As I’ve been raising two very different sets of animals – dogs and cats – I realize how very different they are. My cats are very clean animals, avoiding sludge, dirt, and anything wet. But my two dogs are a different story.
I can bathe them (against their will), tie a pretty bow around their necks, and teach them to stay away from mud. But reality is that as soon as I let go of them, they’re rolling in mud and digging in the dirt. It’s like “clean” is a weird smell that must be dealt with immediately. How crazy, right? Paul said something similar about believers.
Those who are saved, who have been truly born again into a new nature, will demonstrate this by their desires. Like my cats, they will still occasionally get dirty – they will fall into sin – but it will bother them. Really bother them. They desire to get rid of it as soon as possible, and avoid it naturally. Christians who are truly saved will desire cleanliness. They will still falter, because they are human, but it will bother them when they do. Paul warned us about taking grace lightly. Just because God has forgiven us, and will continue to forgive us, it doesn’t give us license to choose sin. Nor should we take sin lightly in our lives. One mark of a believer is when he is greatly troubled by sin in his life, and he strives to take it out of his life without excuse or rationalization. Picture a cat being force-dipped in mud. One little toe gets wet and they panic. Flail. Probably scratch your arms. I challenge you, readers, to be so sensitive to sin in your life that one little toe-dip will send you running the other way.