(2 Corinthians 5:14-21)
I am amazed at one of God’s display of grace in nature. There is one activity that I believe is God’s mini motion picture of a sinner becoming a saint. Of a pagan truing into a preacher.
That one thing is the transformation of a caterpillar into a gorgeous butterfly.
A Caterpillar a prickly. Lazy self-centered bug. Working hard to go no where.
Little boys love to quash with their new height-tech tennis shoes
Little girls run away with a irritating shriek to their voice.
But in a grace moment , In some pre-ordained time. Something happens
A thick film covers the caterpillar and entombs itself in its own flesh.
A chemical reaction changes their very atomic make-up of the creature.
This is known as the Chrysalis period..
And soon the emerging butterfly can be seen within and it spreads it s wings and
Begins to kick off its’ old life and begin it’s new one.
This life cycles is known as a metamorphism.
In our text today the Apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthians and telling them that they went through a spiritual metamorphism.
The key verse in this passage is 2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore is anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, and the old has gone the new has come.”
Paul is saying that in the life cycle of a sinner saved by grace. God’s works the miracle of a spiritual metamorphism. Once we were useless caterpillars, and in a instant the Holy spirit comes into the cocoon of our hearts and begins a spiritual metamorphism and the end result is a gorgeous work of God that can fly to new heights and have limitless potential in changing its surroundings.
I would like to give you 3 encouragements from 2 Corinthians about what God can do with our lives…
As we talk together I want you to be asking yourself at what stage in the life cycles are you in?
Caterpillar living for yourself, or are u slowly letting God come into the dirty parts of your life and begin to do a new work within you.
Or are you a full-blown beautiful bitterly designed to fly to new heights……...
This spiritual metamorphism changes us in at least three ways
Lets read the first one
The first change that we receive a
1.) NEW Destiny (a new life ).
Look at verse 14-15 with me
Paul is saying that the new creation the new Christian does not live any longer for themselves. They live for Jesus who dies for them.
In my research on the metamorphism of a butterfly. I learned that the caterpillar is no help to those around. It does not eat other pests it only drinks sap from trees and plants. It lives a self-centered life.
As Christian will no longer live to polish our portfolios. We no longer live to make us look good.. Our new lives are to make Him look good.
In fact Paul says that in Galatians we don’t’ even live any longer.
Galatians 2:20. Paul later says,” nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
We have put out a for sale sign to Jesus Christ as our only buyer. And the deal is closed.
The sale is final. We cannot ask for the home back. We have a new home-owner.
You know people may look at us and think there’s not much hope--no money, no name, very poor prospects.
But Jesus comes along and sees a diamond in the rough. He sees possibilities for all who will submit to Him. Christ saw the potential of the flawed life of Levi the tax collector, and Peter, the fisherman.
Jesus believed people could change.
He looked at Levi and saw an apostle. He looked at the tax collector and saw the author of the first Gospel. And thanks be to God that He sees in us what no one else sees.
He can take our flawed lives and make something meaningful and useful of them.
Jesus gives us a brand new life.
Not a redecorated life. Not a partially pre-owned Car.,
He gives a new life hot off the pres, straight out of the factory. Right off the rack.
The caterpillar once would look at a large boulder as block in the road. And would either have to turn around or walk around it.
In his new life, as a Butterfly he looks at the boulder or the rock as a nice landing pad to get a better view of where he wants to go next in life. He can now fly over and beyond his old obstacles.
God wants you to fly. Fly from yesterday’s failure and tomorrows fears. Fly!
The second thing this spiritual metamorphism gives you is
2.) A New Identity (new beginning)
Look at verses16----17,
and now look at 21 with me.
Christ became sin for us that we may become perfect in front of God.
We take on a new identity.
Paul writes in Eph 2:10 “ For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good work which God prepared in advance for us to do!
The birds that once ate the caterpillar don’t even recognize the bitterly that shares the friendly skies with them.
The caterpillar has a new identify. A new beginning. A fresh start.
If you are a sinner saved by grace. You also have a new identify.
You can claim the promises of God’s word as your own.
Many of you may not feel like you look much like Christ.. Because the film of your old life is still laying across your life style. And daily habits.
But take heart.
Right before or prior to when the butterfly will emerge, the chrysalis cocoon becomes transparent so that the butterfly cane seen within….AND it does not matter that you see your wings,, but rather God sass the potential lying beneath the surface
Because I was left behind by my parents as an orphan at the age of 3 years, it caused a damage to my identity.
Thoughts flooded my heart like. Not why was I an orphan but why was I given up because no one wanted me?
Why didn’t anybody love me enough to keep me? Why doesn’t anybody want me?
Who am I? Where did I come from? Why was I born?
But when Jesus came into my heart he began a spiritual transformation?
And he became orphaned from God that I may become God’s son
Jesus told me to open this book and find my new identify in him
Now I know who I am.
I have a new Identity.. I am a new person. I have a new name written in God’ book of life.
The third thing we get in this marvelous metamorphism is
3.) A New ETERNITY (new purpose)
Look at verses18-20 with me
Paul is saying that GOD has a new purpose for our life and this new meaning hinges on every purpose of eternity.
Turn back with me to verse 5
Paul has just been talking about in the previous verse how are bodies are groaning to go to heaven. How we where created to live in heaven.
And he say this look at verse 5
This is our new purpose. Our new purpose is to set eternity in the hearts of other people.
We all have the ministry of reconciling this rebellious world to a loving God that never left us in the first place.
It was we who left. It was us that forsake our heavenly father. We went our own ways.
We fulfilled the desires of our flesh…. We broke the heart of God……
But now, we have the ministry of telling others about eternity.. And the message that God won’t hold their sins against them...
God is calling his children home…. He wants you home…….
Because of Jesus, instead of hanging around pool halls getting drunk, I now hang around with Christians getting filled with the Word of God.
Instead of hanging around nightclubs, I now hang around hospitals, holding the hands and praying with those who are sick & dying.
Jesus freed me from a life of sin and provided me with a life of purpose and meaning.
Because of Jesus, I was able to marry a beautiful woman and five gorgeous kids. I didn’t deserve a family like that, but God blessed me with them anyway.
If you are living your life without joy, meaning and purpose, then Jesus can change that. He came to give you life, and have it abundantly.
Conclusion: I don’t know if you have noticed nay now but your three points make acronym. D. I.E. That is the irony of becoming a new creation. In order to live. I mean really live you first must die.
You must die to your old habit.. die to your old ways. Die to your old life
So God can scrape up the ashes of your own destruction and breathe his spirit once again into the nostrils of your soul so can be born again…..