The Bare Soul
June 27, 2010
The following is the message
text and audio recording of a sermon titled "God's Workmanship" delivered to the
at the Kansas City Rescue Mission Chapel on June 24 2010.
- June 24, 2010
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
When God rested from his creation labors after the sixth day, He meant it. He saw that all which He had created was GOOD, especially humankind. Truly, the wondrous detail of His creation is seen in no greater splendor as that of man. Nature gives us a myriad of examples of His loving nature and how He reveals Himself through that which He has made. However, humans are the zenith of His handiwork. The bible tells us that the hairs of our heads are all numbered (Matthew 10:30). Extraordinarily, the average head has over 100, 000 hair follicles. That is nothing compared to the other complexities of the human being. It is estimated that the skin contains approximately 640,000 sense receptors, scattered unevenly over the body's surface. There are about 9,000 taste buds on the surface of the tongue, in the throat, and on the roof of the mouth. Also, the body carries approximately 25 trillion red blood cells, creating life giving oxygen to our vital organs. In total, the human body contains over 100 trillion cells. These are just a few examples of the magnificent work of the Almighty when He created you and me. The list goes on and on. If God numbers the hairs of our head, He is well aware of every atom that makes up our existence. The eternal God knows EVERYTHING about our seeming limitless structures.
It is understandable that God desires for us to be perfect, even as He is perfect and holy (Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 10:14). After all, He created perfect human beings and gave them a garden to tend in Eden. But something sinister happened -- the Fall of Mankind. What was once perfect became "soulish" and devoid of God's Spirit. When man and woman sinned, God had to depart this perfect union with humankind's spirit, for a holy perfect God cannot live in a compromised position with man. The redemption of Jesus Christ made it possible once again for mankind to be "perfect" in the sight of God through the shedding of Christ's blood and His death, burial, and resurrection. He became the One to restore us to that state of perfect reconciliation with the Father. When Jesus stated emphatically on the cross, "It is finished", He was entering into a state of reclamation, taking back what His Father had done and finished on the sixth day of creation. That is why it is so important to know the significance of the SEVENTH day of creation, for God rested from all His works on this glorious day (Genesis 2:2). That is why Christians claim the seventh day of the week as Sunday, because this was the day that Jesus rose from the dead to rest from all His works. There was no more that He could do for you or me after that glorious day. He defeated hell, taking back the deed to this world and all its contains from the devil. In so doing, he gave us everything pertaining to life and godliness through His victory (II Peter 1:3; Ephesians 4:8).
It is ludicrous for us to believe that since God the Father and God the Son have rested from their works, that we can do anything for God by our own works. Our lead scripture in Ephesians states that ... we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. God made us all perfect in the beginning of time through our father Adam, and then recreated us through His Son (I Corinthians 15:45). The "good works" that we are privileged to live out are those that come from our relationship with God and our understanding of who we are in Christ. Jesus Christ has come to indwell all who would but trust in Him, giving us the power to turn away from the "soulish" existence that our father and mother Adam and Eve possessed after the Fall. As we embrace Christ, more and more, through the understanding that he truly dwells within (Ephesians 1:17-19), then we will love the Restorer of our souls as we grow in truly living under His gentle prodding. We delight to follow the inner inclinations that He tells us to do. This, beloved, is working the works of God (John 6:28-29). To be obedient to God in all things is the greatest calling that any of us will ever have as believers. Once we understand His deep love for us in how He created us and then redeemed us, we will follow Him and trust Him to take us to the ends of the earth.
People often get confused regarding whether they are doing God's works or their own. It is really very simple to know the difference. Has the realization of who you are, how you were created, and then redeemed captured your imagination? Have you come into such a place of gratitude toward the Most High that you are love struck with heart palpitations whenever the name "Jesus" is mentioned? Beloved, I guarantee if this is your disposition and you are ever seeking to do His will in every aspect of your life, then you are doing the works of God. The vocation of the Lord can never be divorced from His relationship. Once that happens, dryness and religiosity sets in. We must all find that place of understanding -- that we are His workmanship both through creation and redemption -- and then walk in a devotion that is ever longing for more of Him. If this is your present situation, rejoice! If not, I pray that you would look to Him, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and beseech the Lord for a heart that would be melded to His. He has finished His work. He only desires that we would enter into relationship with Him to become co-laborers in His rest until that day when He calls us home.
Holy Father, what more can you give? You've given us everything in a perfect creation and a holy redemption. May we enter into your rest by understanding that your works are finished and that we must simply trust in You. Anything that we might do for You in obedience is an act of restful trust. What a glorious relationship, Lord, as we yoke together with You in passionate love! In Jesus Name, Amen.
Your Barefoot Servant,
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