It is a broken-backed snake!
"We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags!" Isaiah 64:6
The believer is a new creature;
he belongs to a holy generation and a peculiar people;
the Spirit of God is in him; and
in all respects he is far removed from the natural man.
But for all that, the Christian is a sinner still.
He is so from the imperfection of his nature.
He will continue so to the end of his earthly life.
The black fingers of sin leave smuts upon our fairest robes!
Sin mars our repentance upon the wheel, before the great Potter has finished it.
Apart from the merit of Jesus, the best thing we ever did—only swelled the number of our sins! For when we have been most pure in our own sight—yet, like the Heavens, we are not pure in God's sight! And as He charged His angels with folly, much more must He charge us with it—even in our most angelic frames of heart!
Our song which thrills to Heaven, and seeks to emulate seraphic strains—has human discords in it.
Our prayer which moves the arm of God—is still a bruised and battered prayer, and only moves that arm because the sinless One, the great Mediator, has stepped in to take away the sin of our supplication.
The most golden faith, or the purest degree of sanctification to which a Christian ever attained on earth, has still so much alloy in it—as to be only worthy of the eternal flames, in itself considered.
Every night we look into the mirror—and we see a sinner; and have need confess, "We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags!"
Oh, how precious is the blood of Christ to such hearts as ours!
Oh, how priceless is the gift of His perfect righteousness!
Oh, how bright is the hope of perfect holiness hereafter!
Even now, though sin dwells in us, its power is broken. It has no dominion. It is a broken-backed snake! We are in bitter conflict with it, but it is with a vanquished foe that we have to deal. In but a little while we shall enter victoriously into the city where, "Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life!" Revelation 21:27