|A Caterpillar crawls
on twigs and branches, feeding on leaves and tender new shoots, for the
most part not consciously aware of the predators for which it would be
an easy meal, yet often avoid it because of built-in stinging hairs on
its body. Because of its urgency to feed on leaves and new growth, the
caterpillar is often considered a destructive pest and mankind tries to
kill all of them he can to protect his crops.
Then, after a time, a
natural urge causes
the caterpillar to spin a cocoon around itself and go into a dormant
known as the pupae stage. During this time of seeming death, the cocoon
is its only protection from predators and often the instinctively
location of its cocoon makes it seem invisible to its enemies.
After a period
of time, while in
this hidden place, changes take place that cause its stubby gripping
to change, its strong chewing jaws disappear entirely, replaced by a
flexible, hollow tongue; wings develop, and a completely changed,
slender body form replaces the chubby, worm-like body it did have and
becomes an often beautiful Butterfly or Moth. Now, It has no interest
eating leaves and doing destructive things. It flits from flower to
and sips nectar, often providing a pollination service to the plant and
becoming beneficial to man. What a transformation! What a change!
The perspective from
which the new creature
views its world is no longer limited to the twig it is crawling on
tender growth to eat and its direction also changes, as it flies freely
above plants, houses and in the case of the Monarch butterfly, flies
of miles on a winter migration.
After living as a
along twigs and chewing on the edges of leaves, how does a butterfly
from which flowers to sip nectar? Why doesn’t it try to chew leaves as
before? Who teaches it to fly? Since its parents are already dead, who
teaches Monarchs where to migrate to the same fields of flowers its
visited every fall and back every spring? What chance is there that
evolved? Not one in 100 billion! Likewise, the person who has lived the
life of swine on the world’s pleasures has a hard time to believe that
pearls are really more valuable and enduring than slop!
The caterpillar has to
be ”buried” in
a cocoon and rise to walk and fly in newness of life and nature. It no
longer thinks of clutching twigs with short stubby legs, but flits
on beautiful wings covered with thousands of tiny, colorful feathers!
The caterpillar eats
all it can. As sinners,
we gorge on sinful practices. These provide us the raw materials which,
when digested through the death of our caterpillar nature, burial in
cocoon, and resurrection in butterfly form, help us to minister
to the needs of others.
Unfortunately, many who came to believe they were sinners and that
Jesus saves and felt strong conviction of the Holy Spirit as a result
of that belief were told that believing was all there was to it. They
didn't have to repent or be baptized like the Bible declares over and
over again that the Apostles (including Paul) taught, preached and
practiced for the first 150+ years the church existed. (Check every
recorded conversion in Acts and read Paul's explanation in Romans
6:1-4, Galatians 3:27 and Colossians 2:12.) That only believe doctrine
is like cutting a butterfly out of its cocoon while it is still in the
pupal stage. It can never fly. Nor will the "believer" who has not died
to his (or her) sin nature like the caterpillar who wraps himself in a
cocoon "casket" have the overcoming power of the Holy Spirit. The
cocoon is an example of the grave in which we are buried with Jesus
Christ in Baptism as Paul explained in his epistle and the butterfly
emerging from the cocoon as a totally new creature is an example of the
new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:4) that we
should be if we be truly born again. Its old destructive nature of
crawling on plants and chewing its leaves and new growth is replaced by
a nature that flies freely without restraint and it sips on the sweet
nectar of the plant's flowers, often also providing a beneficial
While many people
refuse to believe it,
human beings also are designed to change radically ever since our first
ancestors disobeyed our Creator God. In our pre-Christian form, we are
selfish and self-centered worriers, fearful at every turn. Where is the
money coming from? Will I die in a car wreck or of cancer? How can I
that handsome hunk or that beautiful chick to fall in love with me? We
live much like pigs, always looking for the next bucket of slop and
we have the best. But if we will stop and wait upon the Lord and
our driving passions to Him, He will turn our lives around. No more
we crawl on the twig chewing leaves and unable to see beyond the next
or two, but we can fly and enjoy a whole new life and perspective. Our
purpose and goal is to be a beautiful blessing to all who see us and a
positive reflection on the goodness and love of God.
No more are we
just a destructive
pest. We are growing into a mature, reproductive, spiritually
Christian, as God ordains.
How can this happen?
“For all have sinned
and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). “But God
His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for
5:8). “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart,
and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren,
what shall we do?
“Then Peter said unto
them, Repent, and
be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
“For the promise is unto
you, and to your
children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our
shall call,”(Acts 2:36-39).
is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under
given among men, whereby we must be saved, (Acts 4:12.).