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The Believer and the Butterfly (15 of 18)
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
I Peter 4:1-11
In the springtime caterpillars abound - furry, ugly, repulsive little creatures creeping and crawling upon the ground. Then they enter a cocoon and an amazing thing happens - there is a metamorphosis that occurs - a transformation that takes place. And, in time, the cocoon bursts open, and that which once was a worm with a fur coat emerges as a beautiful butterfly with wings designed to lift it upward in flight.
Now, that is the kind of transformation that can be wrought by Jesus Christ in the life of an individual. The Bible says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).
Peter knew about a new life. He knew what it was to be a disciple of Christ. It started with his personal commitment to the Lord Jesus. And this evening as we think about the believer and the butterfly and compare the two, I trust that we shall see that a new life in Christ demands discipleship.
I. THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
If you will study verses 1 and 2 of our text, you will discover that for the disciple inevitably suffering must be faced. Jesus said, "In this world ye shall have tribulation." Our blessed Savior endured untold agony throughout His life and ministry, and it reached its apex in the excruciating suffering of the cross. Those of us who have believed on Christ can expect the same kind of suffering and affliction. Jesus declared, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord" (John 13:16). Because He suffered, we must suffer too. There is no easy way. Rugged and thorny paths will be our lot.
Verse 2 tells us why the disciple must experience suffering and trials - "That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God." You see, much of our suffering is designed by God to bring us face to face with our si ...
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