the body; yea, if we consider the true nature of things, we may rightly assert that the soul is the principal worker in man, and that all the outward exertments of virtue in the body flow from the mind of man, and take thence their denomination. (2) By regeneration, or renovation, which is called a second or new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). To guide you into a decision in this matter, there should always be at least two vocations to every work: the inward vocation of your own conscience, and the outward vocation of Providence. This is that which is commended to us by the example of the saints; they have all been zealous practisers of good works. This I know, "the prepared work" of every one is to believe; and then to live the faith he professes; to be happy, and then to make others happy; to glorify God. THE COMPASS OF THIS WORKMANSHIP. What God begins, He always ends. Not only that God uses you at all, but that He has been at the pains to arrange long beforehand the exact thing which you are to do for Him.2. The picture must be finished by that same Master-hand which first sketched it. If any other hand should lay so much as a tint or colour thereupon, it would certainly mar it all.3. We shall remain the Lord's workmanship to the very last. "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."3. "They glorified God in me," saith the apostle, of those Christian Jews who took notice of his miraculous conversion, and of his extraordinary zeal in preaching the faith (Galatians 1:24).IV. He excites the will; for such is our dulness, that we must have our will raised by Him to will.6. What are the qualifications of them.3. J. Goodhart, M. (2) By regeneration, or renovation, which is called a second or new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We discontinue or break off our walk when we cease to do good; but the more we mind good works the more we proceed in our way (Philippians 3:14).III. The inclination is natural, the acts are voluntary, because it is an inclination of a free agent.2. There is a remote preparation, and a near preparation.1. As servants are bid to discharge their duty in singleness of heart (Colossians 3:22). GOOD WORKS WROUGHT IN US AS CONSEQUENCES OF UNION WITH CHRIST. And so it is with the Christian. Another day has dawned upon England; we begin to think that the grandest thing of all is to be good. It is the purpose of heaven in regenerating us that we should walk in the ways of holiness, and conscientiously perform all the parts of our duty towards God, towards men, and towards ourselves. (b) An entire love of God is required in every good work. As servants are bid to discharge their duty in singleness of heart (Colossians 3:22). 1. Goodness in Him is like light in the sun. Good works include the necessary acts of common life, when they are rightly performed. (1) Good works are the way to obtain salvation, purchased and granted to us by Jesus Christ. By which I mean not only that he be inwardly good and righteous, according to that of our Saviour, make the tree good and his fruit good (Matthew 12:33); but I understand this also, that the person who performs good works be one that is reconciled to God; for if the person be not accepted, the work cannot be good. "Hath not the potter power over the clay," etc. (2) We must look at our abilities — what we can do. (4) The end — that it be for God's glory (Philippians 1:11). (2) Good works must proceed from a free and voluntary principle. Whatever grace we have comes from God, through Christ as Mediator; and from Him we have it by virtue of our union with Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). I answer — It is certainly an abuse of this doctrine if it lull us asleep in the lap of idleness; and we think that because God doth all in framing us for the new life, we must do nothing. )Good works preparedPaul Bayne.Six ways in which God prepares good works for us to do.1. Our new life is as truly created out of nothing as were the first heavens, and the first earth. )LinksEphesians 2:10 NIVEphesians 2:10 NLTEphesians 2:10 ESVEphesians 2:10 NASBEphesians 2:10 KJVEphesians 2:10 Bible AppsEphesians 2:10 ParallelEphesians 2:10 Biblia ParalelaEphesians 2:10 Chinese BibleEphesians 2:10 French BibleEphesians 2:10 German BibleEphesians 2:10 CommentariesBible Hub, (2)In the obedience of faith. A Christian may stumble, nay, he may fall, but he gets up and walks on in the way of God's commandments; the bent of his heart is right, and the scope of his life is straight, and thence he is deemed sincere.(G. But it is quite possible to object to a thing in the wrong place, and appreciate it in the right place. Manton, D. D.I. But, were the insect to remain satisfied forever in the silken ball which he is weaving, it would become, not his home, but his tomb. In predestinating them (Romans 1:1; Jeremiah 1:5; Isaiah 54:16).2. As the sparks fly up and the stones downward by an inclination of nature, so are their hearts bent to please and serve God. "I do not think it," says one. And so it is with the Christian. But works, as the fruit of a lively faith, justify us before men; and a faith which produces no works is dead. (2)God has prepared us for them.3. Some delight in practical benevolence. We are practising now that we may do it well by and by!