For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
This verse shows us that one of the things that salvation is intended for is to produce the good works that bear out its reality, its truth. Let's be clear here. "Works" plays NO PART in securing salvation. It is, however, how we prove our faith.
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17, NIVYou are God's handiwork. Handiwork means to have the characteristic quality of a particular maker. It's like when you look at a Van Gogh painting, you can tell it's a Van Gogh. It has that distinctive look and feel to it.
YOU are God's handiwork! You have the touch of the Maker all over you! And, what's more, the good works you are to do, the good life you were meant to live, were created in advance for you to do! Let me try to explain. In Genesis 1:26 it says this:
"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image . . .'"
The "us" and "our" in that verse clearly indicate that God, the Creator-King, is not alone. The idea of the Trinity is introduced for the first time here and God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are actively involved in the work of creation together. In John 1:1-3, the apostle is talking about "the Word," referring to Jesus, as being with God in the beginning and that "the Word" was God and that
"through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."
Jesus was with God in the beginning, active in creation and is, in fact, God. And, YOU, dear Believer, were created by Jesus himself with the idea that you would put your faith in Him on display by the good effort you put forth at living the life He gave you. Better put: the good life, or the life of goodness, that having faith in Christ produces was prepared for Believers from the beginning. It was meant for you from the beginning of time to live a good life, or to live a life of goodness. And, that life of goodness will demonstrate the reality of our salvation. Furthermore, you cannot boast about this life of goodness because even IT has its source in God -- the One who made it possible.
For goodness sake,