SBTS chapel live blog: ‘You are God’s workmanship’

Communications Staff — February 12, 2009

Preacher:Gene Mims, senior pastor of Judson Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn.

Text: Ephesians 2:8-10

Chapel message

Mims has been working through Ephesians for the past year at Judson Baptist.

Ephesians 2 reveals how men fit in God’s great plan. Paul talks about men being dead in sin and by nature children of wrath in verses 1-3. There was nothing in your life that was not marked by death, Paul says.

Then in verse 4, Paul says, ‘But God…’ and talks about the richness of God’s mercy. Paul says God gave His people a seat in the heavens with Jesus Christ. And He did this to reveal the riches of His grace.

This leads to Eph. 2:8-10.

For by GRACE you have been SAVED through FAITH

  • Grace

The grace of God is a marvel. We were dead in our trespasses and sins. But before the foundation of the world, God moved toward us to save us. There was nothing for God to move toward: there was nothing good in us. But still God moved toward us.

  • Saved

Because of God’s grace, those who believe are always in the state of one who is saved: ‘You have been saved.’ God’s salvation is His doing.

  • Faith

Grace, salvation and faith are all God’s doing. The Holy Spirit comes to convict us and He quickens us. We are secure in the knowledge that our salvation is a work of God alone. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, but even the person who brought the Word, brought it by the hand of God.

Because we are dead in sins, we would expect God to have to save us. We would expect Him to give us the means, faith, to be saved. But He doesn’t stop there.

For we are His workmanship

It is not that we just make it into God’s presence and then sit there. We don’t just get saved, sit down, catch our breath, and then just sort of exist there. God saved us AND He created us to do good works.

Believers tend to live and pray at the table of common grace only. We pray for food, clothing, physical health and money. These are common grace requests only. There is nothing astounding about receiving these things, the same things that God gives non-believers through His common grace.

Verse 10 invites us to live at the table of amazing grace. At the table of amazing grace, God works through us and in us to do things that are absolutely astounding to a watching world. This amazing grace should shape several different areas of our lives:

  • Psychology

We should live as people saved by Christ and people who are God’s workmanship, created to do good works. We were once dead in our trespasses and sins, but we are now God’s workmanship created for our good work.

  • Ecclesiology

I don’t believe in a Christianity that is isolated. When you are saved, you are saved into a local body of believers, however messy it is. When you are saved, you are uniquely gifted by God to serve that local body. And in local churches, God does astounding things through His people.

  • Theology

We should have a theology that drives us to places we have never been before. When your theology is right and you understand that God chose you before the foundation of the world, and has given you the Holy Spirit, and when you begin to realize that you are God’s workmanship created for good works, that changes how you live.

You begin to understand that the Great Commission is a necessity. You begin to understand that God has sent us on mission to go and spread His amazing grace to the world.

Works that God has prepared beforehand for us to do

God has set a table of good works for men to do. This doesn’t mean that what we do is pre-determined. It means that God has equipped us to serve Him in amazing ways. God works through people. His table of amazing grace is set for His people. This gives us no limits to what we can do as God’s people.

We can pray for God to change the heart of those in political office. We can see cities reclaimed by the power of God, reclaiming cities for Christ around the world.

Only believers in Christ are God’s workmanship. Only believers can do these things. God longs to display His glory in our lives and our churches to a lost and dying world.

Announcements

At the end of chapel, Mohler made several announcements:

He reminded students about the upcoming Southern Seminary & the History of American Christianity conference, Feb. 18-19, at Southern. There is a student rate available for the conference: www.sbts.edu/sshac.

He announced the opening of Edgar’s, a new on-campus store that offers men’s formal wear, including suits, dress shirts and ties. Edgar’s also partners with a local salon to offer barber service.

Mohler also announced the Southern Seminary website redesign, which went live today at www.sbts.edu. The freshly designed site features faculty blogs, video, and current seminary news and events. The new website will regularly feature new audio, video and stories on the lives, events and happenings on the Southern Seminary campus. The website will continue to add other new features over the next several months.

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Apply now for summer or fall studies

Classes begin in June & Aug.