Rabies. A rabid dog is vicious, foaming and spitting, growling howling — crazy.
Enemies of God are like this — but “it’s not the Dog, it’s the Disease.”
Jesus, who was there for creation and is God Himself – has a hand in every birth. Every person was born for a purpose and God loves them.
But also: People are born with the disease of sin by nature. We are born to survive. By any means necessary: Dog eat dog, survival of the fittest. Some of our nature is overcome by a sense of “morals” or “ethics” but it requires the supernatural inoculation of Christ to “cover” our sin.
The bible uses Leprosy as the image of sin. The metaphor is very important. Leprosy damages us. noses, fingers and toes go missing, teeth fall out. Leprosy leaves skin so scarred it must remain … “Covered” and thats what the blood of Jesus does.
First he stops the advance of our “disease” and then he covers us. But the scars remain. It’s the scars that remind us of who we really are — sinners, covered by Jesus. Jesus heals scars too, replaces the missing pieces of our lives with new ones. And we use them to serve Him, instead of ourselves. We needed to lose those parts of us, those compulsions – that couldn’t be satisfied.
And we need to remain covered. Disease is such a great picture — how chicken pox is followed later in life by shingles. A child is no more responsible for catching chicken pox than they are for being born with a sinful nature. It’s up to parents to get kids the help they need to “overcome” the disease — chickenpox just like sin. And later to know that when Shingles break out, it’s only because we have that old virus in us.
Sin is the same way — it comes back, and if it attacks us – it’s even more painful. It can happen to anybody, anytime.
So when we’re attacked – personally by shingles, or by rabid enemies of God? We remember that the world hated him first, and sin is a natural outcome of our disease. We have compassion and forgive because we can see, like Jesus does, that “It’s not the Dog, its the Disease.”
Put another way “Hate the sin, love the person.” This is how we love our enemies, that we know by our own experience that we were once rabid enemies of God and so we easily recognize the condition in others. And we feel compassion. We forgive, because we are forgiven!
“There is now now condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”