Redefining “Masterpiece”

When Jesus saves us, we are saved into a community of Christ and the body of redeemed believers. By Justin and Courtney Rose

What does “being special” or “being an individual” really mean? Depending on where and how you grew up, being special can mean different things. For some, it means that you matter and what you put into the world isn’t worthless. For others, being special can be negative. It means that you stand out when you should be fitting into the larger whole.

Those of us who come from developed Western countries probably have heard that we, as individuals, really matter. Particularly, Americans are encouraged to “follow their dreams!” We can change the world if we work hard and long enough. A single person’s efforts can cause change and waves that affect the whole world. 

To a certain extent, all of those things are true. You really do matter as a human being created in God’s image. God has beautiful desires to partner with you to bring about change in the grand redemptive plan of the universe. You are a precious and important life to those around you. You have a privileged position as part of a very powerful country and should use your voice for good. However, the narrative the world gives isn’t exactly the same as what Scripture teaches.

“When Jesus saves us, we aren’t saved in a vacuum of our own little world; we are saved into a community of Christ and the body of redeemed believers.”

Ephesians is a book written to the church and it’s about life in the church. Paul writes to this group of people during a time when they were struggling with being a whole. Their individualism was tearing them apart. Particularly, Ephesians 2:1-10 (NIV) highlights the problem. In verse one, Paul writes, “You were dead in your transgressions”. As individuals, “You,” were dead in sin and chose the way of darkness. And as individuals, they chose to continue to participate in activities that made them even more dead and even more separate. Sin is an activity that always makes you alone and dissented.

As the passage continues, Paul shows how life is given as a gift from God. Verses 5-6 state that we have the opportunity to be saved from sin and be united in salvation with Christ as a body of believers. We were saved from aloneness of sin into the unity that redemption brings. 

The language shifts from “you” and sin to “us” and salvation. When Jesus saves us, we aren’t saved in a vacuum of our own little world; we are saved into a community of Christ and the body of redeemed believers. 

Verse 10 describes that community we are saved into as “God’s workmanship.” The word for “workmanship” in Greek is the word poema where we get the English word “poem.”  You can see how passionately God feels about the church; it’s His beautiful creation, artistically and specially designed for a purpose.  There was deep intention in its formation.

Many of us have bought into the misbelief that we alone, as individuals, are the “workmanship” (ESV) or “masterpiece” (NLT) that God created. The truth is that the collective of redeemed individuals who are united with Christ are the masterpiece. The masterpiece is the body of believers; it’s the church!  Don’t buy into our culture’s lie that you are special on your own, because that brand of specialty breeds loneliness and isolation. The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that our individual worth is rooted in unity with our Creator using our individual gifts to further the mission of the church.

  • June 1: Ephesians 2:1-10
  • June 2: Genesis 2:18-25
  • June 3: Proverbs 18:1
  • June 4: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
  • June 5: Hebrews 10:24-25
  • June 6: Philippians 2:3-4
  • June 7: Romans 15:1
  • June 8: Galatians 6:2
  • June 9: Romans 12:3-8
  • June 10: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
  • June 11: Ephesians 4:1-16
  • June 12: Acts 8:30-31
  • June 13: Genesis 3:8-24
  • June 14: Genesis 4:1-16
  • June 15: Genesis 16
  • June 16: Ephesians 2:11-22
  • June 17: 2 Samuel 11
  • June 18: Isaiah 5:21
  • June 19: Ephesians 4:17-32
  • June 20: 1 Samuel 13:1-15
  • June 21: John 13:18-30
  • June 22: Ephesians 5:1-20
  • June 23: Matthew 25
  • June 24: Revelation 19:7-8
  • June 25: Revelation 22:17
  • June 26: Romans 7:4
  • June 27: Colossians 3:1-17
  • June 28: Romans 12:9-21
  • June 29: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
  • June 30: Matthew 22:36-40

Psalm 36:2

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