(J. And there is a road for every soul. Illustrate this in a young convert passing through various connections in life to old age.II. Besides, we differ in both physical and mental constitution. Which brings me to the next particular. If the things which are necessary conditions of a good work be considered, this will be clear. The fault of our nature assumes a thousand forms, but no one is free from it. Man is unfit for God's use till he be new moulded and framed again. (Romans 9:21). The circumstances of man have changed, but man remains the same. There is a remote preparation, and a near preparation.1. First God worketh upon us, then by us. (James Stalker, M. "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean," etc. A sinner in some few acts may be very good: Judas repents, Cain sacrifices, the scribes pray and fast; and yet all were very false. When does the image of God, or the inner sense of peace and pardon spring up in the human soul? To put us upon self-reflection; are we the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus? a. Paul’s Preoccupation with Aliveness His "works" are not suited to everybody alike. We are "created in Christ Jesus to good works" in heaven. Sheep may fall into the mire, but swine love day and night to wallow in it. J. Goodhart, M. He must soften a heart. When does the image of God, or the inner sense of peace and pardon spring up in the human soul? All that we have vaguely desired is now offered us in the glorious gospel of the blessed God; in Christ we become "His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works." (2) In regard of efficacy. After such a fashion does the Master-Sculptor of souls proceed. What need we do anything since He hath done all? It may be some will not approve of saying, We are saved by good works, but this they must needs acknowledge that we cannot be saved without them; yea, we cannot be saved but with them. From the fault or misfortune of our progenitors, we may start on the race with heavy burdens that we cannot shake off. His life is a failure unless he is a new creature. They drive a new trade for another world, and set upon another work to which they were strangers before; must have new solaces, new comforts, new motives. Our faith in Him, and love to Him, are showed by our readiness to do His will and obey all His commands. (a) A change wrought in us, so that we are other persons than we were before, as if another kind of soul came to dwell in our bodies. We must walk in the ways which are prepared by God. And a part of the work is this, that your work is rest. (3) A due regard of circumstances, that it may be not only good, but done well (Luke 8:15). Enoch "walked with God"; it is not taking a step or two in a way which denominates a man a walker, but a continued motion. )Good works preparedPaul Bayne.Six ways in which God prepares good works for us to do.1. He who made these bodies of ours so beautiful, so kingly, so majestic, so unutterably wonderful; He who bent with such majestic grace the arch of the firmament; He who clothed the earth with its infinite variety of beautiful objects; will make His spiritual creation in harmony with the material; so that, when finished, it shall be said, "He hath made this also beautiful in his season." Though it be God's cause, it ought not to be fought with the devil's weapons.6. God has not created us that we may execute good works as a grand performance, but that we may walk in them.IV. J. Goodhart, M. No Christian in the world is a chance production of nature, or the outcome of evolution, or the result of special circumstances. )The use of good works"God," said a minister to a boy who stood watching a caterpillar spinning a very beautiful cocoon, "God sets that little creature a task to do: and diligently and very skilfully he does it; and so God gives us good works to perform in His name and for His sake. Good works here, and good works hereafter. A tree is the same good tree in winter without leaf or fruit, as it is in the autumn when laden with fruit; and the fruit does not make the tree good, but the tree makes the fruit good, and good fruit shows that the tree is good.5. What need we do anything since He hath done all? )The Christian is the noblest work of GodMen can admire a statue; it is breathing with life, and the fire of genius has succeeded in imparting almost animation to the figure. With respect to heaven and eternal happiness, they are the way to heaven. Illustrate this in a young convert passing through various connections in life to old age.II. The renewed are "holy in all manner of conversation." "Herein is My Father glorified," said Christ, "that ye bear much fruit." Most of us, I suppose, who have any moral earnestness, are at times very dissatisfied with ourselves; yes, with ourselves. Sermon Transcript Sermon Audio Subscribe to Podcast. The near preparation is called promptitude and readiness for every good work, or "a ready obedience to every good work." To each his own. If we are God's workmanship, never let us be ashamed to let men see God's workmanship in us. The object: good works; that is, works becoming the new creature; in short, we should live Christianly. If any man think little of "works," I say, "It is for works that you were created and redeemed; and God has thought so much of those 'works' of yours, that He designed them before you were born; and you were brought into existence that you might do them." Let those of us who are lovers of God never forget that we are in the studio. (Ephesians 4:15, etc.). It never goes before God. In the fact that the "work" — whatever it be — is God's own appointment for you, there is a sure warrant of success. From shop MossAndTwigPrints. We discontinue or break off our walk when we cease to do good; but the more we mind good works the more we proceed in our way (Philippians 3:14).III. It is one thing to make us men, another to make us saints or Christians. He preserves us; so that now willing we may work. Set before you the example of the saints, for by viewing of