After we have received Christ into our hearts and have been forgiven of all sin, there yet remains a process of “putting aside all that remains of wickedness” (James 1:21). For my entire adult life, or so it seems, I have been engaged in getting rid of these ‘remains.’
Having just finished my second week of chemo-therapy—the purpose of which is to annihilate any cancer cells remaining after the surgical removal of my pancreatic tumor—the spiritual analogy is shouting at me. At salvation the sin-centered heart is removed. But afterward, the Holy Spirit uses the chemically-dynamic Word to search and destroy all that remains of the former self.
And even as my chemo therapy is voluntary, so is its spiritual counterpart of “putting aside [putting to death] all that remains of the sinful, earthly things [still] lurking within us” (Col. 3:5). But thank God that while chemo offers no guarantee of success, He does: “After you have suffered a little while, He will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).