For the record, I know that circs is not the most common abbreve.
43 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none.44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order.45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”
I had never really understood these verses very well and then yesterday at Biolife while donating plasma while listening to the White Horse Inn podcast (“Christianity vs. Pop Spirituality” to be specific) I finally got it.
The key word is “empty.”
I had always read the parable and immediately jumped to salvific implications for the person whose soul was now vacant where demons used to dwell. But salvation is not in being emptied or vacated, but in being indwelt, in being filled by the Holy Spirit.
The person from this parable is no longer being inhabited by demons, but they are not hosting the Host either. Out with the bad ghosts in with the Holy Ghost. But nope. Not this person.
That is how the demons found this person when they returned.
So why not take up residence again and invite some of your friends?
Seems like just as good a place as any to hang out.
I found additional insight in the Ligonier article found HERE.
I finally get it.
I feel like I understand now.
Even if we got rid of our bad habits, addictions and attitudes we would find ourselves vacant.
We are at our very best merely empty.
Salvation is found not in getting rid of something horrendous; it is realized in receiving something glorious.
We are not saved by casting off our demons.
We are not saved by jettisoning our sinking ship.
There is no salvation to be found in us.
There is no innocence to mine from the depths.
There is no state to return to yield righteousness.
There is no purity to uncover.
The deeper in you go the darker you find it.
In other words…
We cannot save ourselves by cleaning house.