The Spiritual Lesson of Unleavening Your Life

(First Day of Unleavened Bread)

Fred R. Coulter—April 9, 2009

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Feast of Unleavened Bread! We've certainly have had a tremendous merry-go-round of things happening in the world and in the Church since we began a year ago with the Holy Days, beginning with the Passover and the Night to Be Much Observed.

As we covered before with the other sermons, the three most important days are the Sabbath, the Passover and the Holy Days. We also saw that the counterfeit has three most important days, and they are: Sunday, Communion/Eucharist and the occult holidays of this world. So that's how you tell the counterfeit. That's how you know. That's why God gives us understanding of these days; and in these days:

  • to teach us
  • to help us
  • to uplift us
  • to correct us
  • to bring us closer to Him

So that He can mold us in the way that He wants!

Let's begin in Lev. 23:4, and we'll talk about the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the meaning of the first Holy Day and how that will relate to things that we need to be doing to be growing and overcoming in every way possible.

Leviticus 23:4: "These are the appointed Feasts of the LORD, Holy convocations which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons." This is not optional; God didn't say:

  • if you desire
  • if you agree with it
  • if you think you ought to

NO! He said, 'These are My Feasts in their appointed seasons.' These are the seasons God has chosen. The Calculated Hebrew Calendar always keeps us in proper timing, proper season, never failing. That's why God gave the Calculated Hebrew Calendar.

Verse 5: "In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings, is the LORD'S Passover."

We already kept that, and we know that the tremendous meaning of it as a covenant relationship with God.

Verse 6: "And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD…. [that's where we are today] …You must eat unleavened bread seven days." There's the command, and that's what we need to be doing!

Verse 7: "On the first day you shall have a Holy convocation. You shall not do any servile work therein"—meaning work for pay or work that a hired servant would be doing in that time when they had slaves and servants and things like that.

We find in Exo. 12, as we've already covered leading up to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, that we can prepare whatever food we need for the Holy Day, on the Holy Day.

Verse 8: "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."

As you know we always take up an offering during the Holy Days. This gives us an opportunity:

  • to serve God
  • to let God know our heart
  • to let God know our attitude
  • to let God know our willingness toward God

We know in Deut. 16[transcriber's correction] it says "Three times in a year shall all your males appear before Me in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, in the Feast of Weeks and in the Feast of Tabernacles; and none shall appear before Me empty."

Since we don't offer offerings made by fire, we offer monetary offerings. We have to understand and realize that if you offered the sacrificial offerings and so forth, those were are also of great value. Now, just two other things we will add with it, which is this:

  • God promises that He will give us sufficiency in all things, if we give willingly and not grudgingly and if we give liberally, the way that God intends us to.
  • Remember when Jesus was watching all of them cast their money into the treasury, and He said, 'All these rich people cast in from their abundance.' But He saw a widow who put in two little mites, two little coins. What did Jesus say? He said, 'She has given more than all of them; because they gave of their abundance and she gave of her livelihood.'

All of these things we need to keep in mind. When we come before God, these things help us to realize that God expects us to come before Him with something to give from our heart in a way that would be pleasing to God! So, at this time we'll pause and we'll take up the offering.

(pause for offering)

Now let's see one of the very purposes of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. What it is supposed to do for us. What it is to teach us. How we are to use these days. These are not just days like the world observes days, and ours our better than theirs. These are days where God puts His presence into the day; it's a Holy Day and it's a day in which we are going to learn:

  • learn of God's Word
  • learn of God's way
  • learn how we can draw closer to God and to serve Him better
  • what God is doing, not only in the world, but more particularly in our lives

That's what these spring Holy Days picture: what God is doing for us in spite of the world!

Exodus 13:3 "And Moses said to the people, 'Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage…"

What did Jesus say in John 7 when He was speaking to the disciples? IF you follow Him and keep His Word and practice it 'you shall be truly free.' What was the reply of those who heard that? We haven't been in bondage to anyone! How is it that You say we will be free?

Jesus said, 'The one who is the servant of sin is in bondage, indeed!' Here the lesson for us: God has called us out of this world. We still live in the world, but we're not of the world. We are not to live the way that the world lives. We are to live according to God's way, and He has brought us out of the bondage of the sin of this world so that we can have our sins forgiven, that we can be His special people—chosen—that He will

  • lead us
  • help us
  • guide us in everything that we do

The end result will be eternal life!

"…for the LORD brought you out from this place by the strength of His hand…." (v 3).

Remember, just as God rescued the children of Israel from Pharaoh and Egypt, God today rescues us from Satan the devil. That is a bigger rescue than what happened back there with them.

"…There shall be no leavened bread eaten" (v 3).

