The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 6/07

Posted on | June 7, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 6/07

Scripture reading: II Peter 1:3–4

Pig Nature

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)

 

Why do pigs wallow in the mud? I suppose a pragmatic answer would be that the mud keeps them cool and protects their skin from bugs.  But at a deeper level the answer must include a discussion of pig nature. Pigs love mud because it is their very nature to love mud. It is written into their genetic code.

Imagine a farmer who wanted to teach his pigs the virtues of cleanliness so that they would never wallow in the mud again. How would he do it?

,. He could hose them down and give them rules: “Thou shalt not wallow in the mud.”

,. He could put them in a field of sheep, hoping that the pigs would learn by imitation.

,. He could send them to a seminar that explained how pigsties are bad for your health.

,. He could teach them piggy choruses exalting the value of cleanliness.

,. He could provide large quantities of deodorant and perfume.

,. He could invite the pigs to join a rehab program and be part of a support group.

But unless something was done to change the pig-nature, we all know what would happen. Those rascally pigs would go right back to the mud the first chance they got! Something more than behavior modification is needed to keep pigs away from mud. Without a new nature, pigs will continue to be . . . well, pigs.

The Bible teaches that we humans are born into this world with something akin to pig nature (pardon the metaphor). Deep within each of us, written into our genetic code, is a twisted and warped nature that loves to sin. Theologians call it “original sin” or “total depravity.” Like pigs, we naturally gravitate to the mud and mire. We love to wallow in the pigsty of selfishness, greed, laziness, gluttony, and immoral behavior. We occasionally may feel the need to take a good shower and wash off the grit and grime, but unless our natures are changed, we eventually go back to the pigsty. With enough self-discipline in behavior management, some among us may stay away from the mud for long periods of time. But without a new nature, we are still pigs.

When Jesus shed his blood on the cross and poured out his Spirit at Pentecost, he was doing more than helping us to modify our behaviors. The Gospel of Christ promises more than an occasional bath to wash away the exterior dirt. The solution for our sinful condition that Jesus offers goes much deeper than that! Salvation in Jesus Christ makes possible a “new creation” (II Corinthians 5:17) and an inner transformation of mind and heart (Romans 12:2). The blood of Jesus not only washes off the dirt of outward sin, it also cleanses us of inner defilement (I John 1:9). God wants to give us a new nature!

 

The command “Be ye perfect” is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible

. . . The process will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we are in for.

Nothing less. He meant what he said.—C. S. Lewis

 

point to ponder Changing behavior is accomplished through a course in ethics. Changing our nature requires a work of the Holy Spirit.

prayer focus A new heart.

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