Pastor Barry Bruce: The Gathering Church Morphed Series/ Lesson 1
morph [mawrf] verb to be transformed/ from metamorphosis: a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means
“Morph” is a modern word derived from the word metamorphosis and you will recognize that word from your elementary school lessons of the miraculous change from the caterpillar to the butterfly or the tadpole to the frog. Metamorphosis is also visible in the development of animals and humans. A simple look at the stages of development through a time lapse camera producing a morphed video will amaze anyone, and yet some still refuse to believe in a creator God. What more does one need to see? Still, there is even a greater metamorphosis that God has provided as a witness to His transforming work. That metamorphosis is called being born again and that morphing process is done by the Spirit of God in one who believes. This process changes a person spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically from darkness to light—earthbound to flight! And that is what this series is all about. Get ready to transform!
Being Born Again John 3:1-8, 15:5
Everyone is born of water (birthed from the amniotic sack in our mother’s womb) but Jesus said one must be “born again”, and without that new birth no one can enter the kingdom of God. Nicodemus was a man of the Pharisees (a religious Jewish teacher), and he did not understand this fact. Many religious people do not because being born again is about being morphed by the power of the Holy Spirit into someone all together new. It is not the accumulation of knowledge or even the religious practices of a devout person that brings salvation. Only God’s supernatural work in a person can bring that. The caterpillar must actually choose to die before he can be reborn to fly. Nicodemus came to Jesus under the cover of night because he was afraid of what his contemporaries might think of him. He tried to make small talk with Jesus, but Jesus quickly revealed his intent and answered the question beating in his soul. “You must be born again” Jesus proclaimed. “How can man be born when he old?” Nicodemus responded. Nicodemus was referring to the physical act of being born; Jesus was speaking about spiritual rebirth accomplished by the Holy Spirit. Without the spirit of God, we remain a worm or dead in a cocoon at best. The miracle of rebirth comes when we choose to die to ourselves in faith that God will give us wings!
John’s Amazing Grace 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
John Newton was a slave trader in the mid seventeen hundreds. One night, during an awful storm at sea, John Newton turned to God. Later he began to study the Bible and dedicated his life to the ministry. He became a great preacher and hymn writer. His most well-known hymn is “Amazing Grace”. he originally wrote, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a worm like me”. Later, others turned the nasty word to “wretch”. Some churches, afraid of offending their congregations, actually use the word, “soul”, instead. I like the original word because it is the worm that becomes a butterfly in the metamorphosis that God brings through our repentance. (1 John 1:9). It also creates the picture of how nasty our life is to God when we remain a sinner. Like the butterfly and John Newton, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation!” It is not because of the worm’s amazing work in climbing up to his hanging spot that he becomes a new creature. He climbs up to die. It is God who makes the butterfly. In the same way, it is not by our religiosity that we come into God’s favor; it is by dying to ourselves that we are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God’s amazing grace has not crushed us in our sinfulness; instead, He has brought us into a living hope that will not spoil or fade. He has chosen to redeem our miserable states and bring us into new life that resonates with His love. He even sets us in flight with a new mission in life: to reconcile others to Him.
An Imperishable Seed 1 Peter 1:23-25
If any person is in Christ, he is a new creation with a new purpose. Unlike the butterfly we have been born again of an “imperishable seed”. In other word we will never die. As a matter of fact, the Bible does not even use the word death to describe the departure of this life for a Christian. We simply “fall asleep” and wake in the kingdom of God with a new heavenly body. Our Final Physical Metamorphosis!
Can I Get a Witness? 1 John 1:1-4
The greatest proof of Jesus is a person’s witness or testimony (1 John 1:1-4) No can argue with that! When one is truly morphed by God there is no arguing with their witness. That is why Nicodemus came to Jesus. Jesus was the leader of that band of morphed disciples.
Are you a searcher like Nicodemus? If you are then you have come to the right place for there are many butterflies present here today! Meet them, ask them about their former ways of life. See what has changed…you can change too. All you have to do is die. Repent and come to Christ. He will morph the miracle in you and spiritually cause you to be ”Born Again”!