Leaven is a type of sin; so putting the leaven out of our homes and putting the leaven out of our lives, that's the main thing: getting the sin out of our lives! As we know, the process of conversion is over a period of our lifetime! It's just not instant fait accompli, done in one minute, in the blink of an eye. No! God wants:

  • to know what we're going to do
  • how we love Him
  • how we obey Him
  • how we serve Him
  • if we believe Him

Verse 4: "On this day you are going out, in the month Abib. And it shall be when the LORD shall bring you into the land of the Canaanites…" (vs 4-5).

Verse 6: "You shall keep this service in this month. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, and in the seventh day there shall be a Feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days…." (vs 6-7).

We used to get a lot of questions: 'Do I have to eat unleavened bread every day?' Well, if the Feast is seven days long and you're to eat it seven days, what do you think? Of course!

In addition, "…there shall be no leavened bread seen with you, nor shall there be leaven seen with you in all your borders" (v 7).

That's why today we clean out our houses. Back then they had to unleaven the whole land—every house, every public place, everything!

Verse 8: "And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, 'This is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out from Egypt.'"

Likewise, we can tell our children, this is what God is doing for us, because He has brought us out of this world.

Verse 9: "And it shall be a sign to you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD'S law may be in your mouth, for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt. You shall therefore keep this law in its season from year to year" (vs 9-10).

We have the same thing for us today. We are to remember when God called us out of this world. But we have something that is greater that is going to take place. Instead of having the Law of God where we can speak it and know it, we are to have it written in our heart and mind. The whole process of conversion is really quite a fantastic thing that God is doing.

Let's look and see what is man at his very best. Why every human being needs to be converted and changed. There is no salvation without conversion. We need to understand that. Let's look at the raw material that God deals with first. Psa. 39 tells us what human beings are:

  • cut off from God
  • without God's Spirit
  • without God's Law
  • without God's Truth
    • What are we, at our very best?

if we reach down and we pull ourselves up by the bootstraps

  • How high can we lift ourselves?

if we really think hard about it

  • Can you make yourself taller or shorter?
  • Can you make your hair grow?
  • Can you change it from white to black or black to white? You can't!

Psalm 39:1—Psalm of David: "I said, 'I will take heed to my ways so that I do not sin with my tongue…'"

That's also another thing, because sin is within! It's not just overt action that people see. It's the thoughts that are within that God uses and judges. This is what He wants to change; this is what needs to be changed.

"'…I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked are before me.' I became dumb, keeping silent; I said nothing good, and yet, my sorrow grew worse. My heart was hot within me; while I was musing, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue" (vs 1-3).

After considering everything, consider your life and everything that it is; everything that it has been, just like David did here.

Verse 4: "O LORD, make me to know my end and the measure of my days, what it is, that I may know how frail I am."

Every human being is frail, indeed—correct? God gives us air to breathe and if we don't have the air, we die. God gives us life in our bodies, and if we don't have that life, we're nothing. God provides food for us, and if we don't eat we die. God provides water for us, and if we don't drink it we die, frail! You get in an accident and you get hurt; people get killed. So we're frail! What else shows us how frail we are? The sickness we come down with; the weaknesses that we have in our bodies as we get older, and so forth.

Verse 5: "Behold, You have made my days as a handbreadth, and the span of my days is as nothing before You. Surely every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah."

Now, God is going to take us as vain human beings and change us and convert us with:

  • His laws
  • His commandments
  • His Spirit
  • His Word

The conversion has to be complete, because not only is God starting out with something that is vain and frail and weak, but it's also subject to sin and deceit. The human heart is 'deceitful above all things; who can know it?' All men are liars! I mean, that's self-evident if you watch any politics anywhere. We're finding that even the great promises that were given in this last election in the United States, almost every single one has been broken. We are not even four months into the whole situation.

Let's see Job's lesson; because Job had to learn, too. Let's see what Job tells us in Job 35 so that we can know and understand that we can't just come to God as I am, or as you are. Remember what the song is? "Just as I am, O Lord." No! You don't come to God the way that you are; you come to God in repentance, in humility, and willing to give up all of your vanity. Here is something that is important:

Job 35:13: "Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it."

We don't come to God to add something to God. Think about this for just a minute: If men come along and they read the Word of God, and they say, 'O God, I agree with this, but I don't agree with that; and I want to add something to it because I think this is good.' That's vanity! That's sin! God won't regard it!

Verse 14: "How much less when you say you do not see Him!…." Oh well, God's not here! Like all of the atheists, there's no vainer person in the world than an atheist.

"…The cause is before Him; you must wait for Him" (v 14).

Let's look at some other things, too, concerning not only can it happen to an individual, but it can happen to a whole nation. Can you believe that? A whole nation given to vanity! Does that not describe this nation and the nations of the world? Yes, indeed! In their actions and what they are doing!

God said to Israel, after He gave them everything; after He called them 'the firstfruits'… I think we will see the elements of what we see in America today.

  • How did we start out?
  • How did God bless us with all the fantastic things that God has done for us?

