1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
1 Corinthians 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
We are obligated then to do what we find in the next verse:
1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
We must keep the Days of Unleavened Bread with sincerity and truth; and of course the implication is to live this way for the rest of the year as well
Let’s start with this one as it easy to determine
John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
In its entirety, every word!
The quality or state of being sincere; purity, uncorrupted the quality of being free from pretense [pretending], or deceit. It is conforming to what we believe. Practice what we preach! [Keeping the Sabbath in form only]
Sincere: Strong’s G1506 εἰλικρινής eilikrinēs
pure, sincere, unsullied
found pure when examined by the sun’s light
from heile (the sun’s ray) and krino to judge or discern
Godly Sincerity vs Worldly Sincerity
2 Corinthians 1:12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.
This is the greatest degree of sincerity — this is our goal and what we are aiming to achieve
Worldly sincerity: Not completely sincere, so having a small to a great degree of deceit accompanying it; Our goal is to move towards God, His way, His character , His example
Example of Jesus Christ
1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
1 Peter 2:22 “WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH“;
1 Peter 2:23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
One of the definitions for sincere is free from hypocrisy; not being hypocritical
Define: the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.
Opposite of the unleavened bread of sincerity which is conforming to what we believe.
Then hypocrisy is the leavened bread that we are to avoid:
Leaven of the Pharisees
Luke 12:1 In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
Then a warning as to why this should not be the case
Luke 12:2 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
Luke 12:3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not, as so many, peddling [KJV: corrupt] the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
We cannot believe for one second that the things that we say and do that are contrary to the truth and not fully in line with it are not being seen by God.
Matthew 15:7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
Matthew 15:8 ‘THESE PEOPLE DRAW NEAR TO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOR ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME.
They were not being sincere. What is the consequence of this?
Matthew 15:9 AND IN VAIN THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.’ “
Because there was a mismatch of sincerity and truth, because their actions and words were misaligned, they came up way short of what God wanted and expected.
What we are beginning to see is that:
Sincerity and Truth are not the same
Paul said two words for a reason, while they go together, there is a difference
How and What
One is “how” and the other is “what”
Some put one in the place of the other
The Truth is “what” we are to live and Sincerity is the “how”
There is a relationship between the two though and you CANNOT have one without the other
James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
James 1:20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness [same word as malice in 1 Corinthians 5], and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
James 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
James 1:24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.
We must hear THE Word of God, THE perfect law of liberty, not a facsimile AND we must LIVE by every word of it not coming up short.
This the unleavened bread of Sincerity AND Truth.
Let’s illustrate the necessity to have both by looking at all four combinations
1. Without Truth and Sincerity
This one should be obvious, it is the “old leaven…[or] the leaven of malice and wickedness (1 Cor 5:8)
Malice and wickedness
Notice briefly how these are contrary to sincerity and truth
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
Romans 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness [same words as 1 Corinthians 5]; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
Romans 1:32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
Exemplified in the False Prophet
2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
|2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
2 Thessalonians 2:12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
One of the epitomes of evil on earth
He operates without truth and sincerity.
2. Truth without Sincerity
As a Christian can we have truth without sincerity?
Even the demons believe — they know much of the truth, but they do not live it
Context: Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him [Simon Magus], “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
Acts 8:21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness [same word as malice in 1 cor 5:8], and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart (mind) may be forgiven you. [the heart or the thoughts and feelings of your mind is where malice resides] Acts 8:23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness [this is what malice leads to if it is not rooted out] and bound by iniquity [and we can become a prisoner to sin].”
Of course one of the biggest examples of truth without sincerity are the Pharisees
Example of the Pharisees
Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples,
Matthew 23:2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
Matthew 23:3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.
Do as they say (within the word of God) and not as they do (because they didn’t do as they said) This is hypocrisy. They had the Truth, the Israelites, the Jews had been given the law specially, but they were not sincere in doing it
Matthew 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
Matthew 23:5 But all their works they do to be seen by men [pretense; pretending]. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.
Matthew 23:6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,
Matthew 23:7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’
They were about form over substance
Matthew 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
Matthew 23:14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
Christ goes on telling them like it is and calling a spade a spade!
Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
Matthew 23:24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
Matthew 23:25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.
Matthew 23:26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Marrying up the truth with the actions
Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
Matthew 23:28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
They knew the Truth and even wanted to appear that way, but on the inside they did not truly want to conform their behavior to it – they were not being sincere, they were indeed hypocritical.
3. Sincerity without Truth
This is probably, without a doubt, the largest group today.
We see this in so many ways
Truth doesn’t matter, it’s what’s in your heart; Pseudo-christians without the law or truth or complete Word of God; It is the Preacher that is giving the hail fire and brimstone sermon at the pulpit raising the roof and waxing eloquent and going through all the motions
2 Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 Timothy 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
2 Timothy 3:6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
2 Timothy 3:7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
They mean well as they diligently go to church each week
They are sincere – just sincerely wrong.
Example of Saul/Paul
Acts 7:58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Acts 8:1 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Acts 8:2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
Acts 8:3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
Acts 9:1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
Acts 9:2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Saul, was very sincere in what he believed (reminds me of the Muslims today) it is just he and they did not/do not have the truth.
Notice how Paul describes his former self
Acts 22:3 “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.
Acts 22:4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women,
Acts 22:5 as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.
Sincerity must be built on the right foundation. We cannot in our exuberance go out and start nailing boards together without doing in the right way. We cannot just go out and pour cement wherever we want.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
There are many that profess to be Christians, preaching what THEY say is the Word of God, invoking the name of Christ to do so and what does Christ say about them?
Matthew 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ [They do not have the truth]
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
Matthew 7:25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
Matthew 7:26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: [poured the cement with vigor and gusto but not on a good foundation] Matthew 7:27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
We are living in a world that wants to be right without having to do right.
They say, “Who are you to tell me what to do” so they do what right in our own eyes.
They say “My opinion counts” regardless of the facts and truth while they lean to their own understanding.
Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
Romans 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
There is a way that seems right to man — and even that way they cannot keep – we do/can not live by our own laws and rules.
Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the spirits.
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
Sincerity is a form of godliness and today it is all that some believe that they need
We as Christians must start with the truth / we cannot say I don’t know where I am going but at least I am making great time. We need the correct road and direction to go along with our desire to get where we want to go – because the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Many well intentioned people out there and what does Christ say to them, “‘I never knew you”
That is why the true Christian needs:
4. Truth with Sincerity
Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
Philippians 1:10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
Philippians 1:11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
We cannot have one without the other
We must have Sincerity WITH Truth
We cannot have truth without sincerity; We cannot have sincerity without truth!
Having sincerity does not assure truth; there is no promise of truth because we are sincerity; it takes more than wanting it badly.
In the church today we have to ask ourselves how we are defined at this time of the year
Do we have the Truth?
Winds of doctrine; Ever learning and not coming to knowledge
Are we sincere?
Are we pretending to be a Christian? Or do we speak the word of God in and out of season and live by every word and are not just hearers but doers?
We are different, we are to be different
We are to keep the feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth – that is Sincerity With Truth