A Christ follower experiences a spiritual metamorphous just as a butterfly experiences a natural metamorphous. The Holy Spirit wraps us in a spiritual cocoon. The metamorphous begins with the desire to produce a beautiful new person who can fly great distances and will use the winds of the Spirit to migrate into the heavenly kingdom of God. God wants us to become a new creature – a brand new man.
6. Brand New Man - Delbert Young (Sermon notes) (Listen sermon audio mp3)
Scriptures: Ezekiel 36:26, John 3:3, Romans 12:2, Titus 3:5, James 1:18, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 2:29, Galatians 6:15, John 3:8, 1 Peter 1:3, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 1 Corinthians 15:33, Proverbs 18:21, Matthew 12:37, Romans 10:9, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 2 Corinthians 3:18, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
This will be our sixth and last lesson on the series I WANT TO LEAVE SOMETHING HERE. It has been a great series, at least to me – STOP LOOKING BACK, TAKE TIME TO DANCE, FACE MY FEARS, CHANGE FROM THE INSIDE OUT, MAKE MY MARK, and today I want to talk about BRAND NEW MAN.
As I prepared this lesson, I was sitting in the hospital waiting for a literal BRAND NEW MAN to be born. It was my grandson, Michael Lance, Jr. It was interesting thinking about the natural birth, and all the transformations taking place, as I studied the spiritual birth and all the transformations God wants us to go through. To become all God wants him to become, there will literally be thousands of transformations for Michael Lance. For you and I to become all God wants us to become, there must be transformations.
The scriptures speak much about something happening to the Christ follower transforming them into a new and different person.
[Ezekiel 36:26] I will give you a NEW HEART and put a NEW SPIRIT in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
[John 3:3] In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is BORN AGAIN."
[Romans 12:2] Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.
[Titus 3:5] he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the WASHING OF REBIRTH and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
[James 1:18] He chose to give us BIRTH THROUGH THE WORD OF TRUTH, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
[1 Peter 1:3] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us NEW BIRTH into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
[1 Peter 1:23] For you have been BORN AGAIN, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
[1 John 2:29] If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been BORN OF HIM.
[Galatians 6:15] Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a NEW CREATION.
[John 3:8] The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with EVERYONE BORN OF THE SPIRIT.
The Bible teaches this transformation and metamorphosis as being something bringing beauty, brings success, and allows us to LEAVE SOMETHING HERE.
The transformation of the caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly is a lesson from nature (natural) from which we can learn about this transformation. It is an image of a sinner becoming a saint, or a sinner like me becoming a preacher.
The caterpillar began as a tiny larva doing nothing but breathing, eating, struggling to move, and traveling only a few inches during its existence. It's an ugly and hairy looking thing boys mash and girls look and say "Yuk!" Have you ever felt mashed? Have you ever experienced such a crushing time you did not know if you would make it through? Have you ever felt like your life was "ugly"? Or, maybe it was a little "yucky"? Have you ever felt like you were struggling and struggling, but not going anywhere? Well, I hate to break the news to you, but you may have been a caterpillar. However, I have good news for you. At a special moment, the caterpillar entombs itself and a metamorphous takes place. The once ugly, struggling, yucky caterpillar is destined to become a beautiful winged butterfly. This is the destiny God has for each of us! The wormy caterpillar gave up its old life and began a brand new life. After the transformation, girls no longer say, "Yuk." Boys no longer want to mash them and the butterfly can fly anywhere.
An article by THE PLANET says, "Despite its paper-thin wings, the monarch butterfly is a powerful flyer with uncanny endurance. It is best known for its annual migration through -- sometimes as far as 3,000 miles--North America to California and Mexico… While migrating, it can cover 80 miles a day."
Imagine that! A tiny two-inch incest goes from moving a few inches in its entire existence to traveling three-thousand miles in a few weeks. This is what will happen to us when we allow God to make us into A BRAND NEW MAN.
Let's talk about the spiritual transformation of a Christian from a sinner to a saint using the natural transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly.
[2 Corinthians 5:17] What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!
A Christ follower experiences a spiritual metamorphous just as a butterfly experiences a natural metamorphous. The Holy Spirit comes when we come to Christ and, if we allow him, wraps us in a spiritual cocoon. The metamorphous begins with the desire to produce a beautiful new person who can fly great distances and will use the winds of the Spirit to migrate into the heavenly kingdom of God. God wants us to become a new creature – a BRAND NEW MAN – who LEAVES SOMETHING HERE.
All Christ followers are at some level of development. We are a caterpillar, or in a "chemical" state of change, or have emerged as a butterfly.
Let's look at a few truths from 2 Corinthians 5:14-21.
[2 Corinthians 5:14-15] Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them.