Jeremiah 2:1: "And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying… [substitute Washington, D.C. London, Melbourne, etc.] …"Thus says the LORD, 'I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothals, when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown" (vs 1-2).

'Oh yes, God, we want You! Oh thank You for delivering us out of Egypt!' That lasted a few days. And then they heard the Ten Commandments, and that overwhelmed them. God said, 'I'm going to bless you; I'm going to do everything for you.' But because of vanity, sin, lust and greed they didn't believe God!

Verse 3: "Israel was Holiness to the LORD…"

Why do you think we have all the blessings that God has given to us, which are now being taken away very, very quickly?

"'…and the firstfruits of His increase. All that devour him shall be held guilty; evil shall come on them,' says the LORD" (v 3). He says, 'I'm going to take care of them also; but look what you left!

Verse 4: "Hear the Word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel…. [all the Anglo-Saxon people in the world, listen up] …Thus says the LORD, 'What injustice have your fathers found in Me, that they have gone far from Me and have walked after vanity, and have become vain?'" (vs 4-5).

Amazing thing! All you have to do is view television; do some channel-surfing and all you're going to see is vanity, vanity, vanity and lies, lies, lies!

  • How did that happen to the whole nation?
  • How did that happen to the whole world?

They changed gods; willingly changed gods!

  • Is anyone standing up against the Supreme Court and saying, 'Don't you dare kick God out of our government, out of our schools, out of our lives. That is unconstitutional'?
  • Is anyone going to tell all the atheists, 'Take a hike.'

No! You can't even pray in the schools before a football game anymore, because it might offend some poor little atheistic soul.

Let's read what else God says about the wicked in the world, and remember that God has called us out of it. Also, in spite of how bad that the world is, we have all of God's Word! Let me tell you something, you need to think on this: We need to be using all the Word of God because to whom much has been given, much is going to be expected, and much will be required, and that's how God is going to judge us.

I was thinking: In the United States there is an average of four Bibles in every household, and whenever anyone has a Bible they're responsible before God. If they don't read it, that's not God's fault. God is going to judge them because they have it, and because they didn't read it, and because they didn't use it.

Now, take that one step further: God has called us and revealed His Truth and has given us understanding. How do you think God is going to judge us:

  • if we treat it like the rest of the world?
  • if we don't have time for prayer to God, Who is our life?
  • if we don't have time to study His Word. which gives us the Truth in how to live?

How's God going to judge us? Think on that!

Psalm 94:3: "How long shall the wicked, O LORD, how long shall the wicked exult." That is 'joy' in their evil and exult against those who believe in God!

Verse 4: "They gush forth words; they speak arrogant things… [sounds like someone I see on television every day] …all the workers of iniquity vaunt themselves…. [sounds like Congress, Hollywood and the average television show] …They crush Your people, O LORD, and afflict Your inheritance. They kill the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless…. [Isn't that something!] …Yet they say, 'The LORD shall not see, nor shall the God of Jacob observe it.'…. [God has something for them to remember; not only for them, but for us] …Understand, you brutish ones among the people and you fools, when will you be wise? He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? He who chastens the nations, shall He not correct? He who teaches man knowledge, shall not He know? The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are vanity" (vs 4-11). Compare that to the Word of God, which is:

  • truth
  • righteousness
  • goodness

Jesus said, 'The words that I speak to you… [which they are now recorded for us] …they are spirit and they are life.' Let's look and see some more concerning what happens to the whole world because of that.

  • this is why we are not to be like the world
  • this is why we have been called out of the world
  • this is why we are to be a light to the world
  • this is why we are to be a light to the Churches of God

Know that God's judgment is upon them; but we also need to understand: God's judgment is upon us as a nation, because what little they did know of God, they are turning their backs on it almost as fast as they can; and we are watching the rapid decline and collapse of Protestantism that was just unheard of and it's almost breathtaking to see it happen today. Yet, how many people do we have in the Church of God that are just 'ho-hum' about this and you go to church because it's a nice social event for you. You need to think again. Let's see what God is going to do here. He showed them His way.

Romans 1:18: "Indeed, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the Truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest among them, for God has manifested it to them; for the invisible things of Him are perceived from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that were made—both His eternal power and Godhead—so that they are without excuse" (vs 18-20).

God has given His Word! So, what happens to them? They say, 'We are wise,.' and they became fools!

Then you read the rest of Rom. 1, they are given over to every depraved thing: idolatry, sexual debauchery, murder, hatred and so forth; all the way through. They praise those who do evil!

Now let's see how God looks at it; yet, in this state, what do men do? All of these things are important for us to understand so that we don't do it. That we also understand what God has done to bring us out of this.

Romans 3:9: "What then? Are we of ourselves better?…. [Jews vs Gentiles] …Not at all! For we have already charged both Jews and Gentiles—ALL—with being under sin."

