One of the better-known and oft-quoted verses from the Word of God is Ephesians 2:10.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10, ESV
If you check multiple translations, most of them read similar to this one from the English Standard Version. The term we are focusing on today is the term “workmanship.” Other versions render this as “handiwork” and “masterpiece.” In all candor, I’d rather be as literal as we can with it because the word Paul uses here is beautiful. He says we are God’s poiema (ποίημα) – God’s poem.
God is an artist, and in this case, God is the divine poet, and you are his masterpiece. You are beautiful, crafted line by line by the master poet.
The other occurrence of this term (it appears only twice in the New Testament) is in Romans 1:20 where we see a reference to the greater creation of the master artist. Again, using a transliterated term, that passage would read something like, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the poem” (ESV – my edit).
That takes my mind to Psalm 19.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.
Day after day they pour out speech;
night after night they communicate knowledge.
There is no speech; there are no words;
their voice is not heard.
Their message has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world. – Psalm 19:1-4, HCSB
Look around you. Look at yourself. Look within yourself. Everything that exists is shouting praise and glory to God. All of it is a product of the inventive handiwork of God.
For what can be known about God is plain to [the Gentiles], because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. – Romans 1:19-20a, ESV
We don’t often think of the physical, inanimate creation as speaking anything, but it does! Consider this imagery from Isaiah.
For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands. – Isaiah 55:12, NASB
If the inanimate poem of God shouts praise and glory to that degree, how much more so for us as the living, breathing poem of God? We are his workmanship created in Christ specifically for good works, glory proclaiming works, making us the masterpiece of the master poet. We are a new, beautiful, poetic creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Our new birth in Christ is not the end of our story. No, it is the beginning. As God’s poem, we are a living document, one still being composed as we are molded and shaped into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). Speaking the truth in love to one another, we grow up into Christ (Ephesians 4:16). God equips us with every good thing we need for accomplishing his will (Hebrews 13:21).
The poem is still being written.