2 Peter 2:18-22 – “For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” NKJV
Peter is addressing false teachers and heresy but makes some very interesting analogies in this portion of scripture that I want to look at briefly. We have all known or known of preachers and teachers whose lives do not match their preaching and teaching. Some of them are charlatans who live in the prison of their lust for money, power, position, lasciviousness, and the like. They come promising the hearer liberty but are bound by corruption so they can offer nothing spiritually that is liberating. They offer words that are “empty” because their words are not backed up by their hearts.
Peter addresses the sad situation where one escapes the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then becomes entangled in those pollutions again. He powerfully expresses that it would have been better for that person to have NEVER KNOWN the way of Righteousness than to have experienced it and turned back. His picture is that of the natural inclination of a sick dog or a cleaned up pig returning to the mire. I know that some will totally disagree with me doctrinally on this but Peter tells us that we have an individual or individuals who have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. They moved out of darkness into light. He then addresses the issue of that individual or individuals turning their backs on what they have received and returning to the way of the world and compares it to a dog’s nature or a pig’s nature. A pig cannot help being a pig but a person who comes to know Jesus has a “new nature” through the Blood of Jesus and does not have to return to the mire. Just because temptation comes does not mean you are obligated to yield to it. You are no longer a pig so get it out of your head that you are somehow obligated to wallow in the mire just because you are human. That would diminish the power of the Cross and that is unacceptable to me. If the Blood of Jesus can wash away my sin then the Grace of God can keep me walking in the way! Of course, we may all and probably will, stumble at times but that doesn’t mean we return to the mire and allow the “old nature” to gain control. No, we immediately repent and allow the Spirit of God to help us learn from our mistakes and mature.
I’ve known people that would keep succumbing to the same temptation time after time and come to me in tears. I had one person tell me one time, “I can’t help it it’s the way God made me.” That didn’t register well with me and I’m sure it didn’t with God because once we receive the knowledge of the Lord and are born into the family of God we are NEW CREATIONS so that is not the way God made us. It is our responsibility to “resist” and in “resisting” the Bible tells us that the devil will flee! Bullies only bully people who offer no resistance. So, a pig is a pig but you are not a pig you are a child of the King and have been washed clean. If you stumble you have an advocate with the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ! You may experience that failure but you don’t have to take up permanent residence there. God’s Grace is Greater than all our Sin!
May the Lord be with you as you go through your day!