“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
Several years ago I got the chance to visit the Fredrik Meijer Gardens while visiting with family in Michigan, home to one of the largest butterfly exhibits in the world. Imagine yourself walking through a five-story tropical conservatory with tranquil waterfalls and streams winding around lush vegetation; over 7,000 butterflies from 60 different species, majestically fluttering throughout with complete freedom. A sad fact, however, about butterflies is that most butterflies only live between 2-3 weeks, rarely longer than a couple months. The full life cycle, an incredible transformation from eggs to larva to pupa to an adult butterfly, lasts less than a year. Its life is like a mist, appearing for a short time and then vanishes away. But during that short life span as an adult butterfly, it lives fully as God intends it to live, freely enjoying time in the garden.
As I was walking through the garden, reflecting on the lifecycle of the butterfly, I couldn’t help but think about an article I read from John Piper explaining exactly how our spiritual metamorphosis relates to the life cycle of a butterfly. I can’t sum it up any better than he does so I want to present the article to you as it is worth the read: https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-life-of-god-in-the-soul-of-man.
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?