The Meaning for Us!

Fred R. Coulter - April 15, 2014

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread! I'm sure you all had an inspiring Passover and a joyful Night to be Much Observed. Of course, the exodus for the children of Israel is a fore-type of God calling us out of this world.

This Sabbath and all of the Holy Days, being appointed Feasts of God, have meaning for the children of Israel when God was dealing with them, as we have already seen and covered, and has meaning for us. Today God has called His people. Today God wants us to grow in grace and knowledge, to overcome and change.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is that Feast which pictures that we will be doing that, and what God also is doing for us, which then is the most important thing. The Feast of Unleavened Bread has great and tremendous meaning for us, the true Christians of God, those who are called out from the world; though we live in the world, we're not part of the world.

Jesus prayed a special prayer: I pray that you take them not out of the world, but protect them from the evil one! They are not of the world just as I am not of the world! This is what the Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures for us, what God is doing in our lives.

In the Scriptures that we cover, here is one verse that describes very, very well what we do with the Holy Days; likewise with the Sabbath, the Word of God, with everything that we do. We have the greatest and most important thing in the world to do.

  • God is with us

  • God is in us

  • God is directing us

  • He's given us the power of His Holy Spirit to lead us

  • He has given us His Word, His spoken word

    • to Moses

    • to the Prophets

    • to the apostles

    • to us

—so that we can be instructed in season and out of season.

We are to go over these things as God wants, and also as we have repetition we learn, and we learn more, and that's how we put together the Word of God: line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, and put it all together. There's a great and tremendous picture to the meaning of the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Jesus also explained this in Matthew 13:52: "Then He [Jesus] said to them, 'Therefore, every scribe…'" That's actually what a minister really is, a scribe, and he uses the Word of God to teach; and all of us are to become scribes from the point of view that we can teach others. It's not just left to the ministry alone. You look in the book of Acts and see what different brethren did; it's quite an amazing thing!

We will bring together the Scriptures that are old, those we're acquainted with; and understand new things from the old and understand old things from the new and put it all together.

Leviticus 23 is where all the Holy Days are. These are the appointed times of God. The first appointed time is the Sabbath. Every seventh day, Saturday today—not as some calendars in some places have Sunday as the seventh day—is the true seventh day. We come together before God; God's Spirit is in us; God's Spirit is working with us. We fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ, study the Word of God and are fed spiritually so we can grow in grace and knowledge.

The appointed times that we have here for the Feast of Unleavened Bread have a specific meaning in the New Testament. We've already covered some of the meaning for the Old Testament. We're going to focus today on what does the meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread mean for us.

Leviticus 23:6: "And on the fifteenth day of the same month…"—the first month of the year according to the Calculated Hebrew Calendar. There are some people who think they know more than God and go out and try and develop their own holy calendar.

  • Can you think like God?

  • Do you know how the universe works?

  • Do you understand the movements of the earth?

  • Do you understand the movements of the moon?

  • Do you understand the movements of the sun?

  • Do you understand how they fit all together?

  • Do you know how to calculate the time or observe the time?

You cannot observe and be accurate!

  • Do you know?

If you do, then you can make your own calendar. But if you don't know, don't you think you're only guessing?

"…is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD. You must eat unleavened bread seven days. On the first day you shall have a Holy convocation. You shall not do any servile work therein, but you shall offer a fire offering to the LORD seven days. In the seventh day is a Holy convocation. You shall do no servile work therein" (vs 6-8).

Today, since we don't have offerings of animals everyday, what we do is take up offerings on the Holy Days.

In 2-Corinthians 9 we have a promise that Paul wrote. Since we are kind of like a crop, we're the Feast of the Firstfruits, here Paul draws an analogy between planting, growing, reaping and harvesting. This was at a time when Paul was instructing them to plant various foods, so that could be taken up—after their harvest—to Jerusalem, because of the famine that they had there.

Here's a principle for us in what we do in serving God, because God indicts the whole nation of Israel that they have 'robbed God in tithes and offerings.' Look at the mess we have today because of doing that! We can draw a spiritual analogy from this and apply it to our lives.

