For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:9.
Here’s what we must confess as Christians: We are sinners and without hope. Christ Jesus completely saves all of those that come to him by faith. We do not contribute our works to the salvation equation in the least for he saves us to the uttermost. That is the Biblical teaching on salvation. Yet good works are required of believers. How is this so? The answer lies in the fact that God has saved a people to love him and follow him and be transformed into his likeness—and he did this from before the foundation of the world.
The same God that elected all his people from before time began is the same God who has prepared the elect for good works as well. And the fact of the matter is that people can make professions of faith all the time and they can say the sinner’s prayer. Yet if they go off and their lives have not been changed and they are not desiring more and more to be like the Lord Jesus Christ then a genuine profession of faith has not occurred. Why? Because beforehand God has prepared his people for good works.
If you have older siblings you may be aware of how difficult it is to live up to their example. You may have heard how you are not like your older brother or sister very much at all. But as time passes people begin to see that there’s a family likeness that’s there. Colossians tells us that Jesus is the first-born from the dead which makes him in one sense our elder brother. We never seem to measure up to him at all. But the question isn’t whether we measure up. The question is this: Is there a family likeness there? In the people of God there will be a resemblance to Jesus even if we seem to be so far from his great example. Is there a family likeness to Jesus in you?