September 6, 2017 – 2 Corinthians 5:17-18

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:16-17

The metamorphosis  of a butterfly consists of four stages – the egg, the caterpillar, the Chrysalis (cocoon) to a beautiful new creature created and designed by God Himself.

We go through a series of growing stages from conception, womb-living, a helpless baby, the nurturing years, the breaking free, and the years of responsible understanding of life.  This physical side of ‘becoming’ is the same metamorphosis of unbelief to a loving, caring spiritual creature of Christ and his Love.

A spiritual baby can only grow on the ‘milk of the Word’ in the beginning. (Hebrews 5:12) The ‘I can do it by myself’ mindset changes to For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13.

How do we grow up in Christ Jesus? Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  Matthew 22:37-39.  

How do we know we are growing up in the Lord? When we love all people by seeing their hearts as Jesus sees them.  Jesus died for all, not for a select few.  Jesus shed blood on the cross to give us freedom from sin and its burdens.  He set us free and we have the life ministry of being His and bringing others to Jesus.  The Love Chapter, I Corinthians 13 ends with these words:  Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.  2 Corinthians 5:18