To use a Charles Spurgeon analogy, if you put on one side of a room a slap up meal from the best chef in England, and on the other side, a pig trough, filled with pig slop. If you released a pig in that room, every single time he would go to the pig trough.
Why? Because he's a pig. It's what pigs do.
Now, if the pig was supernaturally transformed into a human being, he would not want to eat from the pig trough any more, he can't even take pig food without vomiting, and so he'd go to the slap up meal.
Why? Because he's a human now. He's not a pig anymore.
Now if you are truly converted , and heading for Heaven, then that analogy has just described your conversion. When God supernaturally changed your will and desires from a sin loving and righteous hating pig, to a sin hating and righteous loving human.
Now every once in a while, the Christian may forget that he's no longer a pig, and go to eat from the pig trough. But as soon as he does, he'll want to vomit, and if anyone sees him eating from the pig trough, he's ashamed.
Why? Because he's not a pig anymore. Humans do not eat from pig troughs.
Now to develop the analogy further:
If someone claims they are a Christian, but they have not much appetite for righteousness, but would rather openly walk in sin, i.e. they have not much interest in going to the slap up meal, but would rather eat from the pig trough, then it's evident they're probably still a pig, as the evidence is showing their will and desires have not been changed by God, but rather that they are unregenerate and unconverted.
As Jesus said "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits." Mt 7:19-20
In others words don't pretend you're a Christian when your life is marked by a rebellion to God's will.
It's common today for Christian's who love to be obedient to the Word of God, to be accused of 'legalism'. Legalism is a term often used in the same way as 'homophobe' or 'racist', the motive is generally to slur someone and so no one will listen to their reasoning.
But, what is really happening here is the Christian being accused wants to do God's will, he wants to eat from the slap up meal, not because he's trying to keep rules, but because it's so much better. He's not a pig anymore and so he doesn't want to eat from the pig trough.
However, his accuser can't understand why anyone would want to eat from that slap up meal all the time, and not from the pig trough.
Why? Because the accuser is still a pig!
Now legalism in it's true sense is adding works to salvation. In short it's trying to get to Heaven by your own 'good' works. This is what separates true Christianity from all other religions. The Bible says we can't earn our salvation, it is a gift of God, whereas all other religions whether it be Islam, Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, JW's, etc, and even professing Christians who are not trusting in the finished work of Christ to save them, but rather in their own works, all of these are legalistic works righteous religions.
What the legalist does is, he looks at the pig trough and thinks "Yummy pig slop, mmmm. But I can't eat from that. I must force myself to eat that slap up meal instead, because otherwise I won't get into Heaven." Going to the slap-up meal for him is a sacrifice, because deep down he would rather eat from the pig trough.
Why? Because he's still a pig! He's not been regenerated by God and so the Bible says "the Wrath of God abides on him".
Another popular one is for a professing Christian to indulge in certain sinful things which are contrary to God's will and when confronted by another concerned Christian, they tell them "I've got my freedom in Christ." Jesus gave us freedom from sin, not to sin.
An example is they insist on watching movies that Christians shouldn't be watching full of sensuality, bad language, and blasphemy. Now you have to ask the question, why would anyone want freedom to eat from the pig trough, and not the slap up meal? Because they're probably still a pig! Unregenerate and unconverted.
Now in the Bible there are only two types of person:
The saved man heading for Heaven, and the lost man heading for eternal Hell.
You're either a slave of sin, or a slave of righteousness.
You're either walking in light, or walking in darkness,
You're either in Adam, or in Christ.
You're either of the flesh, or of the Spirit.
To use our analogy, you're either a pig or a human.
Now look at these verses in Romans 8. Notice, there a no commands in these verses. But rather it is simply a description of how a saved man and a lost man live:
Romans 8: "5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."
The Bible says: The regenerate and saved man of the Spirit will:
-v5, "set their minds on the things of the Spirit".
and to do this v6, is "life and peace".
The true believer is "not in the flesh", v9, but rather "in the Spirit"
-v11, Is given "life". Note: this signifies eternal life.
-v13, "By the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body and you will live".
Whereas, the unregenerate and unsaved man of the flesh will:
-v5, "set their minds on the things of the flesh".
and to do this v6, "is death".
-v7, Their mind "is hostile to God", and "it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot".
Notice cannot, can speaks of ability, the man of the flesh is incapable of submitting to God's will.
-v8, he cannot do anything pleasing to God. And that includes true repentance and faith in Jesus to be saved. Because that would be pleasing to God as the Bible says "there is joy in the presence of angels over one sinner who repents," and who's in the presence of angels but God Himself.
-v9, He "does not belong to" Christ.
-v13, He "will die" (note this signifies eternal death).
Has your will and desires been changed?
Would you rather eat from the slap up meal? Or do you really prefer to eat from the pig trough?
You may also be asking: "Well, if the man of the flesh cannot please God, and I cannot change myself and only God can change me, then what can I do?"
Well if you're thinking that, then it's only by God's Grace that He's letting you and giving you the desire to do that. It's only by His providence divinely working all the events in the universe "together for the council of His will" Eph 1:11 that you happen to be reading this now. So it may be that God is changing your will and desires now and so Isaiah 55:6-7 says:
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Jesus, the Son of the Living God says to you:
v3 "Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,"