Throughout the Bible dogs and pigs are seen as unclean animals. In 2 Peter 2:22 it says, “It has happened to them according to the true proverb, a dog returns to its own vomit, and, a sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” What does this mean?
There are some who will tell you a Christian who sins is in danger of eternal judgment. I would suggest this verse is telling us something else entirely. My thoughts on this, are the reason the dog or pig goes back to his vomit, or wallowing, is because they were never changed into a new creature. Therefore the dog is still a dog and the pig is still a pig.
Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.” (Matthew 24:25-26) It seems there may be many who have done quite the job of “cleaning their act up” but there hasn’t been a real change on the inside. Jesus is telling us no matter how well we dress up a dog or pig, he’s still a dog or pig. What he’s looking for is to transform us into a brand new creature.
You see the problem occurs because most tend to see “sins” as something we do rather than seeing “Sin” that is producing the sins. The book of Romans spends the first three chapters addressing sins plural, but then midway through chapter five shifts to sin singular. While some may see this as inconsequential, I think it is extremely important. Sins plural are the fruit of sin singular. God gets to the root of the problem he doesn’t just hack away at the branches. Jesus, not only shed his blood to wash away our sins, he died in order to deal with the sinner, or sin-producer, too
Jesus didn’t come here to make bad people good he came to make dead people live. While we are busy getting tangled up in sin-management, Jesus is offering us a brand new life. He isn’t trying to work on each and every one of the sins we commit, he wants us to come to him so we might be transformed into a creature that no longer has a sinful nature. Once sinning isn’t natural for us anymore, sins will start to dry up and become less and less frequent.
Let me finish with one of my favorite illustrations. I think all Bible students would agree we’re all born sinners. For this illustration a sinner is represented by a pig, so we’re all born pigs with the nature of a pig. A pig’s nature is to eat slop and wallow in mud. They love it! On the other hand, when someone is born again they are transformed into a brand new creature, not a washed off pig but a brand new creature all together. Let’s say we are changed from a pig into a sheep. As a sheep we no longer eat just anything and we surely don’t enjoy rolling around in slop. You see we aren’t just a washed off old sinning pig we’re a new creature in Christ. Of course there are some sheep that end up in the mud again from time to time, but what I’m getting at is they don’t like it and in fact they will not stay in it.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me…” (John 10:27) so if you are a sheep and you find yourself in the mud, the answer is for you to listen to the voice of the Great Shepherd, he knows what to do with his sheep.