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Ephesians 2:10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
This verse is saying that believers are God’s handiwork or His workmanship. It suggests that believers have been created and shaped by God for a specific purpose and plan.
The phrase “created in Christ Jesus” is significant, as it suggests that believers have been created in relationship with Jesus, and that their identity and purpose are connected to Him.
The verse also notes that believers have been created to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for them to do. This suggests that God has a specific plan and purpose for each believer’s life, and that He has prepared opportunities for them to serve and glorify Him through their actions and deeds.
For we are his workmanship – The word “workmanship” is translated from the Greek word “poiema,” which means “a product of one’s handiwork.” This phrase is saying that we are the handiwork of God – we are his creation.
Created in Christ Jesus – This phrase emphasizes the fact that our creation and our new identity as believers in Christ is closely tied to Jesus himself.
For good works – The phrase “for good works” suggests that our creation in Christ Jesus has a specific purpose, which is to do good works.
Which God prepared beforehand – This phrase indicates that God has a plan for the good works that we are meant to do, and he has prepared them in advance for us.
That we should walk in them – The phrase “that we should walk in them” suggests that these good works are not just a one-time event, but rather a way of life that we are meant to embrace and continue to live out on a daily basis.
Historical and Cultural Context
In order to provide a commentary on Ephesians 2:10 that touches on the historical and cultural context, it is helpful to first understand the overall context of the letter to the Ephesians.
The letter to the Ephesians was written by the apostle Paul to a group of believers who lived in the city of Ephesus, which was a major city in the Roman province of Asia (located in modern-day Turkey). The city was known for its temple to the goddess Artemis (also known as Diana), which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
At the time that Paul wrote this letter, the believers in Ephesus were likely a mix of Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews). In the first century AD, there was a significant divide between Jews and Gentiles, with Jews often viewing Gentiles as inferior and unclean.
In this context, it is important to understand the phrase “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” in light of the division between Jews and Gentiles. This phrase emphasizes that in Christ, there is no longer a divide between Jews and Gentiles – we are all one in Christ and are created for the same purpose: to do good works as a result of our salvation in him.
Furthermore, the phrase “which God prepared beforehand” suggests that this unity and purpose in Christ was part of God’s plan from the very beginning. In other words, it was not something that came about by accident, but rather it was something that God had intended and prepared in advance.
Overall, this verse is a reminder that believers have been created and shaped by God for a specific purpose and that they have been given the opportunity to serve and glorify Him through the good works that He has prepared in advance for them to do. It is a powerful reminder of the sovereignty and purpose of God in our lives.