  • if you do little, you will receive little

  • if you do abundantly, you will receive abundantly

That's the whole story of the seven churches in Rev. 2 & 3.

2-Corinthians 9:6: "But this I say: the one who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and the one who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Each one as he purposes in his heart, so let him give, but not grudgingly or by compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver" (vs 6-7).

Remember the parable of the sower, where the seeds went by the wayside, or in shallow ground, or in thorns and thistles. They didn't produce fruit. But those who produced fruit brought forth 30-fold, 60-fold, 100-fold.

This is what we try and do with the offerings and tithes that we receive from the brethren, to make them multiply: reach out to more people, produce the things necessary so that we can all grow in grace and knowledge and have that great spiritual relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ every single day!

It's all what we choose to do, whether it's on a daily basis, weekly basis, yearly basis, it's always getting down to what we choose to do.

Here's the key, v 7: "Each one as he purposes in his heart, so let him give, but not grudgingly or by compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. For God is able to make all grace abound toward you so that in every way you may always have sufficiency in all things, and may abound unto every good work" (vs 7-8).

As we have seen, the good works that God wants us to do are those spiritual works that develop character, that emulate from us because of love, Truth and righteousness through the Holy Spirit of God.

(pause for the offering)

Thank you, brethren, for the offering. We know that in these difficult times it's sometimes very important that we also do contribute, realizing that God is able to work things out for us in His way with His blessing.

Why do we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread? A very important reason! As we come up to the Feast, the most important thing between each one of us and God is the Passover. The true Christian Passover renews the New Covenant. We have, every year, the reminder of what we need to do: the blessing of God's Spirit in our life. For that to continue, as Paul has written, we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Yes, we're to get leaven out of our houses. But that's not the key point. It is physically, but spiritually it pictures what we must be doing.

They had the problems in the Church at Corinth, and they were letting sin into their lives. Remember, as Paul has written many times, a little leaven leavens the whole lump!

1-Corinthians 5:6: "Your glorying is not good. Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore, purge out the old leaven…" (vs 6-7)—to clean out, to get rid of, expel and flush away. We flush it away with the Spirit of God, which is:

  • the water

  • the power

  • the cleaning

"…so that you may become a new lump…" (v 7)—a new creature. We are being created unto good works in Christ Jesus. When it says that if we're Christ that we're a new creature that doesn't mean it's finished; it's accomplished. We are being created and since it is there with the Spirit of God, it is to be growing, overcoming, producing the spiritual fruits. "…become a new lump…" and that won't be finished until the resurrection.

"…even as you are unleavened…." (v 7). They forgot the purpose of getting the leaven out of their houses as it applies to the spiritual meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. When you do that you forget the very purpose of the Passover. You forget the meaning of the Passover Day on which Jesus Christ died. He died for the sins of the whole world. Every single human being has a part in crucifying Christ!

The reason: "…For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us" (v 7). That's why we know that Jesus told us if we eat His flesh and drink His blood we are to live by Him! Think of this way:

  • Physically we live because we breathe, eat and God provides things for us.

  • Spiritually we live because Christ died for us, rose from the dead so we could have our sins forgiven and be justified to God, and that He and the Father will dwell in us so that we produce fruit:

    • that we grow

    • that we change

    • that we overcome

    • that we become that new lump

Paul says, 8: "For this reason… [the [purpose of Unleavened Bread] …let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven…" Not with the way we have been behaving. Yes, we need to repent of all of those things and overcome. Yes, some of them may take quite a while and lot of work to overcome, because they're deep-seated with us. But God has given us the power to do that.

"…nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness…" (v 8). We are to be at peace with each other: husband and wife, father, mother and children.

We have on the other hand, for those who do not believe, maybe peace at this time is impossible. But the greatest peace that we have will be with God the Father and Jesus Christ, as we will see on the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

"…but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and Truth" (v 8). Where does that lodge? Let's understand: You can look at people, but there's one thing that you cannot do; you really, really don't know what's going on in the other person's mind. Sometimes you can guess, especially wives to their husbands, or husbands to their wives. But that doesn't mean that you know their thoughts. Let's look at where we start, and where we need to end up. Human nature is 'deceitful above all things!' The 'heart is desperately wicked!' Jesus told us about this in Mark 7.

