While the apostle Paul provides a general classification of the acts of the sinful nature in Galatians 5:19-21, other New Testament authors go into more specific aspects of wickedness. Jesus’ earthly brother refers to the process of temptation that wears down weakened souls, James 1:13-15. The disciple whom Jesus loved blames this on sensual desires, lustful eyes and pride in 1 John 2:15-17. These passages serve as warnings for Christians to be done with every trace of wickedness.
So be done with every trace of wickedness (depravity, malignity) and all deceit and insincerity (pretense, hypocrisy) and grudges (envy, jealousy) and slander and evil speaking of every kind, 1 Peter 2:1.
The decision to become a Christian is like committing to a new diet. Whenever you make a transition from eating whatever you want to healthy or full vegan, taste will be one of the greatest obstacles. When I served as an elder at Red Lion, one of our members went off to a cancer treatment center. This particular facility used natural foods to make human bodies less acidic. In the case of my friend, after 6 months on a rigid diet, he became cancer free. Yet, his roommate was unable to alter his eating habits.
Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; 23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], 24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another, Ephesians 4:22-25.
The apostle Paul applies a similar method to altering one’s lifestyle. Like a filthy kid playing in the mud all day, Paul urges new Christians to strip off their former nature. Whenever you hold on to bad habits and former addictions, traces of a wicked past will cling to your soul. This is when a divine intervention may be necessary. Like doing laundry once a week so that you can have clean clothes to wear, Christians need to practice Paul’s advice in Colossians 3:1-9 to remove your past and replace this with Jesus Christ.
by Jay Mankus