The Bible verse for Vacation Bible School this year is Ephesians 2:10: For we are his (God’s) workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we might walk in them.
The “we” in this verse refers to Christians, followers of Jesus. Immediately before this verse, we read about how to become Christians: For by grace you are saved, by faith; and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God, not by works so nobody can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Christians are saved by grace, not by works. Grace is the wonderful gift of salvation offered by God. He sent his Son Jesus to give himself as an atoning sacrifice, to die for our sins. He did this so that we can be forgiven.
Since God offers us salvation as a gift, we are not required to earn it by doing good works or by being good people. Jesus earned our salvation for us. This is good news. We would be incapable of earning a place in heaven. Why? Because only one who is perfect deserves heaven and nobody is perfect except Jesus himself.
God’s gracious gift of salvation comes to us through faith. Faith is the step of trust we take to believe God’s promise about Jesus and to ask him to forgive our disobedience. Faith includes a commitment to be a follower of Jesus, confessing Jesus as Lord. The result is God’s priceless gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
So, what about all those verses in the Bible that talk about obeying God and doing good deeds? After God’s grace saves us by faith, God’s plan lays out a path for us to follow which includes good works. It is vital for us to note that Ephesians 2:8-9 comes before Ephesians 2:10. We don’t work to get saved. We get saved to work.
Verse 10 starts by saying that we are God’s workmanship. It’s his work that saved us. He sent Jesus to die for our sins. That’s why it then says we are created in Christ Jesus. Jesus is our Savior, the one who died so that we can be a new creation. God also sent his Spirit to speak to our hearts and to transform us into the image of Christ.
Now we see in verse 10 that we are saved to do good works. God wants us to avoid spending eternity in hell, but his salvation is more than a rescue from eternal punishment. God’s salvation enables us to do good things that he prepared beforehand. Since he prepared these works, we know he will be pleased by them.
God prepared us for the works and the works for us. To be saved by faith in Jesus and to do the good deeds God prepared for us is to experience the fullness of a life well-lived. Since God prepared these works for us to do, we know that they will be meaningful, eternally meaningful.
The last part of verse 10 says that we are to walk in them (“them” being the good works). The Bible describes our daily lives as a ‘walk.’ We ‘walk’ through this world step by step, day by day, decision by decision. Our ‘walk,’ our daily life, has a direction and a destination.
The works prepared by God for us to do become a pathway that leads to a full and fulfilling life. By walking in the pathway laid out for us by God, we enjoy rich experiences of his presence, power, and blessing along the way. And we know that he is our great destination, to stand in his presence, to see him face-to-face, and to worship him with abundant joy!
What marvelous things God has revealed to us in his word! How abundant the blessings that God stands ready to pour into our lives!
May God always bless us with good deeds to walk in,