Unleavened Bread Part 2

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

Put Away Sin!

Ex 13:7

1 Cor. 5:7-8

The Christian life is a feast. It is not a famine or a fast or a funeral. The Christian life is a feast, and Leviticus 23 outlines for us the seven feasts of Jehovah that picture what God does for His people. These feasts present to us what Jesus Christ has done for us and what He will do in the future. The series of feasts begins with Passover. If you are going to be God's guest at His feast, you have to come by way of the blood, the blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The second feast is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Passover was on the 14th day of the first month, and from the 15th day to the 21st day they celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We read in Exodus 12:15: "Seven days shall ye eat unleav­ened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel." And in verses 19 and 20 we read: "Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread." Note also Exodus 13:7: "Unleav­ened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quar­ters." God made it very clear that during these seven days they were to get rid of all the leaven.

Leaven, as you know, is yeast. Yeast is that won­derful substance that makes bread dough rise. In the Bible leaven is a symbol of sin. Why would God use leaven as a picture of sin? To begin with, leaven is a small thing, but it spreads secretly and quietly, just like sin. Really, it infects the dough. You don't hear the dough rising—you see it rise. Leaven is small but powerful, and it can spread quickly. When it spreads, it always puffs up. Isn't that a perfect picture of sin? We read in I Corinthians 5:1,2: "It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, . . . and ye are puffed up." There was sin, leaven in the church at Corinth, and the fellowship was infected.

Leaven is a picture of sin. Sin gets into our lives very quietly, very secretly, and it starts to spread if we do not put it out of our lives. It will grow, it will puff up. So often when sin takes hold in a person's life, that person gets proud, haughty, sometimes even proud of the fact that he is living such a "free life."

Please note that the people were not saved from Egypt by getting rid of the leaven. They got rid of the leaven because they had been delivered from Egypt. You aren't saved because you have put sin out of your life. You go to heaven because you have trusted Christ as your Saviour. You are safe under the blood of the Lamb.

But let those who "nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (II Tim. 2:19). There is a very definite responsibility on the part of the believer to put sin away from his life. We should "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, per­fecting holiness in the fear of God" (II Cor. 7:1).

In the Bible there are six different kinds of leaven mentioned—different sins that we must put out of our lives. You may be wondering, "Why is my Christian life faltering? Why am I at a standstill? Why am I going backward?" Or you may be saying, "I wonder why our church is not growing as it should? Or why don't we have a living and vital fellowship?" Maybe there is leaven that has to be dealt with.

The Old Leaven

To begin with, we must get rid of the old leaven. "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" (I Cor. 5:7). I think Paul was referring to that which belongs to the old life. Don't drag into your new life the leaven from the old life. Abraham did that, you know. Twice he told his wife, "Now, we are going to lie. You must tell everyone that you are my sister. If you tell them you are my wife, they might kill me to get you." (She must have been a very beautiful woman for Abraham to have that kind of a fear!) Abraham dragged into his new life some leaven from the old life, and of course, it got him into trouble.

I think in I Corinthians 5 Paul was also suggesting that the man in the church who was living in sin was a part of the old leaven. Paul told the church to discipline the offender. "Ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you... . Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?" (vv. 2,6).

If our churches do not deal with sin, the sin will grow and will infect other people. Before long you will have a real problem on your hands. Church discipline is not a policeman's finding a culprit and throwing him in jail. Church discipline is a broken-hearted shepherd's finding a wayward sheep, weeping, praying and trying to restore him.

The Leaven of Malice and Wickedness

First Corinthians 5:8 states, "Not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."[1] Malice and wickedness are like leaven. Malice is carrying bad feelings in your heart against somebody. Whenever you hear that your enemy has had success, it makes you envious. Whenever you hear he has had trouble, it makes you happy. Malice is that grievous poison down inside that keeps Christians from getting along with each other. Like leaven, it will grow and infect whole families and churches.

The Bible admonishes us to lay aside "all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings" (I Pet. 2:1). These sins can spread in a church or in a family. Some families are torn apart because of malice and hard feelings. We would have revival in our churches if people would just apolo­gize to each other and put the old leaven of malice and wickedness out of their lives.

