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 was addressing false teachers and heresy. He made some interesting analogies in this portion of scripture. 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 that 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 addressed the sad situation where one escapes the world’s pollution through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then becomes entangled in those pollutions again. He powerfully expressed 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 realize that some will totally disagree with me doctrinally or ideologically on this. Yet, Peter was speaking about people who have escaped the world’s pollution through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. They have moved out of darkness into light. He then addressed the issue of the person then turning their backs on what they have received and returning to the way of the world, and he compares it to a dog’s nature or a pig’s nature.
I say, “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! Therefore, 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 from sin and help me live the Christian life! 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 have known people who kept succumbing to the same temptation time after time. They would come to me in tears crying for help. I had one person tell me once, “I can’t help it. It’s the way God made me.”
As you might suspect, that did not sit well with me. I am equally convinced that it did not with God either. Once we receive the knowledge of the Lord and are born into the family of God, we are New Creations. God did not make us subservient to our temptations.
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 don’t have to take up permanent residence there. God’s Grace is Greater than all our Sins!
May the Lord be with you as you go through your day!