Why are butterflies associated with Jesus? It’s because of metamorphosis. The butterfly lays an egg which hatches into a caterpillar. The caterpillar will at some point create a cocoon around itself. After a while, a butterfly will emerge from it. It’s a totally new life — a new creation. When we are born again through God’s gift of grace in Jesus, we die to our old selves (like the caterpillar) and emerge or rise up (in baptism) as a new creation — a new life — like a butterfly.
In chapter 5 of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, he defines who we are in Christ and that we should live for Christ. He also assures us that Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that He’s coming back and that He keeps His promises!
Working in marketing, I sometimes have to warn clients that their marketing message sounds too much like a guarantee. The problem is, if they don’t deliver, they can get in trouble. Like saying that a face cream will reduce wrinkles in 2 weeks — guaranteed.
Not God. His guarantee sticks. He keeps His promises. Let’s read this chapter…
2 Corinthians 5
5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. 4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
6 So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7 For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
We Are God’s Ambassadors
11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12 Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.2 Corinthians 5 NLT
Proud to be an Ambassador of Christ
That should be every Christian’s title. Whether you have a ministry, blog, podcast or just volunteer at your church. No matter what we do, no matter where we go, we should shine that light that’s in our hearts that Paul mentioned in chapter 4.
Points to Ponder
- Our earthly bodies are dying. Everyone has aches, pains and diseases. We have the assurance of new, heavenly bodies in heaven — either when we die or are raptured — whichever comes first.
- We work hard to persuade others — that’s planting the seed of the Word and the Good News. We’re not supposed to keep the Gospel to ourselves. We must share it with others!
- When you are born again — you die to your old life and are “risen” to a new life with Christ.
- He died for EVERYONE! Though Jesus is the only way to heaven, everyone is invited!
- This is a GIFT FROM GOD! There is absolutely NOTHING you or any human being on this earth can do to save you.
Come Back to God
That’s one of my hashtags (#ComeBackToGod)! While I was a Catholic, prodigal and even a Progressive, I was so far away from God, and going in the wrong direction quickly (to hell). He pulled me back. He chased me until I came back to Him. That’s reconciliation. Jesus didn’t suffer and die on the cross so that we could have religion. No! He wants a personal relationship with you!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!
The 5 Solas
- Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
- Sola Fide (“Faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
- Sola Gratia (“Grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
- Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Savior, Redeemer, Lord, and King
- Soli Deo Gloria (“to God alone be the Glory.”): It’s all about God, not us.