The only way you're going to come out from under sin is through Jesus Christ. And remember what it says there in Phil. 2, that 'every knee is going to bow to Jesus Christ.' Not now! Not at this time! But it is going to happen to every individual who has ever been created, because remember, there is the second resurrection. It is going to happen!

Out in the world it is said, v 10: "Exactly as it is written: 'For there is not a righteous one—not even one! There is not one who understands; there is not one who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way…" (vs 9-12).

Let's see how God is going to solve this problem. He does it by calling individuals out of the world! Not changing the world today. That's pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles. Each one, God reaches down and calls. Then when He calls—when there's true repentance—deep heartfelt repentance so that you turn from the way that you are living; turn from the way that you have been going; you want to have your mind cleansed and changed and be converted. Then when you repent, God justifies you! As we have covered, when you are baptized, you enter into a covenant with God through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. This is an irrevocable covenant. So, here is what we need to do:

Romans 5:1: "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"—because:

  • He was crucified
  • He shed His blood
  • He was scourged
  • He was in the tomb three days and three nights
  • He was raised from the dead and ascended to the Father and is at the right hand of God now

and we are justified from our sins! When you have that, that is a start. That is just the beginning.

Verse 2: "Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace…" Now you are put into a situation where with this grace you have access to God continually:

  • for forgiveness
  • for repentance
  • for understanding the Word of God
  • for God's blessing
  • for God's favor in everything!

That's the grace of God!

"…access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God" (v 2). What kind of attitude is this to give us?

  • God loves us
  • God has called us
  • God has given us His Spirit
  • God wants us to grow, change and overcome to become unleavened

Now, living in the world that might not necessarily be an easy thing to do. Overcoming the vanity of human nature and the wickedness and deceit of the human mind is a difficult thing to do, and it is a life long process we will see in just a little bit. But we are not to let anything—nothing whatsoever—deter us from that.

Verse 3: "And not only this, but we also boast in tribulations… [we are going to have tests and trials] …realizing that tribulation brings forth endurance."

We're going to go through times of difficulties, and we've got to have endurance just to live in the world, but also endurance to keep the faith that God has given us, and the purpose of our calling, and here's why:

Verse 4: "And endurance brings forth character…"—the character that God wants to mold in us:

  • the love
  • the joy
  • the faith
  • the peace
  • the longsuffering
  • the goodness
  • the gentleness
  • the kindness

That's the character!

"…and character brings forth hope" (v 4)—because you:

  • believe God
  • trust God
  • know that God's Word is true

and you're going to live by it!

You have the hope—the greatest hope that there is—of the resurrection to be part of the firstfruits and to be resurrected when Jesus returns.

Verse 5: "And the hope of God never makes us ashamed because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us."

  • this is how God is going to convert us and change us
  • this is how God is going to get leaven out of our lives
  • this is how God is going to get sin out of our mind and heart in the way that we live

To have the unleavened bread 'of sincerity and truth.' This is what's so important for us to understand and realize.

When there is leaven, it puffs up the bread and makes it soft and all that sort of thing. As we will see when we come toward Pentecost, there's a good use of leaven applied in a different way. But leaven, during the days of Unleavened Bread, is a type of sin and a type of puffing up of vanity. The Church in Corinth really had its problems:

  • they were carnal
  • they were fighting
  • they were arguing
  • they were following this man and that man and the other man

Paul said, 'Look, I can't even talk to you as spiritual, but as carnal, because you don't understand even the basic things.'

1-Corinthians 3:18: "Let no one deceive himself…." Even those who were in the Church!

You have to be careful that you don't deceive yourself. Why? Because you still have the 'law of sin and death' within you; and that is what has to be overcome.

"…If anyone among you thinks himself to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, so that he may be wise in God's sight…. [that's Who we are to please] …For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God for it is written, 'He entraps the wise in their own craftiness'" (vs 18-19). We see this over and over again!

So we know, without a doubt, that all that is being done to try and stimulate the economy in this country and every country in the world is not going to work. The problem is not economics. The problem is the evil in the greater majority of the people, and God's judgment is coming upon them! They think, 'Oh, we're so wise, we can solve this, we'll be able to do it.' Well, God's going to take them in their own craftiness; and remember this: It has now been estimated that in order to save the whole world's economy, as we have seen, would take $600-trillion. There's not that much money in the world. So, they're already trapped. It's just a matter of how it closes in on them. The only problem is, is that we are all going to suffer because of it. But that should not let us be deterred from being unleavened in Christ and growing in grace and knowledge the way ought to be.

Verse 20: "And again, 'The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.'"

1-Corinthians 4:18: "Now some of you are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you; but I shall come to you shortly, if the Lord wills; and I will know not merely the words of those who are puffed up, but the power" (vs 18-19). Let's see what you really have in substance and in deed!

