Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect who designed many magnificent buildings and structures, was asked by a reporter towards the end of his career which one of his designs was his favorite. Without even stopping to think, Mr. Wright answered, “My next one.” Mr. Wright exemplified an attitude that should characterize God’s children—an attitude that says, “My future will be better than my past; last year was great, but this year will be greater; my greatest Read More
The day Pilate crucified Jesus he placed his fate in the hands of the crowd. “Should I release unto you the king of the Jews?” he asked them. With one voice all of them demanded, “Crucify Him!” All of them! Humanly speaking it was up to them whether Jesus lived or died. They voted for his Read More
Every day we make choices; some major, some minor. Every choice is important because choices have consequences. The world we live in is the sum total of the choices people make.
Given the opportunity to choose between Read More
How do you see God? The way we live, the things we do, the emotions we feel, are all the result of what we think and believe about God. If our thoughts and beliefs are wrong, our feelings and actions will be wrong. Every sin we commit is due to a lie we believe. Every act of righteousness is the result of something we believe. If what we believe is wrong, our Read More
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.
A man lived the life of a thief. He lied, cheated, stole and took advantage of people all his life. He did not fear God, or man. Then just a few minutes before dying for his crimes, he met Jesus. He received a free Read More
Do you know that you do not need to try to be blessed? That is right! You do not need to try to be blessed because if you are in Christ, you already are. Ephesians 1:3 states, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Notice that God “hath” blessed you—that means you are Read More
Are you trying to be blessed by keeping the commandments? The Law, though good, cannot bless you. It can only curse you. That is the clear teaching of the Apostle Paul: “But those who depend on following the law to make them right are under a curse, because the Scriptures say, ‘Anyone will be cursed who does not always obey what’s written in the Book of the Law.'” ( Gal. 3:10). To be Read More
How many sins does it take to break fellowship with God and produce spiritual death? Only one! Adam committed only one sin, and that was enough for God to separate Himself from Adam and break fellowship with him. You see, God is completely righteous and can only fellowship with those who are perfect in His sight. Because God is absolutely holy and just, He will not overlook any sin. Any sin that God sees in our lives disqualifies us from entering God’s presence.
So, in order to be righteous in God’s sight, one has to be perfect, without any fault or blemish. By God’s standard, there is no such thing as a person being only partially righteous, or partially unrighteous. Accordingly, it is impossible, for example, to be seventy percent righteous and thirty percent unrighteous. A person can only be completely righteous in the sight of God, or completely unrighteous.
You see, when it comes to being righteous, there is no “in-between” position. You either are, or you are not. It is like your television set. It is either on or off. It is like a particular light switch that has only two positions—on and off; and it is either on, or off, but never in-between. When it comes to your standing before God, remember there are only two positions possible. The issue is always one of being completely perfect in His sight, or of being completely imperfect; but never of being only partially so.
Because God requires perfection, it only takes one sin to completely disqualify us. Remember, it only took one sin to disqualify Adam, and it will take only one sin to disqualify any person who is trying to be righteous on the basis of their ability to keep the Law. That is why no man can achieve righteousness by self-effort or good works because no man is able to achieve that perfect standard himself.
But what is impossible with man is possible with God! The wonderful news is that the righteousness and perfection we could not achieve by self-effort and hard work is God’s gift to us. Listen to these beautiful words of Scripture.
Hebrews 10:10 reads, “By that will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all.” And Hebrews 10:14 says, “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”
Wow, God has done the impossible through His Son, Jesus Christ! Because of Jesus, God’s gift, you are forever perfect in His sight. You are in the “on” position! And you remain “on” forever in Him! God did it for you through His Son.
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Rom. 5:19) “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21)
If you have not yet received this gift of righteousness, it can be yours right now. Simply, confess your inability to meet God’s righteous standard by your self-effort. And then, by receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior, accept God’s free gift of righteousness by which you are sanctified and perfected forever in God’s sight. Then you will be forever in the on position with God!
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“The Salvation Package”
(4-Disc Audio Series)
When was the last time you rejoiced when you discovered that you were expected to do something that you could not do? Probably never! Most people become discouraged and upset when they discover that they lack the ability to do what is being required of them. This is because they have been taught that they should be