When you become a child of God, the Bible says you have become a brand new creation -- like a caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly. In nature, the caterpillar weaves a cocoon around itself, and in the cocoon the marvelous process of metamorphosis takes place. When this process is complete, a beautiful butterfly emerges. This butterfly is a new creature; It will never be a caterpillar again. In the same way, we have become new creatures in Christ; we will never be old sinners again. And as new creatures in Christ, we must learn to see ourselves as God sees us, IF we have been truly born again in heart, mind and Spirit.
2 Corinthians 5:17 - "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
Here it is, as plain as day. If we are in Christ, we have become a "new" creation. The old person we used to be is... GONE! Once you have become a "new" creation "IN CHRIST", you can never become the old person again! Why? Because God did the changing... And what God does CANNOT be undone by man... Nor does God say He will ever "take it back". As a matter of fact, quite to the contrary. God says in His Word (which HE exalts higher than Himself) that His gifts are "IRREVOCABLE!" ~ Romans 11:28-30, (NASB). Glory to His wonderful name!
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus" - Ephesians 1:1
In this letter to the Ephesians Paul addressed the believers there as "Saints". Paul DID NOT think of the the believers in Ephesus as "old sinners saved by Grace". According to this verse and many others, our identity is a "saint"!
A couple of questions for you: Does God see us as "old sinners saved by Grace"? Or as "Saints"? How do "you" see yourself?
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia" - 2 Corinthians 1:1
Corinth was a city in the Roman province of Achaia. If you'll notice, Paul addressed the believers in Corinth as "the church of God" and "saints". That might be a bit surprising to you if you knew the background of this particular band of brothers.
The Corinthians were guilty of sexual sins, getting drunk at the Lord's Supper, and pride. Yet, with all this going on, God, through Paul, called the Corinthian believers "Saints". Remarkable, huh? Evidently, their behavior alone did not change their identity from God's vantage point.
When you sin as a child of God, "you" are the one doing the sinning. God recognizes our sin, but He sees us as children that need to grow... But our MAJOR problem is "how we see ourselves"!
Do we recognize we are children of God that need to grow? Or do we think that our relationship with God is so conditional that the first sin destroys everything God did for us? Interesting question, huh? Is there a difference between the way God sees us and how we see ourselves? If there is... somebody is wrong... And it's not God. So, are we "willing" to see ourselves as a "saint"? You may be reluctant - Quite understandably given what is being taught in many places today. But we should really learn that we are saints... Not because we have done anything to "earn" that status, but because it is the "gift" from God!
As Christians we sometimes get the idea that our behavior is all that is truly important to God, or all that He is concerned with. Behavior, however, is simply the result of a belief system.
There is an old adage I am told that says, "Actions follow attitude." That is why God is so persistent in teaching us who we are. Once we know and truly believe we are children of God, saints by calling, our actions will follow suit. As we will see in the following verses, knowing who we are is our true "MOTIVATION" for living GODLY lives!
"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received" ~ Ephesians 4:1
According to this verse, Paul urges us to live a life worthy of the calling we have received. If we do not know or understand the calling we have received, it's impossible to live a life worthy of that calling! Isn't it?
"To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ" ~ Romans 1:7
According to this verse, we are called to be what? Saints. What kind of life are we to live? The life of a saint!
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord! Live as children of light!" ~ Ephesians 5:8 (Glory To God! Amen!)
This verse says we once WERE darkness! It also says we ARE NOW light! So! We should LIVE as CHILDREN OF LIGHT! Amen! And we should live as children of light so we can truly shine in the darkness! So we can rightly show others the Truth of God!
A good paraphrase of this verse is, "You once were a caterpillar, but now you are a butterfly. Fly like a butterfly!" It just makes sense for a butterfly to fly. In the same way, as children of God, saints by calling, it just makes sense for us to live in accordance with who we are! When we do sin, however, God reasons with us based on our true identity!
It's as if He holds a mirror over us and says, "Look up here. What do you see?"
"A butterfly, Lord."
"Since you are a butterfly, why are you crawling around with the caterpillars?"
"I don't know, Lord. It doesn't make sense does it?"
"No, it doesn't. Why don't you get up and fly like a butterfly?"
The butterfly can fly because through the process of metamorphosis, God equipped the butterfly with wings. It wouldn't make any sense to tell the butterfly to fly if it didn't have wings. In the same way, it would be foolish to tell us to live a life worthy of our calling if we had not been given the Holy Spirit to enable us to do so. We have been made into a new creation, but what is it that makes us new?
"To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory!" ~ (Colossians 1:27)
The mystery that Paul referred to in this verse that was revealed to the Gentiles was the fact that Christ is now in us as born again believers. So the thing that makes us "new creatures" is "Christ in us!" Realizing this, we can know full well that "Christ in us" is our ONLY hope for living out and experiencing our calling as "children of God!" Just as a butterfly is dependent on its wings to enable it to fly, we can be dependent on "Christ in us" to live the Christian life!
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" ~ Galatians 2:20
Important stuff in this scripture... The only reason Paul says, "I no longer live", is because we have been crucified with Christ (notice the past tense). Although our old selves have been crucified, we can now rejoice in the fact that Christ, through the Holy Spirit DOES now live in us (note: this was given us by God). If we will saturate our own hearts with this knowledge and Truth, there will be nothing left for us to do but to live our lives by faith in the Son of God, who loved us, and gave Himself for us! Amen & Amen!
We truly are a new creature in Christ! Through spiritual birth GOD has transformed us into saints! Sometimes we might act like "old sinners saved by Grace", but that is NOT our identity!
If you find yourself crawling around with the caterpillars, you need to realize that you are a butterfly! Get up and fly! God has something much better for you than crawling around with the caterpillars. It is called the "Abundant Life"! With Christ living in you, you can experience everything God created you to be as a new creature in Christ!
Oh, I would give any earthly thing I have if only those that read this would fully understand what I'm saying! Can you understand? Have you got it? Has it began to dawn on you yet?
Please seek the Holy Spirit on behalf of what I am saying. If I had one thing to ask of God, it would be that all who read this understand... Understand the "Truth" that will leave your shackles of mis-understanding forever laying on the prison floor!