Verse 19: "For the Kingdom of God is not in words, but in power…. [then he gives them a warning]: …What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of meekness?" (vs 19-21).

Why did he say that? Because they had gotten so close to sin—letting sin move into the congregation. All the carnality around, and you can be guaranteed this: If you are in a church that is filled with carnality and vanity, sin is going to blossom—there's just no way around it; automatic result. So, here's what happened here. Let's see how Paul drew the lesson for us as to what the Feast of Unleavened Bread really means and what we are to do and how our lives are to be changed. Let's first examine this:

1-Corinthians 5:1: "It is commonly reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—allowing one to have his own father's wife…. [sounds like today] …You are puffed up…" (vs 1-2).

You're all lifted up in vanity. 'Oh, isn't that a wonderful thing! We have the grace of God, and this will forgive us.'

"…and did not grieve instead, so that he who did this deed might be taken out of your midst. For I indeed, being absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged concerning him who has so shamelessly committed this evil deed as if I were present" (vs 2-3).

So, it doesn't take him being there, because the truth is truth wherever it is; and what is right is right.

Here's what he said, v 4: "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, and my spirit, together with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ to deliver such a one to Satan…" (vs 4-5).

Now, if someone wants to follow Satan, let him go! If someone wants to live in sin and think: 'Oh, this is wonderful'—get rid of them so that they can learn; so that through turning them over to Satan the devil, maybe they will repent, as he says here.

"…for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good…. [you've got it all wrong] …Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" (vs 5-6).

That is true! That's why we need to get rid of sin constantly on a daily basis, and it is a chore to do and we will see that it must be done every day.

(go to the next track)

To be turned over to Satan the devil is very much like what you would read in the book of Job. God did that to Job so that Job could really learn that only God can deliver him from Satan the devil. Let's see something that God has done for us, and we do need, every day, to continue to pray for deliverance from it. Here is what we are to be doing.

Colossians 1:10: "That you may walk worthily of the Lord…" How do you do that?

  • walking in His way
  • keeping His commandments
  • being led by His Spirit
  • growing in grace and knowledge
  • developing all the character traits of God

"…unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy" (vs 10-11). This is what we are to do. Not like it is in 1-Cor. 5.

Verse 12: "Giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the Light; Who has personally…" (vs 12-13).

I want you to understand why this is so severe over here in 1-Cor. 5, because God has done something for each one of us personally through Jesus Christ.

Verse 13: "Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness and has transferred us unto the Kingdom of the Son of His love."

We are not to be under Satan the devil any longer. That's why even the daily prayer says, not only 'forgive us our sins as we forgive others, but rescue us from the evil one!' That rescue can only come from God. So, when you go from being rescued from Satan the devil, back into serving Satan the devil, as it is here in 1-Cor. 5, you have lost the whole meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

1-Corinthians 5:6: "…Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" See what happened to the whole congregation!

Take this individually, yes; if you allow evil in your mind, to stay there and multiply, soon you're going to be filled with evil and vanity again. IF you go back into the world and go back into Satan's world—into his territory, on his turf—THEN you become a victim to him. However, in many cases, Satan is going to welcome you with open arms. You won't have any trials or difficulties right at first. That's what's so deceiving about it, because remember, Satan is the master deceiver. So, a 'little leaven leavens the whole lump.'

Leaven now is likened unto sin, v 7: "Therefore, purge out the old leaven, so that you may become a new lump…"

Get the sin out of your lives; and we have our part to do. God forgives us through the sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ, by His grace, which justifies us to Him. But then we are to take an active, ongoing role of purging sin out of our lives. That's the whole meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread for us.

"…that you may become a new lump…" (v 7)—that is unleavened in Christ:

  • having Godly character instead of sinful character
  • having righteous behavior instead of unrighteous behavior
  • having righteous thoughts instead of unrighteous thoughts
  • having thoughts of goodness and love rather than thoughts of lust and love the way that the world has it

"…even as you are unleavened…." (v 7). That means that they went through the motion of putting the leaven out of their homes; because we're not to have leaven seen in any of our borders, any part of it. They went through the motions of putting it out. But they didn't follow through with the spiritual lessons of what that meant and what it means to purge it out. Just to unleaven your house and not use that as a lesson to unleaven your life. Now why unleaven a house? Because that's where you live, and because you don't want sin to live within you and sin to live within your house, and sin to live within your community as you could take it out further than that, or in the Church, whichever one you attend. Here's the reason for it. Why do we do this?

"…For Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us" (v 7). Christ was sacrificed for us so that:

  • we can have our sins forgiven
  • we can have access to God the Father
  • we can have all these spiritual gifts given to us:
    • receiving the Holy Spirit
    • growing in grace and knowledge
    • sacrificed for us

Who was the One Who was the Lord God of the Old Testament:

  • divesting Himself to become a human being
  • to be the perfect sacrifice
  • crucified on the cross
  • shed His blood there

So we can come to God and have forgiveness of sin and have it cleansed from us!