It doesn't matter how good we think we are, or if we commit the sin of comparing ourselves with other people and think that we're more righteous than they or we're not as wicked as they are—even though that may be partially the case—what goes on in the mind is what God is centering on for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. During Unleavened Bread leaven is a type of sin. Sure enough, it's everywhere! The reason that God chose unleavened bread is because bread is used daily. Bread is there for everything, and there is sin everywhere, in everything!

This is a lesson; this is a great lesson. This is where we start, and we will see where God wants us to finish. But none of the things that are here can be carried over into the Kingdom of God. God expects us, just like we put leaven out of our homes, we are to put sin out of our lives. Just like we are to search for it and work hard to see where it is, we are to search for it and work hard to understand how to get it out of our mind.

Remember what James wrote, you cannot have thoughts of sin and wretchedness and murder and praise God at the same time, because 'salt water and fresh water does not come out of the same fountain.'

Mark 7:20: "And He [Jesus] said, 'That which springs forth from within a man, that defiles the man.'" Of course, the problem was that the scribes and Pharisees saw Jesus' disciples eating with unwashed hands. 'Oh, they would be defiled if they got a piece of dirt in them.' Try a carrot; will that make you defiled? No!

  • here is the thing that we need to concentrate on

  • here is what must be overcome

  • here is what must be changed and converted

Verse 21: "For from within, out of the hearts of men…" Look at our lives, look at the lives of the people you know over the long haul. Look at the world; what a mess! Who is the author to come along as the one who is the spiritual power of the air to infuse things into our mind coming out from television, on radio, or other people that we are around, in addition to what we have in our own mind? It's good to understand how evil we really, really are, so that we can repent of it, identify it and get rid of it!

"…go forth evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickednesses, guile, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness…. [What do these things do to us?]: …All these evils go forth from within, and these defile a man" (vs 21-23). Because as a man and woman thinks in his or her heart, that's what you are!

Let's look at the works of the flesh of the carnal mind, and these things the Apostle Paul told us that if we do not overcome these things, if we do not get rid of these things, we're not going to enter into the Kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19: "Now, the works of the flesh…"—that's the carnal mind. What is the carnal mind by nature? Enmity against God! Not subject to the Law of God, and neither, indeed, can be! We can't have a 'religion' and make ourselves better. We need the Spirit of God so that our efforts will be motivated, led and empowered by God.

Here's what Paul says it is, and I want you to understand how much sex is involved in these things, It has been in every generation, in every civilization, in every family and in every person's life:

"…are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry…" (vs 19-20). What is the idolatry?

Let's see why God does not even listen to some people, or answer some people, even those who are leaders. Ezek. 14 is quite a thing and it demonstrates why it's so important for us to repent. Here they are in a captive prison camp, Ezekiel is there with them, they've been exiled from their camp because of their sins, and they come to Ezekiel and they want to know what the Word of the Lord is. What's missing? Did they come to Ezekiel to repent? No!

Ezekiel 14: "And some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man…'" (vs 1-3). Listen carefully. That's one of the things that is listed as works of the flesh, which we need to get out of our minds. You can have many idols in your mind. Let's notice what that does between us and a relationship with God.

"'…these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I at all be inquired of by them?'" (v 3). Of course not! The leaven that God wants out of us is the leaven of theworks of the flesh, those things generated by the carnal mind! He has a purpose in that. Remember, the Feast is a whole seven days long.

Verse 4: "Therefore, speak to them, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Every man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart…"'"

  • What is your idol?

  • Have you already smashed it and gotten rid of it?

  • Has it tried to resurrect itself in your mind, again?

"…and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face… [these are all from within] …and comes to the prophet… [or God or Christ] …I the LORD will answer him according to the multitude of his idols" (v 4). Notice if we don't do this: go back and read what Jesus said to the seven churches. Everyone of them He said, 'Repent!' Even to the Church at Sardis He said, 'Repent, and keep the few things that you have left, and I won't blot your name out of the Book of Life.' Interesting, isn't it? Think on that one for a while!

If we don't do that, v 5: "So that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart because they have deserted Me for their idols—all of them. Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Repent and turn yourselves from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations"'" (vs 5-6).

