Summary: The Butterfly is a unique creature God's given us to help us understand the New Birth experience. Its metamorphosis from an ugly, earth-bound worm to a beautiful creature of magnificent color & flight pictures the change of being Born Again!
THE BUTTERFLY: SYMBOL OF NEW BIRTH
A. HUMOR: CHRISTMAS SHOPPING TOGETHER
1. Rachel decides to do some shopping at the Woodlands Mall and manages to persuade her husband Steve to join her.
2. After 2 hours of looking around one women's clothes shop after another, Rachel suddenly realizes that Steve is no longer with her. So she calls him on his mobile phone. "Where are you?" she angrily asks Steve. "I thought we were shopping together."
3. "Don't get angry, darling," replied Steve. "Do you remember the jewelry shop by the escalator in the middle of the Mall, the one we spent time in last year and where we saw a lovely gold necklace for you but which was just a little bit too expensive for us to buy and where I said I would get it for you one day?"
4. "Yes, of course I do, darling" replies Rachel excitedly. "Why do you ask?" "Well I'm in the Cafe next door to that jewelry shop having a coffee and a donut."
5. He had to get a taxi to get home!
1. John 3:3 Amp., “…Unless a person is BORN AGAIN [reborn from above—spiritually transformed], he cannot [ever] see and experience the kingdom of God.”
2. 2 Cor. 5:17 NKJV, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
3. Acts 16:31 NIV, “They replied, “BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
4. Titus 3:5 NKJV, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of REGENERATION and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”
5. 1 Cor. 6:11 KJV, “And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
1. The Bible uses many different terms to describe the work of salvation: Born Again, Believer, Repent, Conversion, Regeneration, New Creation, Justification, etc.
2. How can we understand what these mean? This morning I’m going to use a common insect to portray what it means to be a “New Creature in Christ,” show how only heavenly creatures go to Heaven, and the 3 steps to be a New Creature.
3. The title of this message is “The Butterfly: Symbol of the New Birth.”
I. ILLUSTRATION: THE BUTTERFLY
“Conformity to Christ is accomplished by the death of one life the replacement by a new life.” Bert Clendennon
A. 2 DISTINCT LIVES
1. It has 2 distinct lives. In one stage it’s an earthbound worm. It can only crawl on the ground, eat obnoxious things. It’s ugly and most people wouldn’t want to touch it, because they consider it detestable and are repulsed by it.
2. After its change, it becomes a creature of the air, which can fly above the trees. Its perspective is no longer earthly; it can look down from an elevated perspective.
3. It’s also become beautiful – a creature of exquisite color, a flying marvel. Now it’s a creature that creates awe and wonder. People want butterflies to land on them and even to get to see one is a treat.
B. “NO WAY SUCH A THING CAN HAPPEN!”
1. Now we’re tempted to think that these 2 creatures I’m describing can’t be related; the same creature can’t once have been the worm and then become the butterfly. (Neither can a normal human become a heavenly saint.)
2. The reason why caterpillars morphing into flying machines doesn’t impress us much is because it happens every day. It’s just too common to get our attention.
3. What if you were hearing the story for the first time? Imagine someone explaining to you that a slow moving, fuzzy bug crawled into a little sleeping bag and several days later emerged as an exotically painted flying flower!
4. “Oh, don’t give me that! That would require too massive a reorganization of its molecules to produce such a thing. It couldn’t possibly happen!” And normally you’d be right.
5. It might be compared to a squat RV driving into a large garage, wrapped up in a white tarp, left alone and untouched for several days, then, when the tarp is removed, you see that the RV had mysteriously been transformed into a sleek Lear jet.
6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocWgSgMGxOc (time lapse of monarch butterfly, worm to butterfly)
C. KEY TO ITS TRANSFORMATION
1. According to Scientific American article, “How Does a Caterpillar Turn into a Butterfly?” By Ferris Jabr [8/10/12], the crucial change starts after it settles down into its death-like hibernation.
2. God causes it to release a chemical that turns its insides to mush -- no perceptible parts. All the old caterpillar organs are dissolved! It’s old DNA is destroyed & somehow a new DNA takes its place!