The whole notion of calling someone a “piece of work” is typically meant to highlight a lack of good behavior. If I call you a “piece of work,” I am probably not being kind.
The apostle Paul, however, has another way of using the phrase a “piece of work.” In Ephesians, Paul says that we are God’s handiwork (2:10). He writes: “We are God’s handiwork designed to do good deeds” (2:10). This is the very purpose for which God created us: to do good work, or to act in ways that are uplifting. To be a “piece of work” in God’s hand is to be a “special work” of God’s new creation, of God’s grace. It is to be fashioned as one who demonstrates the very characteristics of God as loving, generous, merciful, kind, faithful, joyful, patient (Galatians 5:20-22); it is to display a power, in union with Christ, which moves us toward sharing in God’s own life (Ephesians 3:16).
Indeed, a whole new character is brought into existence (Colossians 3:12-15). Other persons can actually see in us a discernible difference in how we live. The old ways are gone: the new ways are evident (2 Corinthians 5:17). Moreover, we act in ways not expecting a reward where we can take all the credit, but as a response of gratitude for the gift we have received in Christ (2:9).
Do we do what we do to gain a prize, or do we respond out of gratitude for the gift of God’s grace? What motivates us to act the way we act? How is grace growing in us? What are we doing to stay spiritually fit?
Pastor Andy Kinsey