A Creative Gospel

Everyone is creative. You don’t believe me? Observe your day with fresh eyes and you will see creativity everywhere and in the most unusual places. You might not be able to paint, play music, write or act but your own creativity will be wonderfully expressed in different ways. The reality is that you hold the dynamic ability to produce something from a simple thought. This unique gift is due to you being crafted in the likeness of a God who is in his very essence creative.

The Apostle Paul highlights the creativity of God in his passionate and open letter to the followers of Jesus in the region of Ephesus:

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. (Eph. 2.8)

Paul is declaring to a community, in a city that worshipped the creative results of their hands, that the way we have been made right with God isn’t by our own creative ability that God has given to us. All have sinned and are in desperate need of being made right with God, but there is nothing, absolutely nothing we can do but trust in God to do the saving. We are saved through repentance and faith.

God’s creative genius is marvelous. God knows that we can’t remove our own sin. So Jesus, his son, is beamed into the world by supernatural conception, becoming a creative man just like us! A man that is created in the image of God. A man with no sin. A man who is in perfect relationship with his Father.

Jesus’ final act of dying on the cross is harrowing, but it contains a beautiful display of creativity unparalleled. Through his willing execution, the depth of God’s heart for us is on display. The mystery alluded to down the ages to the Jews is now staring us in the face. Jesus removes all our sin by willingly dying in our place. He collects all of our surrendered rebellion against His own Father and attributes it to himself. He then gift-wraps and presents his righteousness, the holy, pure and spotless living that pleases his Father. The door to knowing God is suddenly swung wide, the curtain barrier is torn down, the old has gone and the new has landed. All that is needed now is faith that says, “YES!” to Jesus.

Actively placing our trust in our Creator God is the way we are saved. You can try and make it more complicated by applying your own works, but real grace doesn’t take additions. Only when we decide to surrender our pride and begin to trust like a child do we receive the grace of Jesus, which saves us from eternity without our Heavenly Father.

Saying “YES!” to Jesus means we are restored and forgiven. We become God’s workmanship. A beautiful poem. A wonderful work of art that takes on a story of restoration. The Father views us as a masterpiece through the action and gift of Jesus. Salvation is from him, through him and to him and it is available to ALL. There is plenty of room in God’s gallery…

So if we can’t save ourselves through our own creativity why do we have that ability? Surely God has given it to us for a reason? Our creativity enables us to actively worship God, reveal Jesus, and practically see people restored. It isn’t about being saved by works but saved FOR works. Knowing Jesus makes us a living invitation to know Him via our creative lives.

We, the Church, sometimes make the most precious, adventurous and wonderful gift of new life in Jesus a snooze fest. It is anything but boring. When God gave us his one and only son, Jesus, he invited you to be his adopted child, full of creativity that points to Jesus — the image of the invisible God. Are you ready to walk in the good works that God has prepared for you for?

 

DAN LEE