The Leaven of Hypocrisy

A third kind of leaven is given in Luke 12:1—the leaven of hypocrisy. "Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees," said Jesus, "which is hypocrisy."

Hypocrisy means deliberately pretending. None of us lives up to his ideals; none of us is all that he would like to be or all that he could be in Christ. But that is not hypocrisy. Falling short of our ideals is not hypocrisy. Pretending we have reached our ideals when we have not—that is hypocrisy. I suppose the clearest diagnosis of hypocrisy anywhere in the Bible is in Matthew 23 where our Lord Jesus took the scribes and Pharisees and held them up to God's X ray. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness" (v. 27). Hypocrisy is pretense, and like leaven, it grows. First we pretend about our prayer life, then we start pretending about our giving, and then we start pretending about our witnessing. Before long we really believe all of this pretense! The leaven has grown in our lives, and our hypocrisy increases.

Hypocrisy is a terrible sin because it keeps us from sincerity and truth. You cannot live the Christian life successfully apart from truth. So let's be aware of the old leave anything from the old life. Let's get rid of those old habits, those old associations, that are infecting our lives. Let's put away the leaven of malice and wickedness and the leaven of hypocrisy.

The Leaven of Herod

In Mark 8:15 the Lord Jesus warned His disciples about the leaven of Herod. Herod, of course, was the ruler of part of the land of Palestine, and he was a compromiser. Herod's philosophy was to go along with the Jews to get what he wanted and to cooperate with the Romans to get what he wanted. He was a compromiser. The leaven of Herod is the leaven of worldliness and compromise.

I hear people saying that the church has to get into the world and do what the world does in order to win the world. That philosophy is exactly opposite to the biblical pattern. The Bible teaches us that the church has to be unlike the world to be able to attract the world. We don't have to become sick in order to help sick people. We don't have to become ignorant to help ignorant people. The church has to maintain a separated, unworldly attitude if we are going to win people to Christ. Beware of the leaven of worldliness and compromise.


The Leaven of the Sadducees

In Matthew 16:6 our Lord warns about the leaven of the Sadducees, which is unbelief. The Sadducees were the "modernists" of their day. They didn't believe in angels, spirits or the resurrection from the dead (see Acts 23:8).

Believe the Word of God. Believe what God has to say, accept it and act upon it. If someone comes along and says, "We have to rethink the Bible," be careful. I don't think the Bible was given for me to judge. It was given to judge me. I am the one who needs to be judged by the Word of God, and I don't have the right to judge it. Study it       yes. Read it—of course. Meditate on it—absolutely. But question it—absolutely not! Beware of the leaven of the Sad­ducees, which is unbelief.

Young people going off to colleges and universities are told that they can't trust the Bible, that it's an outdated, ancient book, a record of man's search for God. If you start believing that sort of misinfor­mation, you will end up in trouble. The leaven of unbelief will grow, and before you know it, you will lose the power of the Word of God in your life. Then how will you stand? What will be the foundation for your life?

The Leaven of False Doctrine

Finally, in Galatians 5:9 there is a warning about a sixth kind of leaven—false doctrine. The Galatian churches had been invaded by the Judaizers, the legalists, who said, "You are saved by faith in Jesus Christ plus keeping the Law. You are sanctified by faith in Christ plus being obedient to the Law."

We have legalists today—people who give us rules and regulations that are supposed to make us spiri­tual. "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump," Paul warned (Gal. 5:9). What leaven was he talking about? "This persuasion [false doctrine] cometh not of him that calleth you" (v. 8). A little bit of false doctrine gets into the church, and before you know it, it spreads and you have a church turning from the truth. You may say, "Well, it's not important for us to believe these doctrines." Yes, it is! It is very important, because if false doctrine gets in, it will infect the body of believers, it will create problems, it will rob the church of power. It will grieve the Holy Spirit, and the church will lose its witness for the Lord.

God says, "Put away the leaven." Don't let it even be seen in your lives! Get rid of the old leaven from the old life; put away malice and wickedness, hypocrisy, worldliness and compromise, unbelief and false doctrine. "Search me, 0 God, and know my heart . . . see if there be any wicked way in me" (Ps. 139:23,24).

Be God's guest! He offers you purity of life!

Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more