For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
John Calvin comments: “This applies only to believers, who, although they are born of Adam wicked and perverse, are spiritually regenerated by the grace of Christ, and begin to be new men. Everything in us that is good, therefore, is the supernatural work of God. And an explanation follows; for he adds that we are God’s work because we have been created, not in Adam, but in Christ, and not to any kind of life, but to good works.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, p.145, emphasis mine)
The reason why we haven’t been recreated in Adam is because we had a funeral in Adam, and are now no longer subject to the old master. Having been reborn in Christ, we are now free to serve our new Master, if we appropriate in our lives what God has allocated in Christ.
Calvin continues: “What remains now for free-will, if all the good works which proceed from us have been received from the Spirit of God?” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, p.145, emphasis mine)
What remains is the free-will for Christians to appropriate what God has allocated in Christ, and to do what God has equipped us for.
Calvin continues: “Let godly readers weigh carefully the apostle’s words. He does not say that we are assisted by God. He does not say that the will is prepared, and has then to proceed in its own strength. He does not say that the power of choosing aright is bestowed upon us, and that we have afterwards to make our own choice. This is what those who weaken God’s grace (so far as they can) are accustomed to babble. But he says that we are God’s work, and that everything good in us is His creation. By which he means that the whole man is formed by His hand to become good. It is not mere power of choosing aright, or some indefinable preparation, or assistance, but the right will itself, which is His workmanship. Otherwise, Paul’s argument would be pointless. He means to prove that man does not in any way procure salvation for himself, but obtains it freely from God. The proof is that man is nothing but the divine grace. Whoever, then, makes the very smallest claim for man, apart from the grace of God, allows him to that extent ability to procure salvation.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, pp.145-146, emphasis mine)
Let godly readers also consider the fact that Irresistible Grace must be inferred by the Calvinist, and moreover, Calvin undermined his own argument by stating that this verse applied “only to believers” and now tries to suggest that it actually applies to how unbelievers become Christians.
Calvin writes: “Let us carefully observe the word ‘prepared’. Paul shows from the order itself that, with respect to good works, God owes us nothing. How so? Because they were drawn out of His treasures, in which they had long before been laid up; for whom He called, them He justifies and regenerates.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, p.147, emphasis mine)
“Laid up” in whom? In Christ. Calvin alludes to Romans 8:29 while carefully leaving out Romans 8:29’s reference to foreknowledge. That was not accidental.