Summary: When a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, it becomes a new creature; this is a perfect picture of the eternal security of the believer.
Born Again to Become a New Creature in Christ
When God created all the living creatures in the world, he made many different kinds. He created some to be very beautiful to look at, and some not so beautiful at least to us. Of course, I am sure that they are all beautiful to God. God created some to crawl on their belly. He created some to walk or run on four feet. He made some to swim, and some to fly. Each creature on God’s earth was created differently in some way or another. To best illustrate today’s message, I have chosen to talk about caterpillars and butterflies. Butterflies undergo complete metamorphosis. Their life cycle consists of four stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (cocoon or chrysalis), and adult. Only in the stages of the caterpillar and the adult butterfly do they live and move among the rest of the living creatures of the world. I believe we can learn much about the physical and spiritual life of all believers by looking at caterpillars and butterflies. There has never been a single baby butterfly born. Each butterfly has to be born a caterpillar and go through the transformation or rebirth process before becoming a butterfly or a "NEW CREATURE". When a caterpillar becomes a butterfly there is a complete change in the life of the creature, and it is such a change that it is irreversible. No matter what happens in the life of the butterfly, it will never be a caterpillar again.
1: There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4: Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6: That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
What I would like to focus on today is the differences between the life of the caterpillar and that of the butterfly. I want to talk about the differences in their places, their pleasures, and their perspectives.
Point 1: Their Places
A. The caterpillar is from beneath. It physically lives on the earth and is limited to it and bound by it. It cannot lift itself into the air no matter how hard it tries. Just as the unbelieving sinner is of this world during this life and will live beneath in hell for eternity. No matter how hard the lost sinner tries to get to heaven, he can’t do it without Christ. He must be born again and become a new creature in Christ. The places frequented should change when a lost sinner becomes a believing saint in same way that the caterpillars’ places change when becoming a butterfly.
B. The butterfly is from above. It has no limits in it’s dwelling place and it soars above the earth and its troubles. Isa:40:31 says, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Yet unlike the caterpillar, it can choose to go back and crawl on the earth with the caterpillars, but this makes for a miserable existence for the superior butterfly. Just as butterfly is not bound to the lowly existence it once had, the believing saint has no limits through faith in Jesus and is free of the chains of sin. The saint can choose to live a fleshly life bearing little fruit, but it is not God’s will, and He will not bless one of His children living a sinful life in rebellion to Him.
1: If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2: Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3: For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
A pig enjoys wallowing in the mud, and a son enjoys the love and fellowship of being in His Father’s House. You can give a pig a bath, dress him up in a suit and tie and bring him to church. What have you got? A clean pig in a suit and tie. As soon as church service is over, where will he go? Back to the pigpen. On the other hand, if you take a believer in Christ (that is a son of the Heavenly Father), and he backslides and winds up down the street in the beer joint, if he is truly a son, he will eventually come back to His Father’s House. Why do I believe this? Because I was that kind of a son. A true son will one day look around and realize that the pigpen is no place for a son. No more than a butterfly can go back and become a caterpillar, a born again son cannot go back a become a pig. We are new creatures in Christ, forevermore.