Let's read about some of these abominations, and what has happened to the Church.

  • If you don't believe or understand that we have all—from the 1920s to today—have been Laodiceans…

  • If you don't understand that and take the lesson that God has said to the Laodiceans: repent and be zealous, because Christ is knocking at the door…

Too many today have pushed Christ out even in the Churches of God.

  • Where are all the people that were in attendance when we had the Feast at a 120,000 one year?

  • Where did they go?

  • Were they purged out because of their sins?

Probably, but that's in God's hands!

Galatians 5:20: "Idolatry, witchcraft…"—that's coming on television a whole lot more—isn't it?

"…hatred…" Remember, you can't have the love of God and hatred of your brother. That's why it's important in your relationship with God you forgive them even though they haven't asked for forgiveness so that you are not carrying any hatred or bitterness.

"…strifes, jealousies, indignations, contentions, divisions, sects, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such things as these; concerning which I am telling you beforehand, even as I have also said in the past, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God" (vs 20-21).

That tells us where we start. Now let's see how we get from the starting line to the finish line. Let's look at a Scripture that we'll have to fill in the blanks in between, that Jesus gave when He was beginning His ministry and was preaching the Sermon on the Mount. Matt. 5:48 tells us the goal.

  • Where do we start?

  • How we arrive at that goal?

  • Why do we need the Holy Spirit?

  • What do we need to do to exercise it ourselves

God expects us to work, as well. He is not going to come by power and fiat and make robots. He wants: thinking, intelligent, spiritual character built within us!

  • How great is it?

  • How great is that goal?

Brethren, stop and think for a minute how puny this makes 'religion.' That's why God hates 'religion.' How absolutely incredibly pitifully poor are the promises of 'going to heaven with your immortal soul' and viewing God's beatific vision forever. NO!

Matthew 5:48: "Therefore, you shall be perfect…" How do we get perfect? The Feast of Unleavened Bread emphasizes what we must do and how we must do it; and what it is that we have to fight and overcome to get it done! With God we can do it!

"…even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect." (v 48)

  • How is that for a goal?

  • How is that going to be accomplished except through the work of God in us and by the power of God's Holy Spirit?

That's why we need to have the full understanding, as I have covered in Restoring Original Christianity for Today, that we need to realize that being under grace means you have direct access to God the Father and Jesus Christ continuously—24/7!

Romans 7 is very interesting and also answers the question as to why God does not just take all of this evil from us and remove it at once; like taking a big vacuum cleaner and sucking it up, and BANG! there you are, righteous! No! There you are empty-headed, empty-hearted! He wants all of that removed spiritually!

  • it is a process

  • it is something that we need to work on

  • it is something we need to fight against

  • it is something that we need to be on guard against

We need to realize that Satan the devil is there to try—through the spirit of the power of the air:

  • to get us to do his will

  • to get a little leaven into our lives

So, we must have the Spirit of God within us to recognize sin. We are to obey God in the spirit, not just the letter! Rom. 7 shows that through the Feast of Unleavened Bread:

  • we have a work to do

  • we have a battle to fight

  • we have to exert all of our spiritual energy to do so

  • we must do this on a daily basis

  • it must be within, conversion of the heart and the mind

Romans 7:7: "What then shall we say? Is the Law sin? MAY IT NEVER BE! But I had not known sin, except through the Law. Furthermore, I would not have been conscious of lust, except that the Law said, 'You shall not covet.'"

  • It's one thing to read it; it's another thing to understand it!

  • It's one thing to believe it; it's another thing to be convicted of it!

  • It's one thing to know that it should be done; it's another thing to really do something about it!

Paul is explaining the fight that we have spiritually. It's not a contradiction! It's a true understanding of Mark 7:21-23.

"…But I had not known sin, except through the Law. Furthermore, I would not have been conscious of lust, except that the Law said, 'You shall not covet'" (v 7). You've got to understand the lust that is there. When temptation comes and lust conceives, then it gives birth to sin! This is all part of how we overcome it.

