Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (Our Father Created Upon His Good Works Founded in Christ)
The eternal plan of God revolves around the Father and the Son. Did not our Father create us in Christ before the Foundations of the world? Does not everything about our Salvation hinge on Christ and His 100% finished work on the cross? Are we not forever saved by the resurrection life in us as us? What is it that well pleases the Father? How is the church actually doing greater works today than Jesus of Nazareth? In context and text of Ephesians 2:8-10, do the good works follow Salvation or come forth from Salvation? Are the good works something we do after Salvation or does it really reference to what our Father did in Christ before the foundation of the world? Does not grace, faith, and good works all have their source in the Son? Holy Spirit rightly divide your word of truth to us, concerning all that is of the Father and the Son. Help us to fully know the Christ who lives in us as us.
CREATED UPON GOOD WORKS
"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 you are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus upon good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:8-10, Expanded Greek Transl.).
First, We Are Saved by The Father's Grace that Raised Jesus from the Dead
In our Father's eternal plan, He chose us to be in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). The Father's eternal plan was based on His eternal Son being the creative source of all eternal things. The whole eternal plan revolves around the Father and the Son. The Father wanted sons that He would Spiritually birth. The Father has given to each of us a choice to make. We either choose to have a relationship and a love fellowship with Him, or we choose not to have one. Even while we were continually dead in our trespasses, the Father had already co-quickened us together with Christ (Eph. 2:5a). Paul clearly declares, that this is the Father's grace through which we are continually saved (Eph. 2:5b). We were already fully and completely saved by the very truth that our Father raised Jesus from the dead (Eph. 1:20, Col. 2:12).
Second, We are Forever Saved by the Resurrection Life of Christ in Us
When the Father raised Jesus from the dead, this indicated that He was fully satisfied with Jesus' atoning death and shed blood. Paul tells us, that we "have now once then been justified by His shed blood" to the Father (Rom. 5:9). "We were reconciled to the Father through the death of His Son" (Rom. 5:10a). Then, Paul clearly declares, that "we shall forever be saved by His life" (Rom. 5:10b). What a glorious truth! We are saved by the resurrection life of Christ. Paul tells us, that when you "believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom. 10:9). The Father sends the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin and a need for a savior (John 16:8). When we simply "believe in the Father who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead" (Rom. 4:24), Christ is then birthed in us and we are baptized into the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13). Christ now lives in us. We literally have the Person, Spirit, nature, Seed and life of Christ to now live in us as us (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 8:9; II Pet. 1:4; I Pet. 1:23, I John 5:11,12). We are a new creation life, with Christ living in us as us (II Cor. 5:17). It is only through Christ in us as us, that genuine Spirit life is expressed.
Third, The Father Placed Christ In Us as Genuine Obedience to Please Him
When the Father placed Christ in us at our Spirit birthing, He intended that we let Christ live in and be expressed through us. Our Father intended that we live by the life of another in us. In all previous dispensations, man was responsible to do something in order to be obedient to God. All dispensations have proven that man, within himself, cannot maintain obedience and please God. Each dispensation let man know that he needed a Savior, and could never please God within himself alone. In this church age dispensation, our Father has Spirit rebirthed His sons, with his only begotten Son birthed in them. Christ living and expressed in us is the only genuine obedience that well pleases our Father.
Fourth, Christ will be Doing Greater Works Now Through the Body of Christ
Jesus told his twelve during his upper room discourse just before the cross, that whoever "believes in Me, the works that I do he will do, and greater works than these will he do" (John 14:12). This wasn't Jesus teaching His disciples that they were going to be supermen. For Christ follows in this same discourse telling them that when He left, He would send the Holy Spirit to them (John 16:7). Jesus did not either tell them, that the Holy Spirit would make them supermen. Jesus told them over and over that the Holy Spirit would teach them of Himself and the things of Himself (John 15:26; John 16:13-15). Christ knew that from Pentecost forward, that He would be Spirit birthed into every member of the Body of Christ. Christ knew He was coming back to live in Spirit birthed sons. Christ knew that He would come back to fulfill greater works by living in every member of the Body of Christ as their very life and expression to do the Father's will. The word "greater" as used in John 14:12 could mean larger. However the root word for this word is really aimed at more as in quantity of works. Other than pride, why would man ever think his works would be greater than Christ's? Christ will actually now be living and doing more works through every member of His Body.
Fifth, Man Cannot Save Himself By His Own Good Works to Keep the Law
Man has attempted to do good works to save himself. Religion has tried to keep man by doing deeds in obedience to the law. However, "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10). Paul declares, "Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Rom. 3:20). Paul clarifies, "Therefore the law was our tudor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith" (Gal. 3:24). Law is just to bring us a knowledge of sin and lets us know we need Christ as Savior. We can't save ourselves!
Sixth, Both Grace and Faith are Fully the Gift of God and in Christ in Us
This is what Paul means when he says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves" (Eph. 2:8a). Neither the grace, nor the faith is of yourselves! That is hard on religion and religious thinking. Both the grace and the faith is the gift of God, and it is "not by works lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8b,9). John said, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12,13). It is not your will or works, but simply believing and receiving the free gift of God. Paul clearly tells us that "God has dealt to each one the measure of faith" (Rom. 12:3). Religion does not know about the faith of the Son of God, only about man mustering up something called faith. Paul clearly shares that we are "justified by the faith of Christ" (Gal. 2:16). Paul said that "Christ lives in me" and "I live by the faith of the Son of God" (Gal. 2:20).
Seventh, We Were Created in Christ Jesus Upon the Father's Good Works
We were once then created in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). All good works were also once then created in Christ Jesus. God once then prepared these good works beforehand that we might walk in them. The Father placed Christ in us to live in us and express everything that He prepared beforehand in Christ. Only Christ living and expressing Himself in and through us as us is genuine good works. All else is simply mocking flesh. We were created in Christ Jesus upon the good works of our Father (Eph. 2:10).