them you will not only learn what to do, but you will be taught not to be weary in well doing.4. Never let us forget that the life which has come to us is an immortal life, At best we are but seedlings on this side of death. A sinner in some few acts may be very good: Judas repents, Cain sacrifices, the scribes pray and fast; and yet all were very false. This wrong end and intention made all they did sinful. The new creature has new works. It is a dreadful paradox, but some of us know that this is the exact expression of a dumb discontent which lies at the very heart of our moral being. Let it flow through its narrow channel; let it make a little green on its banks; let it murmur as it goes — and that is all you can ever expect of it. He preserves us; so that now willing we may work. It has not, like the statue, the mock appearance of life; it is not a beautiful illusion of your fancy which vanishes at one effort of your sober reason. Not only that God uses you at all, but that He has been at the pains to arrange long beforehand the exact thing which you are to do for Him.2. "We are His workmanship. If any man think little of "works," I say, "It is for works that you were created and redeemed; and God has thought so much of those 'works' of yours, that He designed them before you were born; and you were brought into existence that you might do them." Our new life is as truly created out of nothing as were the first heavens, and the first earth. (2)God has prepared us for them.3. How much is man's work, and how much is the work of the light? How different would our life have been, had we lived in the last century. To the eye of man good and bad may appear precisely the same. No man can do the work of an angel. A Christian may stumble, nay, he may fall, but he gets up and walks on in the way of God's commandments; the bent of his heart is right, and the scope of his life is straight, and thence he is deemed sincere.(G. Then you are really concerned to examine your lives and actions, and to see whether you be not of the number of the mistaken persons.5. How are we to get at the gospel which these words contain? A Christian may stumble, nay, he may fall, but he gets up and walks on in the way of God's commandments; the bent of his heart is right, and the scope of his life is straight, and thence he is deemed sincere.(G. Let it be understood that the Great Workman does not expect the same results from every kind of material. If any other hand should lay so much as a tint or colour thereupon, it would certainly mar it all. Though it be God's cause, it ought not to be fought with the devil's weapons.6. With respect to Christ, who died to restore us to a capacity and ability to perform these good works (Titus 2:14).3. It has not, like the statue, the mock appearance of life; it is not a beautiful illusion of your fancy which vanishes at one effort of your sober reason. "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus." The prophet asks, "Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counsellor hath taught Him?" I cannot tell you, in detail, each of you, what your "prepared work" is. As many as are truly saved, and brought into union with Christ, are the workmanship of God. They require great strength and power to exert them.2. But works, as the fruit of a lively faith, justify us before men; and a faith which produces no works is dead. Our duty: that we should walk in them. Home > Sermons > Ephesians 2:10. To the will is to be imputed whatsoever is ill or well done by us. 5. No; by not resting in it, but forcing a way through it, will the winged creature reach sunshine and air. What are preachers but God's chisels and hammers? That we may understand WHAT IS MEANT BY GOOD WORKS, we must know that there are habits of grace, and there are acts and exertments of grace; and these two are different from one another, because these acts flow from those habits. No man is fit to do the work of life till he is created in Christ Jesus. "For if thou wert cut out of the olive, tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree," etc. In the fact that the "work" — whatever it be — is God's own appointment for you, there is a sure warrant of success. (Ezekiel 36:25, etc.). You meet with rivers, and streamlets, and fountains, and lakes among the mountains, and in the valleys of the earth; but the origin of them all is in the sea, they all begin there. "He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." ITS PURPOSE. Spurgeon. He marks the stone while yet in the quarry, cuts it from its natural bed, and performs the first hewing and squaring, even as it is He who afterwards exercises the sculptor's skill upon it.2. This is the end of Christ's undertakings. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". "God said, Let there be light: and there was light." You see then how fondly they discourse who say that, because Christ hath done and suffered all things for man's redemption, therefore there is nothing left for us to do. Graces and good works fit us for that place and state; they dispose us for glory. In the most deadly diseases, there may be some intermissions, and some good prognostics. How far the mediation of Christ is concerned in this effect. Acts of justice and honesty must be clone by ways that are lawful and good. All appeared ruin and disorder. (1) Good works are the way to obtain salvation, purchased and granted to us by Jesus Christ. "(1) This shows the greatness of the disease; in that so great a remedy is needed. (1) As thou wouldst have comfort that thou art a new creature in Christ, made alive by the Spirit, try it by this — how thou walkest. Manton, D. D.)A bird's-eye view