Tomorrow, our nation will celebrate its 242th birthday. The fourth of July is observed as a national holiday for Americans to be reminded that we are a free people, having won our independence from the English Crown, and are able to control our own destiny in the world.
In much the same way, Christians are also a free people. We too have won our independence.
Christians are free from the shame and sorrow that comes with sin. Nevertheless, though we are freed from our past, we are still free to throw away our future…
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
2 Peter 2:20-22
When we were servants of sin we were shackled to the Devil and unable to break free of his restraints. We could not save ourselves. Christ, thankfully, purchased our independence at the cost of His own blood. We then were given the means to leave the shackles of sin and become willing-servants to Christ. As willing servants, we are free to return to the Devil and abandon the blessings that Jesus affords us.
As Peter says in the text above, there are brethren who, after they have escaped the sinful world through Christ, become entangled in it once more. For them, it would have better for them never to have obeyed the Gospel than for them to have obeyed it and later turned from it. Why? Because they would have an eternal knowledge of what they walked away from. Hell is just as painful, but it becomes worse for fallen-away Christians, because they had a taste of redemption and then chose to spit it out.
It is like the dog that vomits up its sickness and then foolishly goes back to digest it once more. It is like a pig that had been cleansed and then stubbornly goes back to the mud once more.
That’s the picture God paints of His child who had been granted independence from sin, only later to turn and return to the shackles again.
It doesn’t have to be like that:
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:6-9
When we sin and step out of the light we put our souls in danger. We have the opportunity, however, to return to the light and walk in it once more. If we do the blood of Jesus will cleanse us from those sins. When we confess our wrongs, God is faithful and just to forgive us and grant us independence once more.