Verse 8: "But sin, having grasped an opportunity by the commandment… [the commandment is always working] …worked out within me every kind of lust because apart from law, sin was dead." Where there is no law there is no sin! Yet, the very law of our mind, without the Spirit of God, is carnal, lustful, filled with all the characteristics of Mark 7.

Verse 8: "But sin, having grasped an opportunity by the commandment, worked out within me every kind of lust because apart from law, sin was dead. For I was once alive without law; but after the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (vs 8-9).

Some people have a great difficulty with that. What does that verse mean? He didn't know at one time how the Law really worked, and none of us did. But after the commandment came—that is after we began to understand about the commandments of God and began to keep them—then we began to see how absolutely sinful sin is. Then he says, "…and I died."

How did he die? He died in the watery grave of baptism! That's how Paul died! He quit living to himself. That's what baptism is. We quit living to ourselves, and live to God and for God. God's Spirit in us, and God's Holy Spirit then becomes the abode of the Father and the Son.

Notice what happens when you really begin to understand how powerful the commandments are, and how they define sin. Remember, the commandments are always working all the time, just like the law of gravity.

Let me just suggest this: If these Scriptures in Rom. 7 are difficult for you to understand: study them, pray about them, ask God to help you grasp it, because the things of sin that Paul is talking about here are those inner things in our heart and mind that we have to overcome and get rid of. Just like we get rid of leaven out of our houses, we are to get rid of the leaven of sin out of our mind and heart.

Verse 11: "Because sin, having taken opportunity by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me." In other words, his deceitful nature in transgressing the laws of God led him to be in a position of death—the wages of sin is death! We will see that we still have within us—that we need to work on and overcome—what Paul calls 'the law of sin and death.'

Now then, human beings—like they do in 'Christian religions' today—get rid of the Law, because the Law convicts their conscience. The Law is harsh, the Law is mean—get rid of it. NO! Paul says it's just the opposite.

Verse 12: "Therefore, the Law is indeed Holy, and the commandment Holy and righteous and good. Now then, did that which is good become death to me? MAY IT NEVER BE!…." (vs 12-13). The lesson is how to obey in the spirit and how to overcome.

So, Paul says, "…MAY IT NEVER BE! But sin, in order that it might truly be exposed as sin in me…" (v 13). Within man! Out of the heart of men proceeds evil thoughts!

"…by that which is good, was working out death; so that, by means of the commandment, sin might become exceedingly sinful" (v 13). You understand and fully grasp the whole meaning of the depravity of sin.

Here's the lesson, v 14: "For we know that the Law is spiritual… [always in action] …but I am carnal…" As long as we're in the flesh and we're fighting the law of sin and death, we still have carnality to overcome. The truth is, the final fulfillment of Matt. 5:48 is the resurrection. But we have to grow in grace and knowledge between now and then. We have to be faithful unto death.

"…having been sold as a slave under sin… [To whom? Satan the devil!] …because what I am working out myself…" (vs 14-15). What any human being is doing, they really do not comprehend what they're doing. Think of it for a minute.

Paul says, "…I do not know…." (v 15). How many times have you tried to really do something good and then it ends up in a great mess? Then it gets really out of hand and you have a catastrophe so that sin might become exceedingly sinful?

"…For what I do not desire to do…" (v 15). Unless you're compelled to go out and commit murder and keep on doing it, nothing is going to stop you. But what you desire is to do good, and somehow it doesn't work out that way, even though you intended it to be that way.

"…this I do; moreover, what I hate, this is what I do" (v 15). You desire not to do; you don't want to do it. How many times have you said when you did something, 'I don't know why I did that'? Sin! Human nature!

  • You've got more to overcome!

  • You've got leaven to get rid of!

Verse 16: "But if I am doing what I do not desire to do, I agree with the Law that it is good." The Law doesn't cause me to do it. The Law convicts me of what I have done as wrong so, therefore, the Law is good!

Verse 17: "So then, I am no longer working it out myself; rather, it is sin that is dwelling within me." We all have sin within! That's why leaven is a type of sin; it puffs up from within! Very interesting—isn't it? Yes, indeed!

Verse 18: "Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me—… [this is the point we need to understand] …that is, within my fleshly being—any good…." Why? Because any good you want to do does not eliminate 'the law of sin and death' within you!