of lifeJames Stalker, M. A.I. (1) This creating power is set forth with respect to His merit. Must not that which is 'prepared' for this complicated and wonderful being of mine, be something worthy Of its structure and its composition? Circumstances differ: there seems no order or arrangements. God has not created us that we may execute good works as a grand performance, but that we may walk in them.IV. Swinnock. And all this is conformable to the doctrine of our blessed Lord and Saviour, who tells us that He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it, and make it more complete and perfect. If God has placed him in a position in which others are dependent upon him for all blessing whatsoever, it becomes a great question, and a bewilderment sometimes, what he is to do. The second ‘for’ is used here in Ephesians 2:10. Some are disposed to self-culture; let them, then, go on and cultivate their natures. Let us be very much ashamed, though, to let them see the remains of the devil's workmanship in us; hide it behind a veil of repentant grief. (Ephesians 4:15, etc.).IV. A common man cannot do the work of a genius. Truth.2. Their dignity, seeing that for their sake we are both made of God and re-made of Christ. Though our good works are conditions of salvation, yet they are not conditions as to God's election, for He decreed from eternity out of His free will and mercy to save lost man, without any consideration of their good works. God has appointed it. I answer — It is certainly an abuse of this doctrine if it lull us asleep in the lap of idleness; and we think that because God doth all in framing us for the new life, we must do nothing. "Our transfer is a genuinely new thing; we are created new. This change is a creation. Scripture: Ephesians 2:11–22. Yea, all their works they did to be seen of men (Matthew 23:5). THE COMMANDS OF GOD IN HIS WORD, AND THE WORK OF HIS GRACE IN US, AS CORRESPONDING; LIKE THE SEAL AND THE WAX. Spurgeon. If it is difficult to produce good works where you are, you will find it still difficult where you wish to be. I was surprised when I was told, the other day, by a friend, who was a maker of steel-plate engravings, how much of labour had to be put into a finely executed engraving. It is not the box that makes the jewel, nor the place that makes the man. Of information. There is nothing good or bad but what is matter of choice and consultation. He felt that it would not be too presumptuous a thing for him to be in front, where the cannon balls were mowing down men on the right hand and on the left, and therefore he would rather not be in the vanguard. The Greek is, "God's poem." So all goodness in individuals, in the Church, in the world, in the whole universe, is inspired of God, and I wish I could make you feel it as seriously as I do. Our new life is a creation. Christian men are "God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus." God's spiritual work is adorned with the beauty of holiness. You could not do mine; and I cannot do yours.3. H. From our circumstances. Sermons on Ephesians 2:10. (1)This shows the dignity of the saints. I must not steal that I may be charitable to the poor. (Romans 6:17). (Thomas Jones. This was the good will and pleasure of the blessed Trinity in their eternal consults before man was made. (2) In regard of efficacy. If you get more grace, and are more fully God's workmanship, you can glorify him in Babylon as well as in Jerusalem. (2) The principles of operation must be faith, love, and obedience. ITS CHARACTERISTICS.1. Manton, D. D.)A bird's-eye view of lifeJames Stalker, M. A.I. Only when the lenses are clear and rightly adjusted, and when the axis of vision in the tube is brought into exact coincidence with the line of the rays of light from the star. Good works are the very end of our new creation. Besides, we differ in both physical and mental constitution. The right ends which ought to be in all evangelical actions (for of such I intend chiefly to speak) are these three — our own salvation, the good of others, and in pursuance of both God's glory. THE LINE BY WHICH THIS AIM IS LIMITED.1. Manton, D. D.)A bird's-eye view of lifeJames Stalker, M. A.I. The law of God rules them out before our eyes.3. When Joseph was in jail, he was in the path of Providence, and the fetters of iron were as much part of the plan as the chain of gold he wore when brought to the summit of greatness. You are not unfit, so far as you are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. "Hath not the potter power over the clay," etc. I shall speak only of those qualifications which are requisite in evangelical good works, namely, such as are necessary to eternal salvation.1. Is not this the doctrine of the Old Testament? Life oftentimes seems a pathless region, and it is evening with us, and the clouds are lowering, and the dark, black forest is before us, and there is no pathway, and a kind of bewilderment comes over a man at times; he does not know what to do, or which way to go — a conscientious man, especially. The eye of God alone can discern, and His judgment alone determine, their character.2. Let us be very much ashamed, though, to let them see the remains of the devil's workmanship in us; hide it behind a veil of repentant grief. (3) A due regard of circumstances, that it may be not only good, but done well (Luke 8:15). Good works have their origin in love, i.e., they are inspired by the Holy Ghost.2. Answer: Paul was the enemy of a certain doctrine of good works, and of a party who took good works as its motto. Now, or never, is our time to work. The eye of God alone can discern, and His judgment alone determine, their character.2.