"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10).
The word "workmanship" here is the Greek poema. And yes, that is the word from which we get our word "poem." Suddenly, one's mind reels at the thought that "we are God's poetry." In a poem, every word counts, every line has to be just so. We are God's "artwork," His handiwork. (Caution: The root of poema is not quite that exotic however. It comes from the verb meaning "to make." In Romans 1:20 it's simply "what has been made." We must be careful not to make Scripture out to be saying more than it is.)
That said, we affirm that God made us and we are His special workmanship. In a very real sense, we are His artwork. The Psalmist said, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Ps. 139:14). Then he added, "Wonderful are thy works."
The Lord does turn out some incredible artwork, doesn't He? His designs are perfect and flawless. He colors well, too. We think of the ever-changing sunsets, the endless array of flowers and birds, and the pastels in the rocks and soils of the American West. He loves variety and never seems to turn out the same piece twice. I find that as amazing as anything!
We know far better than the Psalmist ever did how "fearfully and wonderfully" we are made, with our knowledge of the finer points of the human body and its design, structure, organs, and powers. Physicians and scientists who study the human body often stand in awe. One of my doctors used to say, "I don't heal anyone. I do what I can to help the body heal itself."
God made us. Look at a newborn baby and stand in awe. God is great! He recreated us in Christ Jesus. We are new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Have you been born again? (John chapter 3.)
He recreated us with the intention that we would bring forth good works-not in order to be saved, but because we are saved. Now we may "show forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1 Pet. 2:9)
We praise Thee, O wonderful Artist of the universe. How great Thou art!
Joe McKeever is a retired Southern Baptist pastor from New Orleans, Louisiana. He blogs regularly at www.joemckeever.com.