Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ P13 (04-11-22)
You’re No Longer a Caterpillar – You’re a Butterfly!
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
I couldn’t help thinking as we’re beginning the broadcast today, that we’ve said so many times that in my opinion, the fastest way to grow spiritually is in a small group home Bible study. A number of years ago here in this country, I had the opportunity to talk to, about probably I think it was around 16 pastors from Britain who were over here at a conference. And as I went around speaking to them, I asked them the question, where did you really grow? And when did you grow in your spiritual experience? And the one pastor said, well, I was in college, and I was in a small group Bible study and that’s where I grew. What about you? Well, I was here and I was in a small group Bible study. And this is where I grew. And how about you? Went all around to every single one of them and asked the question, where did you really grow? And every single one of them said I grew in this Bible study. And then I asked them, how many of you as a pastor, which all of them were, have and encouraged home Bible studies out of your church? And not a one of them did. Well, it is strange because many times we forget what it was that caused us to grow, and we get enmeshed in the system.
And it is certainly not to discredit anything that’s going on, but again, if we’re going to grow, I believe to grow properly. You have to have air to breathe, you have to have proper food, you have to have proper rest, you have to have proper exercise. All of those elements that ingredients are important, important to growth. And so, there’s nothing wrong with sometimes going to a church service or nothing wrong with Sunday school. There’s nothing wrong with those. Those are a part of ingredients, let’s say to growth, but what we do is eliminate one of the most important areas and that’s gathering together. Whether not for just an hour in a formalized setting, but gathering together with believers, I believe in a home setting, and to enter and grow together where you’re able to ask questions, and interact and get to know each other.
I couldn’t help from thinking the other day, that with a friend of ours, that went to be with the Lord, and I observed the people that showed up for the funeral. And of course, outside of the family, there were a lot of people there that were associated with this gentleman in our Metro Bible Fellowship. But the majority of people that were there, were people who were involved with him in a home Bible study. Now I’ve seen that and saw that in my own life, that when I was a Christian, a brand new Christian, I started teaching small group Bible studies. And to this day of course the radio broadcast to me is just kind of a large home, Bible study. And the format of this radio broadcast that we do every day is like a home Bible study. It’s where people ask questions and you answer it, biblically. You’re talking about the things of the Lord, but it’s not a planned programmed type of presentation.
And what I learned how to do on the radio, I learned through teaching home Bible studies, which is different from learning how to just prepare a message. Don’t have to worry about anyone questioning you on that message and getting up and presenting it on a Sunday morning. Neither as a pastor, which I do or a Sunday school teacher. It’s a prepaired, pre-prepared message that is given normally without any questions or feedback. And so you really don’t know whether anyone’s getting hurt or not, and it’s very difficult in a home Bible study setting for someone to fall asleep on you because if you do, you’ll just knock them out of their chair and wake up or ask them a question today. They don’t even know what you’ve talked about. There’s a lot of advantages to this type of thing. So folks, as you and I are studying together in what I consider just a big home Bible study. I think the beauty of this is especially on Fridays we’re able to go through this day together and then you individually have questions regarding what you’re studying at home. As we’re going through this, you have all week long to call in on the radio and get questions answered. There are some people who are meeting at this time on Fridays in a group and a part of their home Bible study is listening to the Friday teaching and then going through the books and using our study books as a guide in order to have people to get into the scripture. Look up these passages themselves and discuss the passages. So it’s marvelous. Is it not? It is absolutely a marvelous way of growing in your understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Well, with that, if you’re already why we will start our study today and we’re going to be in lesson number 3 called, You are a Brand New Creation. And that is on page 21, out of our book, A Closer Look at Your Identity in Christ. Let’s begin our time together in just a word of prayer. Father, we thank you for what you’re going to teach us today. And we pray that by your Holy Spirit, that you’ll take the things of the Lord Jesus Christ, and embed them into our hearts. So we might see more clearly, not only who You are, but who we are as well. And we’re going to thank You in advance for what You’re going to do for us. We pray it in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord.
When you become a child of God, in other words, at the very moment of spiritual birth, the Bible tells us that you have become a brand new creation. It’s like a caterpillar that becomes a butterfly. You can see this old ugly hairy worm crawling around on the ground and that worm is a worm, it’s alive, and that it’s doing what worms do. Now you could get an association of worms down there, and you could form worm universities. You can send those worms to worm U and get them all educated. You could send them to, you can get them smelling good, just get some worm PU and so you can have a good smelling educated worm, but it’s still a worm. And its lifestyle is less than desirable. It’s alive. It’s able to get around, it’s able to move, it’s able to manipulate but it has to do so ground bound. It’s yucky. Mostly people don’t particularly like them. We prefer to put them on the end of a fishing hook, someplace and all of those kind of things but it is life, but it is a sub standard form of life.
