For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV)
God saves people; people cannot save themselves. This is beautiful Gospel truth. But what else does God do with us? What is the Christian’s purpose in life? Often when we try to answer these questions, we look inside of ourselves and envision working the perfect career or achieving our childhood dream of climbing Mount Everest. But something is desperately wrong with this method of finding purpose as a Christian.
If we properly understand the Gospel, then we know that it all starts and ends with Jesus. As believers, we should understand that the entire universe is about Jesus. However, many of us then leave it at that. We say, “Thank you Jesus for saving me!” and sing him some songs and maybe even attend small group on Tuesday nights. All the while, we’re looking somewhere other than Jesus for our purpose and fulfillment in life. It’s like our lives are transformed into a children’s picture with a horse riding on a man, asking, “What in this picture doesn’t belong?”
Our life with Jesus starts “by grace…through faith,” but it shouldn’t end there. How do we know that? Paul tells us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Because Jesus saved us, “not a result of works, so that no one may boast,” does not mean that we will, therefore, not walk in any works. It’s just the opposite; we are saved to good works. So then how does a Christian find calling and purpose in salvation? Go back to the place where it all started, and where it all will end: Jesus.
Where in your life are good works prepared that you can pursue and fulfill?