And in the very next breath, Paul's saying to us in effect:

Don't you get it? You and I - we're His workmanship, handcrafted by Him through Jesus to do good works which He prepared way ahead of time, so that we would walk into them and live them and do them. How awesome is that?!

And this, as a direct consequence of our being saved by grace through faith in Jesus.

Now the thing that we can't miss here is this: that who God has made us to be and what He's made us to do are inexorably linked.

The Hammer and the Screwdriver

Jesus was a carpenter, a skilled artisan who knew how to choose the right tool for the job.

I on the other hand, am your quintessential un-handyman. So much so, that when I put a nail into the wall and hang a picture in our house, my wife Jacqui and I celebrate and rejoice greatly, if the picture hasn't come crashing down within twenty four hours. (That's usually a very good sign!)

So I'm well qualified to talk about what happens when we choose the wrong tool for the job.

Take for instance the simple hammer, as opposed to the screwdriver. I mean anyone - anyone - can tell that they're made to do different jobs, right?

A hammer is made to hammer nails into wood. It's a process that relies on the fact that wood has some "give" in it. Hammer a nail into the wood with a hammer, and the wood parts slightly to let the nail in (but not too much) so that the friction of the compressed wood around the nail keeps the two together. You don't screw a nail in, you hammer it in.

If what you want is a much stronger join into the wood, then you use a screw - one with a pointy tip. Now the screw has quite a sharp groove that spirals down its length and that groove grips into the wood as you screw it in. And so, for the length of the screw, the screw and the wood are joined together by the groove of the screw, and the equal and opposite groove in the wood, carved out when the screw was screwed in. You don't hammer a screw in, you screw it in.

Now - let me share with you what happens when you try to hammer a nail with a screw driver and nail a screw with a hammer. This un-handyman has, it may not surprise you to know, attempted both of these acts of lunacy.

To hammer a nail using a screwdriver, simply grab the screwdriver by the metal shaft, and use its hard plastic handle to hammer the nail into the wood.

The result? Several marks on the wood, a tiny, tiny hole where you wanted the nail to go but it didn't, and a black and blue bruised thumb on the hand that was holding the nail.

The conclusion? The screwdriver makes a lousy hammer!

Now using a hammer as a screwdriver appears to work much better … at least that's how it seems at the beginning. You take the screw and smash it with the hammer and it goes into the wood pretty quickly and pretty well. Phew, that worked!

Well, actually, no it didn't. Because you've created a hole in the wood that is big enough to take the whole screw to the outer circumference of the groove. But what about the inner part of the groove in the screw - that bit that's meant to grip into the wood for the whole length of the screw? What about that bit? Well, it has nothing to hang on to because the wood that it should be gripping tightly to, has been gouged out by the act of nailing the screw, instead of screwing it.

The result? Well, honestly, this is perhaps why the odd picture hung in the Dymet household by yours truly, has come crashing down to the floor in the middle of the night.

The conclusion? The hammer makes a lousy screwdriver!

So, even this un-handyman has learned that … hammers are for hammering nails, and screwdrivers are for screwing screws.

Fortunately … fortunately Jesus was a carpenter, and this is something that He knew full well, not only as He was producing furniture in His father's workshop in Nazareth, but also when He created us - you and me - as His workmanship, to do the good works that He prepared beforehand for us to walk into.