Removing All Leavening
We begin with a big task ahead of us. It’s easy to get most of it out of our homes but it’s not easy to get all of it out.
Deleavening means to remove leaven from your home. We do this physically as a practice while we remove sin from our lives like hidden sins and ones we are blind to.
We all have sins and imperfections that we are not aware of at this very moment. God gives us time. We continue for seven days. Seven is the number of completion and perfection.
He wants to completely remove sin from our lives (leaven of hypocrisy, malice, wickedness and corruption) as we go onto perfection
Today I would like to talk about how we can do that.
How do we go about: Coming Completely Out of Sin
1. See Sin as God Sees it
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.
1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness,
In previous messages, we have talked about Leprosy, Cure for Leprosy and Coming out of Egypt.
If we begin to see sin for the ugliness that it is and as an agent of death and destruction, and then we look in the mirror and see what God sees, it will be easier for us to want to get rid of it out of our lives and come completely out of it.
2. Never Return
If we are to come completely out of sin then it stand to reason that we cannot return to what we have come out of
Lot’s wife desired to turn back.
Genesis 19:17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”
She felt compelled to look back at where she came from and what she was leaving behind.
It was flocks and herds and tents and family and friends and servants and wealth – but it was all a part of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Lot’s wife had a longing for the physical.
What was the outcome?
Another place that represented evil and sin was Sodom and Gomorrah
What did God do to Sodom and Gomorrah – God thoroughly burned the cities to the ground.
2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
2 Peter 2:5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;
2 Peter 2:6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;
God completely and thoroughly hates sin and wants to remove it completely. He does not want anyone to return to sin.
2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.
2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
2 Peter 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
2 Peter 2:21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
2 Peter 2:22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A DOG RETURNS TO HIS OWN VOMIT,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
We are not to even look longingly back at it – we are not to desire it at all
If we learn to view sin the way God does, we will not want to look back but keep on our journey away from it.
3. Do Not Allow Sin Back In
The last point was us going toward sin and this point relates more to sin coming at us.
In this day and age we are being given more ways to sin and more opportunities to sin. Satan is alive and well and is constantly calling us to look backwards.
With our focus on deleavening we should have a heightened awareness of sin
Romans 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
Romans 6:13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
What is Christ’s admonition?
John 8:3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,
John 8:4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.
John 8:5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”
John 8:6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
John 8:7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
John 8:8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
John 8:9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
John 8:10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
John 8:11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Christ came into the world to do away with this Administration of Death
He extended mercy to this woman as He now does to us.
Allowing us to go forward, BUT not sinning – that is being obedient to God’s laws which are a reflection of His character that we are to be putting on. We are to become holy as God is Holy.
4. Search Ourselves Thoroughly
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
Through God, His spirit and by His Word we can cut to the heart of the matter and see what we have missed and been blinded to and then excise them – cut them out with this two-edged sword.
Hopefully we are working on the crumbs and not the big slices of bread which should be obvious.
Now all that being said, these are definitely principles that we are to be putting into action.
And they have a rightful and meaningful place within the days of Unleavened Bread.
BUT, We now need to look at the more important part and meaning to these days.
This feast is not called the days of Removing Leavened Bread. That all happens before the first Holy Day starts. This is called the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD.
Our focus is to be on the Unleavened Bread. This is bread without leaven that represents Christ. We are to be FILLED with it – bread of life. That is what these days are more importantly about.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Replacing with Unleavened Bread
In order to completely come out of sin, we replace it with righteousness.
More important and actually the only way that we can come totally out of sin is by displacing it with righteousness. [example of pouring water in a glass of air]
During the Days of Unleavened Bread we are not only supposed to remove leavened bread we are to replace it with unleavened bread.
Filling up on the Unleavened Bread of Righteousness
1 Corinthians 5:7 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:
1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
We don’t just stop eating leaven, but we eat the unleavened bread of righteousness.
The unleavened bread, the bread without sin in it, at this time of the year represents a sinless Christ. We need the Bread of Life.
Replacing with Jesus Christ
Here is the key
Colossians 1:26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.
Colossians 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom [word of God], that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 1:29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. [in the same way it works in us]
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
Romans 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
Romans 8:13 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.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Ephesians 3:15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
Ephesians 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Ephesians 3:18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—
Ephesians 3:19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
With that in mind how do we utilize this and continue to come completely out of sin
5. Keep Your #1 Priority #1
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Remember Lot – flocks and herds and tents and family and friends and servants and wealth
He kept His eye on the goal.