Again, you can send that worm to church and make him a religious worm. Like I say educated. Make an educated worm, get it a good smelling, good smelling worm, but as I said before, the identity of that worm is a worm and it’s all there is to it whether it’s educated or not. That’s who it is. Now, we have to realize that if that is the case, that it is an analogy, that God comes along to that worm and says, would you like to have a new life? He didn’t say, would you like to change your behavior, but would you like a new life? And that is a decision that is comparable to the decision God presents to each and every one of us. You take this old caterpillar. And again, it doesn’t make any difference what you do to it, it’s identity is that of a caterpillar. You say, who are you? Well, I’m a caterpillar. Why? Well, that’s who you are. And so you crawl because you’re a caterpillar, you’re not a caterpillar because you crawl you crawl because you’re a caterpillar. So people don’t say yuck, you’re not a caterpillar so that people say yuck. It’s because you’re a caterpillar and the people say yuck, but when they see you.
So it’s a response to that but you see your identity as your identity. That’s who you are now again, so, let’s say a presentation is made to that caterpillar and said, look, caterpillar we realize that you are kind of colorful but you’re ground bound and I can give you a life, and I can give you flying lessons even and all kinds of things but you’re still ground bound, your lifestyle is crawling on the ground because of the fact that you’re a caterpillar. In your world, that’s what worms do. They don’t fly, they crawl, but I got a proposition for you. I can make you into a new creation and that caterpillar says, what do you mean by that? And he says, well, I can metamorphosize you through the process of metamorphosis. Metamorphosis, I can recreate you into a brand new creature. A brand new creation, it’s called a butterfly. What do they do? Well, they fly, they are beautiful. People love them. They draw crowds. I mean, people will come around by the hundreds just to look at these beautiful butterflies. You can go into stores and you’ll see butterfly pictures. People even have necklaces in honor of butterflies. The’re a new creation. They’re wonderful things.
But I want to tell you something about this situation and that is that, if when, once those things are recreated, once you are converted into a butterfly, you will never be a worm again because you’ll have a brand new identity. Now, I’m not talking about your behavior, caterpillar. I’m not talking about how you behave. I’m talking about who you are, that you can as a butterfly, you can choose to behave like an old ugly worm. If you, in other words, if you want to continue crawling on the ground instead of flying someplace, you’re free to do that, but it sure it’d be stupid, but you are free to do that. So I’m not talking about your behavior. I’m talking totally about identity, who you are. Whether you want to be a new creature or whether you want to remain an old creature. And that’s all I’m talking about. Well, the caterpillar says, yeah, but my crawling and, forget about your crawling, that is not the issue of your issue is, you’re a caterpillar and the issue is, do you want to be a new creation? You are not complete when I made you if God was speaking, this caterpillar. I made you in such a way that there is a capacity for you to be recreated into something new. Now. I didn’t make everyone that way, you know, you don’t go to a pig and say, would you like to be metamorphosized into a butterfly? I made them in such a way that they can be changed totally. Not all my creation did I make that way, to have you I made that way. So why did you do that? Well, because it’s going to be a picture these dumb things called humans that I’m also good.
I also have here on this Earth and it’s a perfect picture of what it is to become a new creation. So at any rate, it’s like I say we’re talking when I when I’m talking to this caterpillar, I’m stumped saying to you my friend. And this is not a change. This is not a repentance in your behavior. This is not saying I used to crawl but now I’m not going to crawl anymore. I used to go down into holes in the ground. Now I’m not going to do that anymore. We’re not talking about that kind of repentance because you could change your mind and go back to whatever you’re doing in a New York minute, so I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about identity and I also want to tell you that once you are a new creation. You will never be a worm again. So we’re talking about total change. I’ve given the illustration sometimes, and I think it’s amusing. It’s like your breakfast with bacon and eggs. The chicken made a contribution to that breakfast. The pig made a total commitment. So we’re not talking about a contribution. We’re talking about pig stuff here. We’re talking about total commitment. And so, when you’re dealing with this metamorphosis, I’m dealing with something that you will never be able to change again. So, I want you to consider it real carefully.
