What does it mean when God says you are his workmanship?

Social IssuesReligion

  • Author James Rondinone
  • Published December 7, 2023
  • Word count 906

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You Are God’s Workmanship

Have you ever heard of the word ‘masterpiece?’ What comes to your mind when you hear this word? For me, what I think of are works of art that are one of a kind and are considered pinnacle examples of the painting art world. From my understanding, there are different kinds of painting artwork, such as realism, expressionism, abstract, pop, etc.? Do you have a favorite? I do.

I don’t know why but I’ve always been enamored with realism, i.e., a style that is a reflection of the real world. I like scenes of the countryside. Landscape gives you a glimpse into what these places looked like at that time. Do you have any idea what the name is of the most famous realism painting? Do you know who painted it? I have an article ready for you to read that will tell us about it.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MONA LISA, THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS PAINTING

Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic Mona Lisa, the world’s most famous, recognizable, and copied artwork, has a storied history. Painted between 1503 and 1519, it was owned by French royalty for centuries. Liberated by Revolutionary forces, the painting briefly adorned Napoleon’s bedroom, then was installed in the Louvre. Over 80% of Louvre visitors come specifically to see Mona Lisa. Due to new queuing practices, visitors have only [thirty] seconds to admire the painting’s legendary mystique.

Thought by most scholars to be a portrait of Italian noble Lisa del Giocondo, this beautiful, dark-haired woman with an enigmatic gaze has fascinated people for ages. Unlike most 16th-century portraits of nobility, which showed off their social status and wealth with flamboyant clothing, [hairstyles,] and accessories, Mona Lisa is dressed in elegant simplicity, which draws attention to her face.

Painted in a revolutionary ¾ length pose—contrary to typical Italian portraiture, which used full figure poses—Mona Lisa is not stoic or demure. Deviating from traditional female portraiture, she meets our eyes directly, as a man typically would, turning slightly [toward] the viewer, smiling at some secret amusement. Da Vinci’s expert portrayal of a subtle smile illustrates [an] exhaustive understanding of human anatomy, while his deliberately irregular brushstrokes over her face give the skin a realistic texture.

Mona Lisa showcases many painterly techniques da Vinci employed, including sfumato and aerial perspective. DaVinci used sfumato, which means [“vanished” or “evaporated,”] to create imperceptible transitions between light and [dark] while the background fades into the distance. This is another deviation from traditional Italian portraiture, which painted the background [with] the same sharp focus as the central figure.

Relatively unknown to the general [public] but lauded as a masterwork by artists and intelligentsia, Mona Lisa’s 1911 theft brought notoriety. Picasso, French poet Apollinaire and American tycoon JP Morgan were all suspects during the investigation, but the actual culprit was Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia, with two accomplices. One of the accomplices claimed to have made six indistinguishable forgeries, leading to a rumor that the Mona Lisa currently in the Louvre is a fake.

Now exhibited in a [climate-controlled] case made of bulletproof glass, Mona Lisa has survived vandalism and attempted theft. Moved into a glass case sometime in the [1950s], because an obsessive fan tried to cut it out with a razor blade and take it [home; the painting was slightly damaged in 1956] when a thrown rock shattered the glass case, dislodging a speck of pigment near her left elbow. The newer bulletproof case has continued to protect it. In 1974, while on loan for an exhibition at [the Tokyo] Museum, the painting was sprayed with red paint by an activist protesting [the] lack of disability access. Back at the Louvre, in 2009, a woman threw a teacup at it because she’d been denied French citizenship.

[Also,] one of the most expensive paintings in the world, Mona Lisa became a Guinness World Records holder in 1962 for the highest known painting insurance valuation, $100 million, which is at least $870 million today. Given that it’s deemed irreplaceable, it’s probably worth more.151

Did you know that many are unaware that there’s another masterpiece that’s the greatest of all masterpieces? Who is it of? And who made it? The book of Ephesians will tell us so.

Ephesians 2:10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

You are God’s workmanship (his work of art or a masterpiece152), created (made a new spiritual creature) in Christ Jesus. For what purpose? To perform good works. The believer has God working in him, and therefore his works are good. His works are not good because [he’s] good, but because he has a new nature from God, and because the Holy Spirit works in him and through him to produce these good works.153

Now you know who the most incredible masterpiece is. It’s you. You’re God’s saving work, i.e., a new spiritual creation in Christ Jesus. Nothing can compare to you. Your value is beyond measure.

Do you know that you’ve been blessed with an assurance of where you’ll reside when life passes you on? Let’s found out more about this.

Endnotes

151Megan D. Robinson. “A Brief History of the Mona Lisa, the World's Most Famous Painting,” Art&object 3 December 2022

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152Bible Knowledge Commentary/New Testament.

153The Bible Exposition Commentary/New Testament.

My name is James Rondinone. I am a husband, father, and spiritual leader.

I grew up in Massachusetts and began my own spiritual journey early on in life.

I attended Bible college, having completed a two-year Christian Leadership Course of Study and graduated as valedictorian (Summa Cum Laude).

Studying and teaching the Word of God has been a passion of mine for over 20 years.

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