King's Business - 1968-10

Leaven is not only a type of moral evil but of doctrinal evil as well. Jesus said, “ Take heed and be­ ware of the leaven . . . of the Sad- ducees. Then understood they how that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine . . . of the Sadducees” (Matt. 16:6, 12). The Sadducees were the liberals of their time who “ aimed at removing Judaism from its narrowness and sharing in the advantages of Greek life and culture.” In our Lord’s day they refused to believe in the res­ urrection o f the dead. Matthew writes, “ The same day came to Him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection . . .” (Matt. 22:23). Here is the Leaven of Unbe­ lief, a corrupting evil present in religious circles today. The Leav­ en of Unbelief is as false and dan­ gerous as the Leaven of Hypoc­ risy. To all who will not believe the whole Bible our Lord says, “ Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matt. 22:29). The Leaven of skeptical unbelief o f Bible truths is an ancient thing. It emanates from the school of the Higher Critics.” Beware of this Leaven of rationalistic material­ ism and unbelief! The Leaven of the Galatians. It was to the Galatians that Paul wrote, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Gal. 5 :9). The false teaching that crept into the churches in the province of Ga­ latia was not like the evil teach­ ing of the Sadducees. It was a form of deadening lega lism which, while it did not deny the basic tenets o f the Christian Faith, such as the Deity of Christ, the Inspiration of the Scriptures, and the Resurrection, persisted in mixing works with

faith as a ground for one’s salva­ tion. The Leaven of Galatianism rears its ugly head in much of the church life today. Too many preach and teach a salvation that depends upon the keeping of the Sabbath, dhe observing of ordi­ nances, and the doing of much works. Lest any of my readers feel that I am majoring on mi­ nors, let me warn against de­ spising the day of small things, whether of good or of evil. Great oaks from little acorns grow. One subversive shade of teaching can corrupt an entire congrega­ tion of sincere believers. Evil spreads rapidly. Beware of the Leaven of the Galatians. The Leaven of Moral Evil. When the Apostle wrote to cor­ rect the evils of the incestuous man in the congregation at Cor­ inth, he said, “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleav­ ened . . (I Cor. 5:6, 7). No as­ sembly of believers is totally im­ mune from the Leaven of evil conduct. The sin may be secret, or a bold, brazen thing done in the open. At Corinth it was so fla­ grant that Paul said, “ It is re­ ported commonly.” All sin in the local church must be dealt with in kindness and in love, but in a disciplinary way. No evil can be discounted or disregarded. To tol­ erate sin is to help it to multiply. The Leaven of sinful practices must be purged out lest the whole becomes leavened. Beloved, we must keep the church pure at all costs. How can we hope to minis­ ter to the needs of our commu­ nity and o f the world if we are unclean? The slightest complicity with evil will penetrate and pol­ lute the whole. We must examine

our lives for evil as carefully as the Jew would search his house from top to bottom for any trace of leaven. Beware of the Leaven of moral and social evil! To conclude our meditation on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it is essential to examine those Scriptures which point out the se­ vere penalty which resulted from the discovery o f leaven in a He­ brew’s house. God had said, “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” (Ex. 12:19). To be “ cut off” could mean either death or severance from the fellowship of God and o f the people of God, or both. Any form of sin will be forgiv­ en if the sinning person confesses his sin to God. Abraham was a liar, but he was forgiven. Moses was a murderer, but he was for­ given. David was both a murderer and an adulterer, but he was for­ given. Peter, a profane man, denied the Lord, but he was for­ given. Those all were true saints who sinned but were forgiven. However, there is a sin unto death for the believer who re­ fuses to put evil out of his life (I John 5:16). Of course, no Christian loses the eternal life he received when he was bom again. What the Christian loses is phys­ ical life. A Christian may be cut off from this life for living after the flesh (Romans 8 :13), for fail­ ing to bear fruit (John 15:2), for lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-6), for murmuring against God (Num. 16:41-49), or for en­ gaging in moral evil (I Cor. 5:1-8). Oh, let us come humbly to God, confess every known and se­ cret sin, and purge out the old leaven! BE



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