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Well, the caterpillar kind of sits there and crawls around a little bit. And says, you know, my there’s something missing in my life because if I was made with a capacity to be something different than I am, then it’s probably because I haven’t yet, become what I’m supposed to, is why this emptiness inside of me. Why this longing is there, this feeling that something’s missing all the time. I crawl around I do what worms do, but there’s something missing here. You say, why would I sense that there was something missing unless I had been made by God in such a way whereby, there was available to me, something new, something different than, in other words, I was born with a capacity to be something different than what I am. And I’m aware that I don’t know what that is, but I know there’s something missing and maybe, what this God is talking about is true that what I’m missing is, I’m not what I was created to be. I’m almost there but I’m not. I haven’t reached this potential, this capacity as to what I was made to be and I don’t really like my life that much, something missing.
And so I call God back and say, God I’ve listened to your proposal and I want to be a butterfly. He says, are you sure he said? Yes, I am. I am tired of me. I know there’s more to life than what I’m experiencing and I want to be made into a new creation. And God immediately weaves a cocoon around that caterpillar and in that cocoon of some kind of a marvelous process of metamorphosis takes place. And when this process is complete, all of a sudden this gorgeous beautiful butterfly emerges. And that butterfly is called a new creature. A new creation. It will never be a caterpillar again. It’s a brand new creation and that’s a miracle. And anyone who’s ever watched that process of a caterpillar, you sit there and Marvel. That’s a miracle. Now folks to me. That was a total visual aid that God gave to us to explain. Lane. Spiritual birth is all about. Because you see folks. It’s just like I said, there are all types of Flesh in the world. You got horses. You got dogs, have cats, you got pigs. You got all kinds of things. They cannot be metamorphosized. They, they are. In other words. They’re not in a process of saying gee, there’s more, there’s something missing. I was made with a capacity to be something besides a horse. I was made with a capacity to be something different than a dog, they’re not sitting around contemplating that because they weren’t made to be anything except what they are. But this old caterpillar was created by God, built into it, with a capacity to be something else besides a caterpillar.
Right now, folks, we are identically the same way when God made this thing called man, man is created by God with a total knowledge inside that there is a capacity to be something different than what I am that. There’s something incomplete about me, and folks, that’s why we’re striving all the time. That’s what we’re looking for. There’s something missing. I need something more. I need love. So we go out and become promiscuous. I need acceptance. So we’ll go out and absolutely kill to get acceptance. And will run from one place to another to another to the business world to the church world, to the bars wherever it might be to get acceptance. I want acceptance. I want to, I want to be loved. We’ll have animals and our backyard that mess the place up, and ruin your lawn. Everything else? Just because at least you can get an animal to accept you. And I can remember a question that was asked to be, one time shortly after I became a Christian, but it was asked, what was your center of worth as a kid? And I said to her, I thought you said he was my dog, rusty. Rusty was my center of worth. That my dog is an Irish Setter. And to this day, when I go back to New Castle in Indiana, but people that know me, they say, I always remember you with Rusty. That was, that was my friend. He used to knock the door down at the house at 3:30 in the afternoon, to get out to meet me at school and we were together all the time. He was my center of want. I looked to him for the acceptance that I was looking for in life. And that was the closest thing I found, except it was with my dog. People don’t accept you that way. It’s about as good as you can get here on this Earth. You can kick them. You can do anything you want to, just keep coming back and licking you. But that’s the craving, there’s something missing inside and I’m in my own particular life.
When I got out of school while I was in school, I wanted acceptance. Well, who do I want acceptance from? Well my peers. Well, what were they doing? Well, by the time of my second year of college, they were all going out into the woods and having parties and drinking beer and quite frankly, I never drank till I was a sophomore in college. I didn’t want to drink it. No, but I never had any restrictions on that in high school. I was playing sports. I wasn’t going to mess my body with that stuff. But you see I got acceptance through being good in sports. It’s so that need was being met, in those years by what I was doing, what I was doing and then you get to school and you know, you can be a high school hero one day and be a jerk the next. When you get to college they don’t know, they don’t know who you are. So here’s this hero, you know, that is high school here, a little dinky town I came from one, hard to be one of those. All of a sudden here you are down at this great big university and nobody knows you. So, where is this acceptance going to come from? So you look for it in another way and all my buddies were out doing that. So that was the way I got accepted. To the next thing I know I was sucked into that type of lifestyle and then you get out into the business world, well how you going to be accepted? Be successful. And so, you knock yourself out at any expense in order to find success, say, why? Because there’s something missing down inside of you. There’s something, and Satan keeps telling you, this is it, this is it, this is it and I will tell you, none of those things are it.
We were talking about as you go through life and then you get married. Maybe that, maybe that will do it. And in your courting period of time why you do kind of accept each other unconditionally, you know, after all, you’re headed towards something, you know, you don’t sit around and tell your wife that you snore and, you know, and all that kind of stuff. So I, you know, there’s only so but at any rate, you know, so you so you kind of experience a little bit of that, you know, and so you think boy, there’s just going to do it. Then you get married and then you can’t hide all of those things. So all of a sudden you still don’t have what you’re looking for.
