What Does The Phrase ‘God’s Handiwork’ Mean In Ephesians 2:10?


The letter to the Ephesians is an incredible letter written by Paul, it’s full of amazing truths and insights which encourages the reader to think deeper concerning their relationship with God and each other.

In Ephesians 2 we find Paul, emphasising over and over again, that salvation is available to everyone by God’s grace, and we can receive it through faith in Christ Jesus.

In Ephesians 2:1-3 Paul reminds us of who we were and what we deserved and in Ephesians 2:4-10 Paul reminds us of everything God has done for us, He makes us alive, He raises us up, He seats us with Christ, He saves us and He has good works for us to do.

God’s Handiwork

‘For we are GOD’S HANDIWORK, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ Ephesians 2:10

When we think about our identity, we’re not only identified as Christians, we’re also identified as ‘God’s handiwork’. The KJV uses the word, ‘workmanship’ which in Greek is the word, ‘poiema’, in other words as Christians, we are God’s poetry in motion.

Everyone Is God’s Handiwork

Think about what being God’s handiwork means! Allow those words to sink into your heart and mind! Imagine, the God who created the heavens and the earth and everything within them, also created you!

The God who created the mountains and rivers, the God who created the whales and the ants, took special care to create you! He made us with His own hands and oversaw every detail. Psalm 139:13 / Psalm 139:15.

Unlike what the evolutionists teach us, God says we’re no accident, He purposely created every one of us. He did so because He loves us and wants us to have a relationship with Him, He created us so that we will be obedient to Him, praise Him for creating us and thank Him for everything He has done and continues to do for us.

In the art world, many people call their finished work a ‘masterpiece’, they go on to sign it, so that everyone knows who the artist was. In a sense God calls us His ‘masterpiece’, and He proudly puts His signature on our lives. It’s true that you can buy certain copies of that masterpiece, but the truth is, there’s only one original.

In the same way, when God created us, He created us as originals, there’s only one of you, your absolutely unique from everyone else. We all have different personalities, we all have different abilities, we have different gifts and desires. God has constructed you to be something so useful and valuable to Him.

Only Christians Are God’s Handiwork

Although we recognise that God wonderfully created human beings, we need to remember that the text we’re dealing with is addressing Christians. Only a Christian can do the good things that He has planned for them to do, only those who’ve been renewed in Christ, can fulfil His purpose. The question is what is His purpose for Christians?

Good Works

‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do GOOD WORKS, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ Ephesians 2:10

Please remember we’ve been created not BY good works, but FOR good works. We’re not saved by works of merit, we’re not saved just to enjoy our salvation, we’re saved because God has work for us to do, He wants to work through us in order to achieve His purposes.

We don’t work for our salvation, we work because of our salvation, 1 Corinthians 15:10, motivated along out of thankfulness for God’s grace, 2 Corinthians 4:15. Doing good works are every important to God, they not only reflect what’s in our hearts but it’s also the basis for which a Christian will be judged on the Day of Judgment, Matthew 7:20-23 / Matthew 25:31-36 / 2 Corinthians 5:10 / Titus 2:14.

The Good Works God Has Prepared In Advance For Us

‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which GOD PREPARED IN ADVANCE FOR US TO DO.’ Ephesians 2:10

As Christians we have been created anew in Christ through our obedience to the Gospel, Romans 6:4-5. We recognise that we owe all that we are to God who gives us a reason for transforming our thinking and lives, Romans 12:1-2. It’s by God’s grace and through faith in Christ Jesus that we want to live our lives in accordance with God’s will, Romans 3:31.

God prepared in advance that those who are saved should be addicted to good works. Remember we were created not only with skill but for His purpose. Good works don’t give us salvation, but they are the result of our salvation.

Notice that God prepared these good works for us to do, way in advance, He’s already planned what He wants us to do with our lives.

What Are Those Good Works?

The good works are all those things we practice and do as Christians, this would be things like regularly attending worship, praying regularly, studying His Word, giving of our money, material goods or time. It would also include things like mission work, outreach, taking care of the needy in our society, the orphans, widows, homeless and oppressed, loving our neighbour, etc.

But there’s more to it than those good works listed above, the original text literally says this, ‘which God prepared in advance, so that we might walk in them.’ Paul is saying that Christians must walk and live a lifestyle which reflects Whose handiwork we are. The good works involve the whole of the Christian, all that we do by God’s grace for God’s purposes, Romans 12:1 / Colossians 3:17.

It’s important to get involved in all the good works I mentioned earlier but Paul is indicating that our good works must also be reflected in our workplace, our classrooms, our homes, our hobbies and interests, etc.


What a wonderful thought it is to remind ourselves that we are indeed God’s masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus. The next time you feel down or discouraged just remember who you are and Who your Creator is. You are indeed God’s handiwork, created uniquely and purposely for doing all those good deeds He prepared for you long before you were born or even born again.

‘As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me.’ John 9:4


"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!"

Psalm 133:1