Verse 8: "For this reason, let us keep the Feast…" New Testament command to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread! Also, because Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us; therefore, we keep the Passover. Not the counterfeit of communion or Eucharist, but the Passover as Jesus said, with the words of Jesus, with the meaning of the unleavened bread and wine and that we understand that that sacrifice was a covenant sacrifice unto death. Our covenant sacrifice unto death was baptism. We need to keep that in mind.

"…not with old leaven…" (v 8). You come to the Feast of Unleavened Bread every year with resolve to change, with resolve to overcome—not only to get the leaven out of your homes, but to get the leaven out of your lives, out of your minds, out of your hearts.

"…nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness… [that's equating leaven to sin] …but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (v 8).

What did Jesus say, He said, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me.' That is the straight and the narrow way that we are to walk. We need to understand that. The first way that leaven starts coming in is that you start compromising. When you compromise and nothing happens then you get comfortable and you compromise again and again, and a 'little leaven leavens the whole lump'—sincerity and truth!

  • No vanity! Sincerity is the opposite of vanity
  • Truth—the commandments of God; the Laws of God; the Spirit of Truth to lead us

And God will help us do it!

Let's see how we are to get away from sin. He went on showing all the difficulties that they were having and saying: I know you can't get away from the immoral ones in the world. But you are not to be in the world to be of them and be like them.

1-Corinthians 6:9: "Don't you know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators…"

Today, you have a problem. People say, 'Oh, we're committed. I have my boyfriend. I have my girlfriend. Isn't that lovely and nice?' No! That's not! God says that sex is reserved for marriage. Not convenience so that you can live with this one for a while, while you're committed; then you change your mind a little later and you live with another one and you're committed for while there. All the while thinking you're doing good, but God says you're a whoremonger or a hooker! That's what God says! That's why marriage, as we have covered, is a covenant and meant to be like all covenants unto death! So that you don't have just a commitment to share and to live together. That's the way this world is. Yet, these people are accepted in the world.

What did God say here, through Paul? He says: 'Don't be deceived.' These people are deceiving themselves, lying to themselves. Just like the special that was done: Lie to Me! You know what the researcher found with that one? He found that the average person in ten minutes of conversation lies three times. It's automatic. That's why:

  • we are to be changed
  • we are to be converted
  • we are to put leaven and sin out of our lives

"…Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor abusers of themselves as women, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God" (vs 9-10).

So much for a homosexual church. If that offends you, BE OFFENDED! If I offend you with what I say, I'm offended with what you say and you do!

Verse 11: "And such were some of you; but you were washed… [through baptism] …you were sanctified… [with the Holy Spirit] …you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus… [put in right standing with God] …and by the Spirit of our God."

Verse 13: "Foods are for the belly, and the belly is for foods; but God will destroy both it and those. Now the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body."

You were made/created by God, to receive the Holy Spirit, so that you may belong to Him. So that you:

  • can change your heart
  • change your mind
  • change your thoughts
  • change the way that you live

According as God shows in His Word! He will give His Holy Spirit to you. Always remember this, and ask for it every day: Jesus said that the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. So, make that part of your prayer every day. That's going to help you become more unleavened by getting more sin out of your lives. We'll see a little bit later here what we need to also do mentally to really grab hold of these things.

Verse 15: "Don't you know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? MAY IT NEVER BE!…. [think of this in relation to all sin]: …WHAT!…. [Very emphatic!] …Don't you know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body? For He says, 'The two shall be one flesh.' But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit" (vs 15-17).

That's why you're called. You belong to God. You are a spouse to Jesus Christ. The wedding is going to take place at the return of Christ. All of us have to be faithful until that time. That's why we're to be faithful unto death.

Verse 18: "Flee sexual immorality…." We could also say, as he said in another place: flee idolatry—and covetousness is idolatry. Flee all sins; get rid of them; get out of the circumstances where you find yourself getting back into sinning because that is just like eating leaven during the days of unleavened bread. You are partaking of the wrong thing. You are to partake of righteousness and truth, which is pictured by the unleavened bread, rather than sinfulness, which is pictured by leavened bread.

Verse 18: "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man may commit is outside the body, but the one who commits sexual immorality is sinning against his own body."

Even though you may be a liar, and even though you may steal, you don't get venereal disease by doing those things. But you do with sex. You do mess up your mind and your emotions and your feelings and your commitment and your ability think straight when you are involved in sexual immorality. Sexual immorality covers everything today: visual through pornography; lusting because of the way that men and women dress today. All of those things are a part of it, and the whole society is obsessed and saturated with sex. So, we've got a tough job to grow and overcome and get out of those things.