This 'good' is compared to God, Who is wholly and perfectly good. Our 'good' is always tainted with the sinful nature. Think on that!

"…For the desire to do good is present within me… [we intend to do good, but God does not go on intentions] …but how to work out that which is good, I do not find" (v 18). That is within myself.

With all this burden of human nature and begin against God, how do I work it out?

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Let's see that the spiritual battle that the Apostle Paul had is typical of all of us, brethren, in our overcoming. Let's understand that God realizes this; God knows it, so there is hope. However, we have to exercise God's Spirit in our thoughts to get rid of these things and pray about getting rid of them within: a change of heart, a conversion of mind.

Let's see how important this is and what Paul went through, we all go through, and how God looks at it.

Romans 7:21: Consequently, I find this law in my members…" It is there! He calls it in Rom. 8 'the law of sin and death.'

"…that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man" (vs 21-22). You love God's Law. Just like it says in Psa. 119: 'I love Your Law.' So do we! We love God's way, but then, we have to overcome the carnality that we still have. The final getting rid of it will be at the resurrection.

Verse 23: "But I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members." This is a great understanding, brethren. That's why we have to come to love God so much that we can see the evil that is there that God wants us to get rid of.

  • we have to put forth the effort

  • we have to use the Spirit of God

  • we have to use the Word of God

  • we have to pray to God

All of these things combine together. So, Paul says:

Verse 24: "O what a wretched man I am! Who shall save me from the body of this death? I thank God for His salvation…" (vs 24-25). Think what you are being saved from. Remember, the revealing of these sins within is being revealed by the Holy Spirit:

  • so that you can repent of them

  • so that you can get rid of them

  • so that you can get that leavening out of your mind

Just like there's leaven in the air, there's sin in the air, and these things try and come back within us. But through the Spirit of God we grow, change and overcome.

Verse 25: "I thank God for His salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, on the one hand, I myself serve the Law of God with my mind; but on the other hand, with the flesh, I serve the law of sin." It is the fleshly things within us that is causing it—not God!

Rom. 8 becomes all important, and we will see how these things are overcome. Romans 8:1: "Consequently…"—in light of everything covered in Rom. 7, and there's a lot there. We need to understand this is exactly how it is with us.

"…there is now no condemnation…" (v 1). Because we're fighting to overcome sin, God does not condemn us. The condemnation comes when we agree with it and we sin. We coddle it and we think that that is good. That is the condemnation. But to have it exposed in our mind to repent of, to have us exert the effort to overcome using the power of the Holy Spirit, "…there is no condemnation…"

"…to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh… [though the pull of the flesh is there. We're not walking that way] …but according to the Spirit" (v 1).

Let's see what the Spirit of God does for us, v 2: "Because the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death." That means we have the means given to us, God's Spirit, which if we exercise it, will deliver us from 'the law of sin and death'—the law of sin as we're living, and the law of death by the resurrection. This becomes important to understand. He has not removed it. But we must get rid of it. Let's see how that is going to be done, because this is important.

Verse 3: "For what was impossible for the Law to do…" The Law cannot make you do 'good.' The Law tells you what is right and wrong, good and evil; but you must choose to do 'good.' It is the Spirit of God that converts us!

"…in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (v 3). Jesus took upon Him 'the law of sin and death,' and never sinned so that we can receive of the Spirit of God to overcome. He condemned it in His flesh. He "…sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh…" and condemned sin in the flesh. That is the whole crux of the crucifixion. God was the only One Who could do it. Now He gives us the strength so that we can do it.

Verse 4: "In order that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us…" How? By having the laws and commandments of God written in our heart and mind! That's how! And by the Spirit of God to lead us and direct us so we have the spiritual power to do it.

"…who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (v 4). Let's see how this is accomplished.

1-Cor. 4—this is what it needs to be with us, because we're to overcome daily, weekly, monthly, yearly—however long we live—that gives us the ability to grow in grace and knowledge. That gives us the ability to exercise the Spirit of God and work toward the perfection of God the Father. That is the whole goal!

