Question Tuesday: Good Works

Every Tuesday we gather here at Speak What We Feel to discusses questions of life and faith, to grow together and sharpen our perspectives. Today’s question:

What do you think are the implications of the following from Ephesians 2, and how can we encourage one another and edify the church as a result of those implications?

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.


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3 Responses to Question Tuesday: Good Works

  1. Jacqui says:

    I am not an ordained Pastor–I am far from it. However, as a lay person in the Church, I can see that the passage indicates that when God looks down at us, He sees one “Body”. In that case, it does not matter who is right or who is wrong because disunity in the “Body” threatens the special relationship with God. For that matter alone, it is best that we learn to encourage and lead each other. As a “united Front”, we best able to not only act on the Spirit of God, but also to confront the enemy.

  2. Val says:

    Hey Renea,

    Great question. I have an angle on this verse that no one’s going to like. I wonder if it maybe has something to do with money, and specifically with caring for the poor. When Paul talks about “doing good” in Galatians, at least, he’s often talking about financial benefaction (Perrin, Jesus the Temple, p. 72). Caring for teachers, the poor of the world, and the poor in our churches are especially close to Paul’s heart, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that comes out in Ephesians as well. In fact, in Ephesians 2, P. keeps on about the “riches” of God’s mercy before he goes in to the good works God has planned for us.

    I think Jacqui is right when she points out the unity of the church. I think Paul is saying “Hey, you are the locus on God’s presence in the world now… you are God’s temple. Be the place of healing and restoration and care and forgiveness, you little city on a hill.” I think caring for one another financially is a large part of that. One of the major ways we can encourage one another is by tithing, by eating together, and by being careful to pay attention to the poor and needy first in our own congregations and then in the world.


  3. reneamac says:

    Interesting takes.

    Unity in the Body of Christ is essential, and one of the few words used to describe what the Church should look like. But I don’t think we can go so far as to say that God doesn’t see us as individuals as well as one Body. Otherwise passages which make claims such as Psalm 139’s assertion that we are each uniquely created by God’s own hand, that he knows us individually, intimately, better than anyone would be problematic. And it’s because God knows us individually, that I think Ephesians 2:10 could imply a myriad of good works, including, but certainly not limited to, as Val suggests, financial good works.

    What I think is great about this passage is that it should encourage us to encourage one another in the Body in each person’s individual set of gifts, talents, passions. Often this is not done. Ask the artists in your church… if you can find them. Ask the women whose gifts fall outside the realms of children and food. Ask the men who aren’t teachers or aren’t handy. Ask almost anyone.

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