6. Be Determined to Finish What You Start
Luke 9:62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.“
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might
Matthew 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
Put our heart and mind and life in it.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
If we do, we will produce the fruits that God is cultivating through us in the row that we have to hoe.
Another aspect of looking back when you are plowing or walking your walk is that it pulls you off course.
7. Stay on the Straight and Narrow
Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
Matthew 7:14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
So what God is saying:
Out with the Old and In with the New
Out with the leaven of sin and in with the unleavened bread of righteousness.
Ephesians 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,
Ephesians 4:18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;
Ephesians 4:19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Ephesians 4:20 But you have not so learned Christ,
Ephesians 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Ephesians 4:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
Ephesians 4:23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
Ephesians 4:24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Absence of Righteousness
If we do not use these days to take on more of God’s mind and righteousness, then we only found the leaven in our life but failed to remove it.
When we put on Jesus Christ, do people see Christ in You?
Colossians 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Colossians 3:6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,
Colossians 3:7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
Colossians 3:8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
Colossians 3:11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Colossians 3:14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
Romans 13:14 But put on the [endued] Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
God Desires Obedience
1 Samuel 15:22 So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
Psalms 40:6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
Psalms 40:7 Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
Psalms 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.”
Psalms 40:9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know.
Psalms 40:10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth From the great assembly.
Jeremiah 7:23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’
Matthew 9:9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
Matthew 9:10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.
Matthew 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Matthew 9:12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.“
Grace Is Not a Substitute for Obedience
“Now we know that God heareth not sinners [those who lack a sensitivity to sin and practice it in a state of rebellion]” (John 9:31).
We Are Each Accountable for Our Own Actions
God requires us to take responsibility for our own actions.
“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel [God’s church today], every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 18:30–31).
The theme of our purpose in keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread is to come all the way out of unrighteousness. God deals with us according to our learned habit of obedience. We are a positive work in progress if we are not continually scourging and piercing Christ anew—if we are not using Christ’s dual sacrifice as a substitute for inward change.
We replace sin with God’s righteousness – Holy Spirit – Him in us
A vital aspect of God’s purpose for us involves our coming to repentance, recognizing our sinful state and how far short we fall of God’s standards, and determining to begin living God’s way of life. We strive to identify and overcome our sins and live a sin-free life.
However, when God helps us recognize the enormity of our sins, a natural human response is dejection and discouragement.
How can we possibly overcome our deficiencies of character and attain to the eternal life that God offers us? How can we change and overcome sin?
Christ’s answer provides the key to overcoming sin: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (verse 26, added emphasis throughout).
Do not be conformed to the world but to be transformed by God’s Spirit and “by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2).
We must surrender to God. Repentance comes through God’s goodness, not our own (Romans 2:4). God grants repentance so we may know the truth (2 Timothy 2:25). We are free, however, to decide whether to repent. Peter exhorted his countrymen to “repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
God promises to give us His Spirit. That Spirit empowers us to recognize and overcome sin. Through conversion we become a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) as far as God is concerned. He enables us to live as a different person, leaving behind our sins.
We can overcome sin
In 1 John 3:9 the apostle John tells us, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”
First, the converted Christian does not habitually sin. He has, after all, turned away from sin. The sense here is not that a Christian will never sin, because we remain human, imperfect and subject to the pulls of our nature and a degenerate world around us. Instead, the sense is that a Christian will not remain in the practice of sin.
A second point of this scripture is that God’s Spirit is like sperm. It impregnates Christians and enables us not to sin. We are empowered not to sin by God’s “seed” (Greek sperma), which lives in us. Cannot in the Greek does not mean can never, as it is often used in English. Rather, it means enabled or empowered not to sin. This is encouraging news—that we can, with God’s help, overcome sin!
We have work to do and must make a conscientious effort while God’s Spirit continues to empower and reinforce our efforts.
In Ephesians 4, Paul presents an easy-to-understand formula for change. He illustrates the method with several examples so we may clearly understand what is involved in overcoming sin. When we examine these verses, we notice three steps we must take to shift from a sinful life to one that properly represents God’s working with and within us. If we miss any one of these steps, change either cannot take place or will remain incomplete.
Paul’s instruction regarding overcoming sin is to “put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).