by Mike Ratliff
10 αὐτοῦ γάρ ἐσμεν ποίημα, κτισθέντες ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ἐπὶ ἔργοις ἀγαθοῖς οἷς προητοίμασεν ὁ θεός, ἵνα ἐν αὐτοῖς περιπατήσωμεν. Ephesians 2:10 (NA28)
10 For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for Good works, which God prepared previously that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
For those who believe they are in Christ because of their own efforts or their own actions or their own worth, I’m sorry. That concept does not stand up to what the Word of God tells us. In the passage above we are told two things. The first is that we are His masterpiece (ποίημα). That means that as new creations in Christ it was God’s work entirely. In this post we will look at the second word that speaks about this in this passage, κτισθέντες, which, literally could be translated as, “having been created.” My brethren, if you are truly in Christ you have been created in Him.
In v10 the word “created” translates the Greek participle κτισθέντες or ktisthentes. It is the aorist passive tense of κτίζω or ktizō. It means “to create or produce,” but goes deeper than the root of ποίημα. κτίζω is the word often used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word בָּרָא (bārāʼ), “to create from nothing,” as in Genesis 1:1.
Think of this truth in light of the passage I placed at the top of this post. Lost men today, which includes multitudes of professing Christians, speak of “self-improvement,” self-help,” “self-image,” and many other “selfisms.” However, the principle we see here is that God created the believer from nothing.
Ponder that truth! What were we before Christ came into our lives? Nothing! Each of us was a worthless lump of clay, dead in trespasses in sins–no value, no form, no purpose. But God created us!
As Christians, everything we are and everything we will ever be is because of Jesus Christ. It is not our experiences, education, training, or talents–it is Christ. Without Him we are nothing; without Him there is no purpose or meaning to life.
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
A genuine Christian is the most beautiful of God’s creation, for each is made in His image. As Augustine wrote: “Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mounts, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the season, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.”1
Soli Deo Gloria
1Confessions, Book X, chapter 8.