Thursday, January 19, 2012

Apples and Oranges Indeed!

Some of my earliest learning experiences include memories of apples and oranges.
Arithmetic. (A Rat In Tom's House Might Eat Tom's Ice Cream.  Remember this? This is how we learned to SPELL arithmetic back in the "old" days. These days it is simply "math," a much easier word to memorize.)
ANYWAY...back to the Apples and Oranges.....

Just as these fruits were used as a tool for teaching in the early classrooms - they were used last night in my Discipleship Counseling class to show a very basic, yet very enlightening concept.

Go with me to somewhere around AD 60, to the Apostle Peter as he writes to the various churches in Asia Minor. I Peter 1:23: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

For many years I viewed this passage and the context in which it was written, with  a somewhat legalistic approach. A sort of "instruction" if you will, as to HOW we are to live now that we are born-again. Today however, I am viewing it not so much as a "how", but as a "who." As in THIS IS WHO YOU ARE.

Back to our Apples and Oranges.... ( and this is the really neat part!)

Suppose an Orange represents "corruptible" seed. The OLD you, the Sin-Man.
And of course, the Apple is the "incorruptible" seed... (free your mind for a sec from the Eve ate an apple concept)....The NEW you, the Born-again Man.

Well guys, an apple is an apple, and an orange is an orange. You won't plant apple seeds and reap an orange grove, and vice versa. So what am I saying? It's all about the law of seed producing after it's own kind.

Through the blood of Christ, we are transformed from an Orange to an Apple. Now, (follow me here) I can take an Orange, apply some craft putty to smooth the surface, paint it red, glue on some leaves and make it look exactly like an Apple. But if you cut it open, and look on the INSIDE, you know what you are going to find. An Orange.

The religious sect of Jesus' and Peter's day, were like Oranges pretending to be Apples. The outward appearance was deceptive. The SAME THING applies today. But this is not the remarkable thing about this law of seed. Here's the "WOW" part:

Just as an Orange (corruptible) can't be made into an Apple without a "seed" change - the Apple (incorruptible) can't be made into an Orange! I don't care if it LOOKS like an Orange from what we are able to see....I don't care if it BEHAVES like an Orange....If it has been transformed into a Apple inwardly....Well, Apples are Apples and Oranges are Oranges. Corruptible seed CAN be transformed because it is weak in it's corruption. Incorruptible seed can't be touched. Incorruptible seed is perfect. Perfection can't be sullied - or else it would not be perfect. Once a thing is incorruptible, it is indestructible.

Please don't balk on this illustration and say things like - "Well, if it behaves THAT way, it was never an Apple to begin with!" We CAN'T know this. All we can see is the outward appearance. Only GOD can see the HEART (Seed). Another case against being a "fruit inspector." Sometimes guys, sometimes, it takes awhile for the metamorphosis to be complete....sometimes an Apple may continue to look like an Orange until the the One who planted the seed is finished with the product. And SOMETIMES, an Apple can look like an Orange by the company it keeps. And then SOMETIMES an Apple continues to live and look like an Orange because it doesn't realize the POWER of WHO IT HAS BECOME.

Apples and Oranges....An interesting study....There is assurance in the law of the seed. Assurance, not license (that is quite another topic for another time.)

May the Sower empower you today with the knowledge of WHO you are in HIM....and may you begin to grow into a Golden Delicious for the up-building of the Kingdom!

In His Service!

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