And again, then you go to business, trying to find it there. And boy, that’s a trap because it always looks like it’s out there again. If I could just get this amount of money, would I be happy. But I remember when I got out of college, I thought if I could ever make twelve thousand dollars a year. I tell you I’d be in hog heaven and I can remember the day. I hit that I immediately was shooting for 24. The day I hit 24, as shootin for 48, it just never stops and someone asked Rockefeller one time how much money will it take to make you happy? Say just a little bit more and that’s the way the life is, is it’s just a little bit more. Just a little bit more and so you’re constantly out there looking and seeking for something and then of course, religion is presented to you. So you go to church and think well, maybe this will get it and you can get some goosebumps during the songs and maybe even get something through a message. If it’s a good one, and you think that’s going to do, it’s in so you say satisfy for church. In other words, it doesn’t make a difference who the object, what the object, of the church’s worship is, let’s just worship the church. See we’ll worship business? We worship family. All of those things become a subtle object of worship in an essence, in other words, if I worship this thing, this is what I’m looking to for my, for my meaning and purpose to life and that doesn’t do it.
Well, why is this constant seeking taking place folks? Why is man always looking for something else? Why? It’s because we were made that way. We were made in such a way, whereby God living in the man, is indispensable to the true humanity of the man. Just like the caterpillar was made to become a butterfly, given that capacity, he’ll never experience fulfillment until he reaches his ultimate capacity, and that is to become a butterfly. Man will never find meaning and purpose to life until he reaches his ultimate capacity that God created him to reach. And that is to be and dwelt by the Living God. So until man is in dwelt by his creator, the creation and in dwelt by the Creator, he will spend the rest of his life, looking for something having not a clue, what he’s looking for. When the fact of the matter is, what he’s looking for is to become complete to become what God had intended him to become. But you see the world blinds us to that truth and keeps saying this will do it. You see we keep looking living on this human plane, this will do it. And so we look for that fulfillment. The only place we have to look for is the world. What’s the world? People, places and things. And so we look forward and travel, we look for it in places. If I could just live here, boy, that would do it. I’ve had people say, if I could just move to this place. I would be happy. I say, no, all you’d be doing is moving. Even a miserable person out of this miserable place into a nice place. Now, you got a miserable person living in a nice place. Like I said, the most mysterious thing I ever saw in my life were grumpy Hawaiians. I can’t believe, how could I were a Hawaiian be grumpy? Well, because they’d be grumpy if he lived in Texas. It wouldn’t make any difference. A grump is a gruff. So, if I move, unfortunately, I’ve got to take me with me and if I’m miserable here, I’m going to be miserable there.
But we don’t understand that the world is so deceptive. It is. It is so full of trickery. We live with these lures of the world. Constantly dragging people over here. It’s over here. It’s over here. Here. And the problem is, I haven’t become complete. I was made not just to be born from Mom and Dad. That’s what the humanity of me, but I was made to be recreated, you see, and until we come to grips with that and until we come into a relationship with our God, we will spend the rest of our lives living in search.
So if sitting out there today with an emptiness inside. I’m not talking about, with a lifestyle that may be a little again inconsistent with who you are or a lot inconsistent. Not talking about that. I’m talking about, are you empty? Is there this feeling, something’s wrong? Something’s not complete? Something is missing? Folks that to me, is the greatest awareness that we can have, that maybe the reason I feel something is missing is because something is missing and if it is missing, it is the Spirit of God living in you that God wants you to come to a point in your life of stopping the search. And realizing that what you’ve been looking for all of your life is Christ. It’s to be reunited with your creator in order to become a new creation. You’re already born. Now. I want to be recreated.
Thank you so much for tuning in to Classic Christianity, with Bob George. We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s program. We truly hope that today’s message has inspired you to walk a life of faith in the Lord, find more information online at shop.BobGeorge.net. There you’ll also find available CDs, DVDs, and bible studies available for purchase. It’s through your help that we are able to spread the good word of Jesus Christ. Until next time, walk in faith, be good to one another and praise the Lord. Amen.
Stand on the firmness of truth. Don’t keep going back and forth. Thank Him that the forgiveness issue is settled.
Let’s pray together:
- Lord Jesus,
- I thank you for taking away my sins on the cross,
- never ever to see them again.
- Having done that, I now thank you for giving me eternal life,
- through your resurrection.
- I now receive that life.
- And I am going stand in the fact that I am a child of the living God.
- In Jesus Holy name I pray.
All believers are now brothers and sisters in Christ.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”