Grace & Peace


Monday, January 15, 2018

New Creations in Christ - Part 1

What can we as Christians learn from the butterfly?  Quite a bit, really.

Let's take a look.

First, for the butterfly to have become a butterfly, it had to start out in life as a caterpillar and go through a process called metamorphosis. Without getting too technical, this caterpillar became, in a sense, a new creation. It once was, or started out as, an earthbound mud and tree crawling creature that had to inch its way along to survive. It and it's fellow caterpillars would have to be content to slug along in the mud and branches, unable to escape the limitations of their bodies.

But, through a wonderful process called metamorphosis, the earthbound caterpillar becomes transformed into a winged butterfly, able to soar on the winds, high above the mud and trees of the earth of which it was once limited. Now, this butterfly has the ability to fly to the specific food sources it would need to survive and also it's new winged body would permit it to catch the fast-moving trade winds and jet streams that would easily allow it to escape the harsh winter climate in which it could not survive, enabling it to move to a warmer climate.

It truly would be harmful, as well as silly, for the butterfly not to know it's a butterfly and continue to remain earthbound, crawling along in the mud, not using it's new ability of flight as a means of escape from the oncoming elements. Like the wings of an airplane, which incorporate "the principal of lift," which creates an upward pull, which when in motion allows the airplane to supercede the pull of gravity; the butterfly has the ability to fly and supercede the earthly gravitational pull, but to do this it must instinctively, or naturally, know it can, in order to put this all in motion. It's no longer a caterpillar, but now has a new identity.

For the once earthbound caterpillar, who is now a butterfly, being able to fly, the training process is probably short, as well as instinctive. The patterns and repeated methods of operation that the former caterpillar had lived by, had to be discarded, as it adapted to it's new way of doing things.

We can learn things through repeated process. When I was a child growing up, first learning to tie my shoes, it seemed really hard. I had to attempt it over and over, with the aid of my mother, to get to the place where I could accomplish it. I'm now in my '50's and it would be silly for me to still be struggling with tying my shoes. Through repeated attempts as a young boy, I reached a place where, as the saying goes, "It seems like second nature."

In the case of the caterpillar who is now a butterfly, there is a truthful reality to that which has taken place. For the caterpillar, it happened during the process of metamorphosis, but for us as Christians, this change took place the moment we became born-again and were placed in Christ. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17 KJV

The limitations of our physical bodies, which are weak because of the flesh, meant we as humans, in an unregenerative state, had no ability or strength to meet the righteous requirements of the law. (ref. Rom. 8:3-4) The butterfly escaped the earthbound limitations of his former wing-less body by the transforming process of metamorphosis. The supernatural change that took place in us the moment we became born again, allows us to supercede the weakness of our flesh. This all started and continues in response to faith. The gospel message is the message that says we gain a righteousness (right-standing with God) apart from works or the law (merit or human effort). (ref. Rom. 3:20-22 and also Phil. 3:9) The message allows us to take our eyes off of ourselves (and our weaknesses) and place them squarely on Jesus and His finished work; the work of the cross and His resurrection.

The word of God says, "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight;" Col. 1:21-22 KJV

We are no longer enemies in our minds (toward God) because of wicked works (our short-comings or weaknesses in the flesh) This creates continued faith, rather than condemnation, which is by the law (ref. 2 Cor. 3:9). My spirit man, the real me, is righteous. This all took place the moment I became a new creation. (ref. Col. 2:11-14) Scripture tells us, "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him. (Col. 3:9-10) KJV

It also says, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin" (Rom. 6:6 KJV) and as found in Gal. 5:24, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."

Since this all took place the moment we became born-again, (once again-ref. Col. 2:11-14) we can rise above our earthbound limitations (the flesh) and think on things above, (ref. Col. 3:2) where we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies (ref. Eph. 2:6, Eph. 4:21-24). I'll conclude with the scripture found in Romans chapter 12, verses 1-2, "I beseech you therefore brethern, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Now, God bless and soar high!

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Thanks, David