Summary: (parallels but not a rehash of the theme of The "Purpose Driven Life," chapters 22-28) Just as most children want to grow up, so Christians naturally want to mature in their Christian lives. Understanding the two elements involved in growth will give us
A Godly Purpose
1. Spring is coming and part of spring is wildlife. Did you know that...
The color in a butterfly’s wings does not come from pigment. The color is produced prism-like by light reflected by their transparent wing scales.
Stranger yet, no moth or butterfly eats solid food (though some butterflies drink nectar); some can not even take in moisture.
The life span of most butterflies is very short, usually just enough to lay their eggs.
Many butterflies migrate from one region to another, either individually or in swarms. The greatest migration in North America occurs when companies of Monarch butterflies travel from Canada southward to Central America. When they finally roost at their destination, so many crowd the forest that entire trees appear to be covered with bright orange moving leaves!
It is a great mystery how the descendants of these Monarchs later find their way back north to their summering place. Stranger yet, their great-great-grandchildren later find their way back south to the tree of their great-great-grandparents. Their Creator designed them with truly amazing abilities!
The world’s fastest butterfly is the Monarch with a record of 17 miles per hour. 1
The brain capabilities of these small insects is mind-boggling. In a space often no bigger than a speck, their Creator designed a sophisticated brain that enables them to see, smell, taste, fly and navigate with such great precision that they can travel enormous distances and find the very tree where their great-great-great-grandmother laid an egg.
Their highly-miniaturized brains put our computers and aircraft avionics to shame. Who could make a self-propelled, self-guided airplane as small as a butterfly that could do the same things, totally independently? Traveling so many miles, landing many times, making so many accurate, in-flight navigation corrections, and doing it all with so little fuel - and then reproduce itself at the end? No one but God could make such a marvelous creature as a butterfly.”
2. And God does miraculous things with us as well. As His children, He has caused us to be born again, much like a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us to be transformed, and the Greek word used is “metamorphisis.”
The word “sanctification” means to “set apart as special.” Louis Berkhof defines it as, “that gracious and continuous operation of the Holy Spirit, by which He delivers the justified sinner from the pollution of sin, renews his whole nature in the image of God, and enables him to perform good works.” It is part of our metamorphisis.
In simpler terms, sanctification is the process of becoming MORE LIKE CHIRST in character and spiritual depth. It is allowing God to redeem not just your soul, but your LIFE.
1. Legal standing before God 1. Your actual state in daily life
2. Fully accomplished when we believed 2. A work in progress
3. Completely God’s doing 3. We and God cooperate
4. Cannot be improved: we are “perfect” 4. Imperfect till we die
5. All Christians equally justified 5. Great variety in levels of holiness
Main Idea: Just as most children want to grow up, so Christians naturally want to mature in their Christian lives. Understanding the two elements involved in growth will give us direction when making daily choices. God wants you to grow up. Do you?
I. GOD’S Part Is Sure (Romans 5:1-5)
A. He places us in a SECURE position (1-2)
· Psychologists and counselors would experience layoffs if dads would give their children approval and compliments without barbs and criticisms like, “you did okay, but you can do better in another area.”
· We all do better when we feel accepted, and God relates to us as an accepting Father who can rejoice when we do well and separate our failures from our successes
B. He has brought us to Spiritual LIFE
When we come to know the Lord, there is a part of us that is awakened; all of a sudden God becomes real and we enter a new realm. Then we realize that God did this. He coaxed us along: (John 1:11-13)
11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– 13children born not of natural descent,[c] nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
C. He uses life’s HARDSHIPS to develop us (3-4)
Parnell Bailey visited an orange grove where an irrigation pump had broken down. The season was unusually dry and some of the trees were beginning to die for lack of water. The man giving the tour then took Bailey to his own orchard where irrigation was used sparingly.