We need to understand this. We need to understand how important the Feast of Unleavened Bread is, and how that our battle against sin is something that we need to continuously realize that we need to continually be doing it. Paul says:

Verse 19: "WHAT! Don't you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, which you have within you from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price…." (vs 19-20)—the sacrifice of Jesus Christ!

Our Creator gave His life for you and for me and for all those whom He calls. What price can you put on that? In human terms, none! A priceless price, to redeem us, who are sinners and wretched and miserable and rotten. That's something to really consider.

"…Therefore… [because of that; rather than live in sin; rather than go along with the things that are in the world; rather than agree with the world and think like the world and act like the world and do like the world] …glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (v 20).

Now let's look at something that we need to really understand, the price that was paid. That's why we were baptized and we were conformed to His death. That brought the circumcision of the heart and of the mind by the addition of the Holy Spirit uniting with our spirit. So the question is: 'Men and brethren, what should we do?' as they said in Acts 2. Here's what we are to do. Let's see how we are to live our lives the way that God wants us to!

First of all, let's understand it is still a struggle. We see something very important that we really need to realize, concerning growing and overcoming; Rom. 7.

Romans 7:12: "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! But sin, in order that it might truly be exposed as sin in me by that which is good, was working out death…" (vs 12-13).

In other words, the law defines what sin is—and 'sin is the transgression of the Law.' You do not know that until the Holy Spirit of God convicts you of it so that you will truly understand what sin is.

"…so that, by means of the commandment, sin might become exceedingly sinful" (v 13). In the New Covenant it's not just the action, it is also the thought! It's also not just in the sense of good things that we do, that it is the action; it's the thought! It is the motive behind it. We need to understand and realize that.

Now, here's the dilemma, v 14: "For we know that the Law is spiritual… [but Paul, after more than 20 years of conversion said]: …but I am carnal, having been sold as a slave under sin; because what I am working out myself, I do not know…." (vs 14-15).

Remember what did Jesus say, Who was totally righteous Himself, He said, 'I of My own self can do nothing.' Likewise, righteously, we can do nothing!

"…because what I am working out myself, I do not know…." Sin leads us to do things that we don't even understand! We say, 'Oh! Why did I do that? I don't know why I did that.' Here's the dilemma. Here is the fight. Here is the battle internally:

"…For what I do not desire to do, this I do; moreover, what I hate, this is what I do. But if I am doing what I do not desire to do, I agree with the law that it is good…. [nothing wrong with the Law, it's the sin within] …So then, I am no longer working it out myself; rather, it is sin that is dwelling within me" (vs 15-17).

As long as we're in the flesh and have human nature, sin is dwelling within us; and Paul defined it as 'the law of sin and death.'

Verse 18: "Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me—that is, within my fleshly being—any good. For the desire to do good is present within me; but how to work out that which is good, I do not find."

That is of myself. That's why we need the laws of God, the commandments of God, the Passover, the Holy Days of God. That's why we need the Spirit of God. Because those things show us what we need to do, and that is the way that we need to walk.

Verse 19: "For the good that I desire to do, I am not doing; but the evil that I do not desire to do, this I am doing. But if I do what I do not desire to do, I am no longer working it out myself, but sin that is dwelling within me" (vs 19-20).

We all have it. It will be with us the rest of our lives. Let's hope and let's pray that in growing and overcoming, it will be less and less. But, what did Jesus instruct us concerning the daily prayer? 'Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.' Which means that even being converted we need repentance and forgiveness every day. What did the Apostle John write? He said, 'If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves. But, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'

Verse 21: "Consequently, I find this law in my members… [within my own being; I have it, you have it, every human being does] …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; but I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind… [that's the carnal nature] …and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members. O what a wretched man I am! Who shall save me… [rescue me] …from the body of this death? 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… [with my spirit and with my heart] …but on the other hand, with the flesh… [because we still have flesh and there's still carnality] …I serve the law of sin" (vs 21-25). How does this put us before God?

Romans 8:1: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit; because the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death" (vs 1-2).

Let's understand what that means. The King James says 'freed from the law of sin and death,' which gives the implication that somehow it has been taken out of your life. Not so!

  • Are you still subject to death? Yes!
  • Are you still subject to sin? Yes!

We have been delivered from it, and that deliverance is from Christ; and that is on a daily basis. We have been:

"…delivered from the law of sin and death. For what was impossible for the law to do… [because it can't make anyone do anything, you have to choose] …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… [For what purpose?] …In order that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (vs 2-4).

How will the righteousness of the Law be fulfilled in us? Spiritually, with the Spirit of God! We are to use the Spirit of God to change, to grow, to overcome!

Let's see how Paul defines this in Col. 3, what we are to do. Here we see that he's admonishing Christians not to sin.

Colossians 3:1: "Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ… [out of the watery grave of baptism] …seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God."