Isn't it interesting that Jesus brought that out in the Sermon on the Mount; quite an amazing thing. Let's read what Paul said, and he explains it this way so we can understand what is taking place.

2-Corinthians 4:16: "For this reason, we do not lose heart; but if our outward man is being brought to decay… [we're all getting older and older; every year people die in the faith and await the resurrection] …yet, the inward man is being renewed day-by-day"—that is the inward spirit: What God is doing in us spiritually.

Let's also see what Paul is telling us, showing that it is a daily effort; showing that it is something we need to labor in prayer and in study, in exerting the fruits of the Holy Spirit of God:

1-Corinthians 15:31: "I die daily by our boasting which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord." God makes it possible.

  • He is the One Who gives us the energy and the power!

  • He is the One Who leads us to victory!

Think on that! Let's see what Paul concludes, Galatians 5:24: "But those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh…"

  • all the works of the flesh

  • all the carnal nature within

we are

  • crucifying it daily

  • fighting it

  • getting rid of it

We are commanded to put them to death! Paul said, "I die daily…"

"…with its passions and lusts. If we live by the Spirit, we should also be walking by the Spirit" (vs 24-25). How do we walk by the Spirit? We're still in the flesh, so how do we walk by the Spirit?

Colossians 3 tells us what we must do, how we must ask God to forgive us, ask God to help identify sin within us—so we don't have idols within and God will not deal with us because of that—and what we must do to overcome. Here is what we are to do:

Colossians 3:1: "Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ… [through the operation of baptism] …seek the things that are above…" Put all the spiritual things first:

  • the love of God'

  • the Truth of God

  • the faith of God

  • the Word of God

  • all of our actions

"…where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God" (v 1).

  • to intercede for you

  • to help you

  • to lead you

  • to guide you

Verse 2: "Set your affection on the things that are above, and not on the things that are on the earth." Because the glory that we're going to receive is greater than anything we could possibly imagine on earth.

Verse 3: "For you have died… [in the watery grave of baptism] …and your life has been hid together with Christ in God." That's an amazing thing—isn't it? Yes, indeed!

Verse 4: "When Christ, Whois our life, is manifested, then you also shall be manifested with Him in glory." Just exactly as the apostles wrote about.

Verse 5: "Therefore, put to death… [don't let these sins rule in you] …your members which are on earth—sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry." Those are things that Paul tells us to do, 'put these things to death!' Paul says that we 'crucify these things daily.'

Verse 6: "Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, among whom you also once walked, when you were living in these things. But now, you should also put off all these things… [here are some other things we need to put away]: …wrath, indignation, malice…" (vs 6-8).

I've done this: 'O Lord, help me to overcome my temper.' I get off my knees and then something comes up where I lose my tempter. I think: God didn't answer that prayer. NO! God answered the prayer. He gave me an opportunity not to lose my temper, or not to get angry, but what happened? I didn't pass the test! Yes, God answered the prayer, so we need to go repent again, and ask God to help us identify when those things come along. When something comes up that you normally get angry over, or lose your temper over, take a deep breath, ask God's help, and He will help you!

Notice the things that linger even in our Christian lives concerning overcoming the sin within: "…wrath, indignation, malice, blasphemy, and foul language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another…" (vs 8-9). Christians lying to one another? Ah! That ole deceitful heart is really deceitful—isn't it? Yes, indeed!

"…seeingthat you have put off the old man together with his deeds" (v 9). This is all putting out leaven. All of these things that we have read here is leaven, spiritual leaven, that we need to get rid of.

Notice what we do; it's one thing to put leaven out of your house, it's one thing to put leaven out of your lives by confessing your sin, but you need to change your behavior!

Verse 10: "And have put on the new man…" The new you, the you that God is creating within you, with:

  • the spiritual character

  • the love

  • the Truth

  • the guidance

All of that that comes from God's Spirit.

"…who is being renewed… [created in true Holiness] …in knowledge according to the image of Him Who created him; where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian nor Scythian, slave nor free; but Christ is all things, and in all" (vs 10-11). Put on the new man!

Now let's see what we are exercise to, v 12: "Put on then… [we're to put out, we're to get rid of these thing because we put on the new man] …as the elect of God, Holy and beloved, deep inner affections, kindness, humility, meekness and long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive" (vs 12-13).

