on Ephesians 2 :10
For we are his workmanship - So far is this salvation from being our own work, or granted for our own works' sake, that we are ourselves not only the creatures of God, but our new creation was produced by his power; for we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. He has saved us that we may show forth the virtues of Him who called us from darkness into his marvelous light. For though we are not saved for our good works, yet we are saved that we may perform good works, to the glory of God and the benefit of man.
Which God hath before ordained - Οἱς προητοιμασες· For which God before prepared us, that we might walk in them. For being saved from sin we are made partakers of the Spirit of holiness; and it is natural to that Spirit to lead to the practice of holiness; and he who is not holy in his life is not saved by the grace of Christ. The before ordaining, or rather preparing, must refer to the time when God began the new creation in their hearts; for from the first inspiration of God upon the soul it begins to love holiness; and obedience to the will of God is the very element in which a holy or regenerated soul lives.
on Ephesians 2 :10
For we are his workmanship - We are his "making" - ποίημα poiēma. That is, we are "created or formed" by him, not only in the general sense in which all things are made by him, but in that special sense which is denoted by the new creation; see the notes at 2 Corinthians 5:17. Whatever of peace, or hope, or purity we have, has been produced by his agency on the soul. There cannot be conceived to be a stronger expression to denote the agency of God in the conversion of people, or the fact that salvation is wholly of grace.
Created in Christ Jesus - On the word "created," see the notes at 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Unto good works - With reference to a holy life; or, the design for which we have been created in Christ is, that we should lead a holy life. The primary object was not to bring us to heaven. It was that we should be "holy." Paul held perhaps more firmly than any other man, to the position that people are saved by the mere grace of God, and by a divine agency on the soul; but it is certain that no man ever held more firmly that people must lead holy lives, or they could have no evidence that they were the children of God.
Which God hath before ordained - Margin, "prepared." The word here used means to "prepare beforehand," then to predestinate, or appoint before. The proper meaning of this passage is, "to which οἷς hois good works God has predestinated us, or appointed us beforehand, that we should walk in them." The word used here - προετοιμάζω proetoimazō - occurs in the New Testament nowhere else except in Romans 9:23, where it is rendered "had afore prepared." It involves the idea of a previous determination, or an arrangement beforehand for securing a certain result. The previous preparation here referred to was, the divine intention; and the meaning is, that God had predetermined that we should lead holy lives. It accords, therefore, with the declaration in Ephesians 1:4, that he had chosen his people before the foundation of the world that they should be holy: see the notes at that verse.
That we should walk in them - That we should live holy lives. The word "walk" is often used in the Scriptures to denote the course of life; notes on Romans 6:4.
on Ephesians 2 :10
2:10 For we are his workmanship - Which proves both that salvation is by faith, and that faith is the gift of God. Created unto good works - That afterwards we might give ourselves to them. Which God had before preprepared - The occasions of them: so we must still ascribe the whole to God. That we might walk in them - Though not be justified by them.