A caterpillar does nothing except fulfill its own needs. It eats, get fat, and tries to move. It basically lives a self-centered life. However, inside of the caterpillar resides a butterfly who desires to fulfill its destiny. Inside of the caterpillar is the desire to pollinate plants, bring beauty, and to produce more beautiful butterflies fulfilling their destinies. The first thing a metamorphosis does is begin to change the self-centered lifestyle.
Some 27 years ago, I was living a self-centered life. I was working hard, but going no where. It is not this way today.
"One spring day a poorly dressed boy appeared at the door of Worthy Taylor, a successful farmer in Portage County, Ohio. The young man asked for work, and he was given a job of heavy chores around the farm. He slept in the haymow and ate in the farm kitchen. Jim worked hard, and in time he formed a strong liking for Worthy's daughter. Later this affection turned to love. When he asked for the daughter's hand, he was refused on the grounds that he had no money, reputation, or apparent talents. Jim took his few belongings, stuffed them into his carpetbag, and went away. Thirty-five years passed. One day Mr. Taylor, now an old man, tore down his barn to make space for a new one. Far up on the rafters above the haymow he found where the hired farmhand Jim had carved his name-James A. Garfield. At that very moment James A Garfield was President of the United States." Inside of the young boy was the 20th president of the United States of America. Did you know before James Garfield became president, he was a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
What butterfly is in you? Jesus looked at a rough fisherman named Simon and saw an apostle named Peter. Jesus saw another apostle inside of a tax collector named Levi. I was a little poor boy raised on a farm, but Jesus saw in me a person who could touch lives, write some books, teach the Bible, and begin something I WILL LEAVE HERE.
The caterpillar once would look at a large boulder as an unconquerable block in the road. The caterpillar would have to stop, turn around, or attempt to crawl around it. In its new life as a Butterfly, he looks at the boulder as a nice landing pad to get a better view of where he wants to go next. He can now fly over and beyond his old, and once huge, obstacles. God wants you to fly from yesterday's failures and fears.
[2 Corinthians 5:16-17] So we have stopped evaluating others by what the world thinks about them. Once I mistakenly thought of Christ that way, as though he were merely a human being. How differently I think about him now! What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!
I learned in my studies what happens during the metamorphous of the caterpillar to the butterfly. The caterpillar attaches itself to a branch by spinning a silk button from its mouth and attaching itself at the abdomen.
I thought this was interesting because our lives will never metamorphous until silk comes from our mouths attaching us to correct people and dreams. We direct our lives by our words.
[Proverbs 18:21] The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
[Matthew 12:37] The words you say now reflect your fate then; either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.
We begin the process of becoming a BRAND NEW MAN with the words coming from our mouths.
[Romans 10:9] That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Many of us have begun the process of becoming a BRAND NEW MAN, but if you have not then today would be the best day to begin. After the silk is spun from the mouth, the skin is shed forming the cocoon. Metamorphosis takes place inside what is called the chrysalis – Christ-alis – the old skin.
[1 Corinthians 15:22] For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
[2 Corinthians 5:17] Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Inside the chrysalis, "the tissues and organs of the caterpillar break down into a soupy liquid, and then reassemble into the tissues and organs of the adult butterfly." This is interesting! How can it happen except God does it?
Inside of each of us, there should be a metamorphosis taking place. God is changing us from the Adamic nature to the nature of Christ.
For us to become a BRAND NEW PERSON, our internal being must soften. God wants a tender heart and a new mind. He will put a new spirit in each of us. The Lord wants to reassemble us into the image of Christ.
[2 Corinthians 3:18] And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being TRANSFORMED [Greek word metamorphoo] into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Of course we get our English word metamorphose from metamorphoo. Let's face it. If we are going to LEAVE HERE what we want, something about us on the inside must change. I mean, have we accomplished it the way we are yet? Have you left what the Lord wants you to leave yet?
[2 Corinthians 5:18-20] All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
What is God's purpose of taking us through a metamorphous and transformation? What is the bottom line in the heart of God for our having a successful life and LEAVING SOMETHING HERE?
No matter what we LEAVE HERE, it does not matter unless it is to reconcile people to God. If this is truly what we allow Christ to make us into, we cannot help but LEAVE SOMETHING HERE that matters. How are you doing? In what stage of metamorphosis - maturity – are you?
On Wednesday nights, we are talking about LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS. You cannot mature into the beautiful butterfly God desires you be without proper foundations laid in your life.
[Hebrews 6:1-2] Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and GO ON TO MATURITY, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
There are elementary teachings, but then there are things in which we dig deep and must GO ON into if we want to be all God created us to be. How are you doing? Are you going on, or are you staying at the caterpillar stage?
I ask you a question. What are you doing to reconcile people to God? If you are not doing something, then you are not maturing. God wants us to LEAVE SOMETHING HERE that matters and what matters to God is people.