I have a perfect dog. Her name is Gracie and she is indeed a perfect dog. She chews up things we don’t want chewed up. She brings bones into the house. If you leave food on the cabinet within her reach, it soon disappears. Gracie’s a perfect dog because she perfectly follows her instincts. The challenge is to train her to ignore her instincts.
We are born human. And we act perfectly human. We have a human nature that is piloted by sin. We do things we know are wrong; we don’t do things we know are right. We are born spiritually dead. And we are in perfect alignment with a spiritually dead world.
This is why we call what God did for us “Salvation.” He rescued us from that condition.
But God doesn’t just change us; He creates us anew. He gives us a new nature with a new default setting. God doesn’t call for us to ignore our instincts or to control our instincts through religious training. His way is better. He gives us new instincts.
It is our perfect humanness that is the problem. We can change the outside with limited success; God can make us new and different on the inside.
And when the inside root gets changed, the outside fruit is different.