That's what we need to do, brethren; because our human nature can offend someone, and sometimes we don't even realize we did it. If we have, we need to repent. These are things we need to ask God to help us bring into our lives daily: "…even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive."

Verse 14: "And above all these things… [here is the point we come to]: …put on love, which is the bond of perfection"—because we are being perfected in Christ. That's why it all starts with the love of God and comes clear around full circle in everything that we do as a Christian, and comes back to

  • the love of God

  • the love of the brethren

  • the love of our neighbors

  • the love of our enemies

Verse 15: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…" That's the government of God! With that all the ministers then become on the sideline:

  • to teach

  • to help

  • to encourage

  • to inspire

  • to show God's plan

Just like coaches on an athletic team, they are on the sideline, but the players are all in there and he's coaching them on how to do this, how to do that, how to improve, how to change, what tactic to take, and so forth.

That's the role of ministers and elders! Not to be rulers over the brethren. If Christ can't rule in us, how do people think—with whatever stretch of an imagination that they might have—that the rule of man is going to do better than the rule of Christ. It won't work!

We need to have things in order. We need to do things the right way. But we don't need a hierarchy ruling over us.

Verse 15: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you were called into one body, and be thankful. 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. And in everything—whatever you do in word or in deeddo all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him" (vs 15-17). That is a tremendous thing we need to look forward to. This is the meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so that

  • we can become converted

  • we can be changed

  • we can be renewed in the spirit of our mind

  • we can grow and have the mind of Christ

Galatians 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love…" This is what we are to produce; this is the most important thing because love overcomes many, many sins. By the love of God we have our sins forgiven. By the love of Christ He cleanses us from all sin and all unrighteousness. That cleansing is the washing of the water by the Word, so that we begin to:

  • think with the Word of the God

  • think with the principles of God

  • develop the character of God

  • develop the character of Jesus Christ

We are being perfected. It's not going to be done all at once overnight. No, it won't be! This is something we are to work at. Develop the love of God.

"…joy…"—even in times of difficulties. We know that after the difficulty that has been overcome, then greater things are going to be given. Keep that in mind!

"…peace…" We're going to talk about the peace of God—the covenant of peace that we have with God, which lead to perfection—on the Sabbath during Unleavened Bread.

"…long-suffering…" Not only to have patience, but it means that you suffer long. If you have some things that you have been suffering with because it's physical or mental, difficulties or battles, but you still yield to God and not succumb to it.

"…kindness… [rather than harshness] …goodness, faith, meekness, self-control…" (vs 22-23). All of this comes down to self-control and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 16: "Now this I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh." No, you won't do that. You will do as we found in Col. 3: crucify them, put them down.

Verse 17: "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit… [that battle of the law of sin and death within us is going on] …and the Spirit against the flesh; and these things are opposed to each other, so that you cannot do those things you wish to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under worksof law" (vs 17-18).

You are not under the law of condemnation like the rest of the world. We are under forgiveness and mercy and access to God so we can have our sins forgiven and grow in grace and knowledge.

Verse 23: "…against such things there is no law. But those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live by the Spirit, we should also be walking by the Spirit" (vs 23-25). That's what it means for keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the lesson for us to put the leaven out: out of our homes, and put the leaven of sin out of our lives!If we're doing that there isno condemnation!But God is:

  • with you

  • loving you

  • leading you

  • guiding you

in everything!

This is the meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread for those who are true Christians!

Scriptural References:

  1. Matthew 13:52

  2. Leviticus 23:6-8

  3. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

  • 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

  • Mark 7:20-23

  • Galatians 5:19-20

  • Ezekiel 14:1-6

  • Galatians 5:20-21

  • Matthew 5:48

  • Romans 7:7-9, 11-18, 21-25

  • Romans 8:1-4

  • 2 Corinthians 4:16

  • 1 Corinthians 15:31

  • Galatians 5:24-25

  • Colossians 3:1-17

  • Galatians 5:22-23, 16-18, 23-25

Scripture referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 2; 3

  • Psalm 119

Also referenced: Sermon Series:

Restoring Original Christianity for Today

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