Designed by God
Ralph Lauren, Donatella Versace, Giorgio Armani—what do these names have in common? All three are top designers in the world of fashion. Their names are synonymous with class, quality, and style. Expect to pay a good sum for the privilege of wearing any piece of clothing with their labels attached. And people are willing to do so, millions of people!
But as respected and admired as they are among men, their best design pales in comparison to the work of the Master Designer. They are not in the same league with our Heavenly Father. Ephesians 2:8-10 reads: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” The word translated “workmanship” is the Greek work from which we get our English word “poem.” Christians are God’s poems; His works of art.
Let’s observe a few things about these amazing works of art. “God” creates us; that is, He creates us Himself; He does not contract this work out to a third party, not even to angels. He “creates” us; that is, we do not evolve; we are not the new and improved version of something that previously existed; we are not reformed sinners. We are brand new. He brings us into being and causes us to come into existence supernaturally. And we are “masterpieces”!
The word translated “workmanship” can also be translated “masterpiece.” What distinguishes a masterpiece from other works? The amount of effort placed into creating the piece, its rarity, quality, age, universal appeal and subject matter. On the basis of these markers, indeed if you are a Christian, you are a masterpiece of God!
No other act of creation required as much effort from God. To create the universe, all He needed to do was speak. To create a Christian, He had to become man, become sin, become a curse, and ultimately die. Each Christian is rare; God makes only one of each and never makes a duplicate. The quality of life of Christians is second to none because God makes them partakers of His divine nature. The age of Christians is eternal because they are chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. With regard to universal appeal, Christians come in all shapes and colors. And with regards to the subject matter, no subject is more worthy than that to which Christians devote themselves—the glory of God!
One last thing. A masterpiece is perfect—nothing can be added or done to improve it. On the cross, Jesus shouted, “It is finished.” In Colossians 2:10, Paul declared, “You are complete in Him.” And the author of Hebrews 10:12-14 wrote, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool, for by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Indeed, this is the Lord’s work and it is perfect.
Ralph Lauren, Donatella Versace, Giorgio Armani? No, this is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. Designed by God!
May the Lord grant us understanding that we may live as masterpieces of grace.