Our lives are dedicated to God. Dedicated to changing, growing, overcoming, using the Spirit of God, using the Word of God on a daily basis, on a continuing growing in grace and knowledge. Always remember this: What you did yesterday—whether good or bad—that's past. Tomorrow hasn't come, so you can't even look at that yet. Every day, like it says there in Heb. 3, 'today while it is called today.' That's how we need to take it, day-by-day.

Verse 2: "Set your affection on the things that are above, and not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died… [through the process of baptism] …and your life has been hid together with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, is manifested, then you also shall be manifested with Him in glory" (vs 2-4).

That's the end result: sons and daughters of God, the children of God. So here's what we are to do, and he's writing to those who have been baptized.

Verse 5: "Therefore, put to death your members which are on earth…"—the sin within; the sin that has been programmed into our minds, which we are to recognize, repent of, and control our minds and control our thoughts and control our emotions through the power of the Holy Spirit of God!

"…sexual immorality, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry" (v 5). It shows we must continue to overcome these things!

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…" (vs 6-8).

Now here comes a more refining of character. Getting rid of the overt sins first, now a more refining of character.

"…wrath, indignation, malice, blasphemy, and foul language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man together with his deeds… [through baptism] …and have put on the new man… [through the Spirit of God] …who is being renewed 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 8-11).

Now we are to get rid of those things. Just like we were to put leaven out of our lives, what were we to do after we got it out of our lives. Well, during the Days of Unleavened Bread, we are to eat unleavened bread—we are to put in. The unleavened bread pictures the righteousness of God.

Verse 12: "Put on then, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, deep inner affections, kindness, humility, meekness and long-suffering"—all characteristics of the Holy Spirit; being led by the Holy Spirit; and bringing every thought into captivity to God.

Verse 13: "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive."

Here's the ultimate goal for us, v 14: "And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection."

The whole basis of our relationship with God is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and being. Though we are to put forth the effort, which we have to do, we need the strength of God's Spirit so that we can overcome and change and grow! The thing that is the greatest tool for overcoming is the:

  • love of God
  • love of the brethren
  • love of each other

Let's see how that the love of God is so powerful and important in overcoming—because when we are looking to God, keeping His commandments, living in God's way spiritually and so forth, then we can overcome the vanity. We start vain. We start out egotistical. We start out sinful. God calls us. We repent. God gives us of His Holy Spirit. Now we are 'to walk in newness of life.' And here's the newness of life'—right here:

1-Cor. 13—let's go through this and think about this as we go through and read this: wherever it says 'I'—that Paul is referring to himself—use that 'I' to be you yourself. I'll do the same thing as I read it.

1-Corinthians 13:1: "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels…" We haven't heard anyone speak in 'angel talk,' have we? I don't know of any!

"…but do not have love… [love of God, love of each other, love of brethren] …I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal" (v 1). That's what you are!

In other words, your hypocrisy, your self-exaltation and being puffed up, because love of God brings humility. You understand how much God has loved you to call you, to forgive your sins, to provide Jesus Christ for the perfect sacrifice, and bring you into a covenant relationship with Him! That's all accomplished by the love of God.

Verse 2: "If I have the gift of prophecy…" Everyone wants prophecy. Look how many have failed these past few years.

"…and understand all mysteries and all knowledge…" (v 2). If you do everything in the Bible and could, by memory, recite every word without fail in order!

"…and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing" (v 2).

That's why during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we eat the unleavened bread so that we understand we must have in us the unleavened character of God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 3: "And if I give away all my goods, and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but do not have love, I have gained nothing."

What have you done? Nothing! Now here is the definition of love, which is very broad—isn't it? Because the love of God, which is in our heart poured out in our heart (Rom. 5) is

  • how we are to live
  • how we are to do
  • how we are to conduct our lives before God

That doesn't mean we become 'milk-toast' and marshmallows. No, that means you grow in strength, because if you have the love of God, then you are strong.

  • you will resist sin
  • you will overcome Satan the devil
  • you will overcome your human nature
  • you will grow in grace and knowledge and humility

All of those things will come with the love of God!

And here's what it will do, v 4: "Love is patient and is kind… [all the characteristics we want] …love envies not, does not brag about itself, is not puffed up…. [love gives us the true unleavened character] …Love does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil" (vs 4-5).

Only the love of God can help us come to the point of not thinking of evil. That doesn't mean we're not aware that evil is around us, and we don't get taken in by it.

Verse 6: "Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (vs 6-7).

So, you look at your life. Regardless of how you may view it in the flesh, if you are living your life this way, it does not matter what comes. It does not matter what difficulties come along. Believe me, the way the world is going to be in the next few years, we need lots of the love of God so that we can hope all things and endure all things, because we're going to have to endure!

Verse 8: "Love never fails…." You can never go wrong growing in the love of God! Asking God for His love; asking God for His Spirit. And you will be put into circumstances where that is going to be tried to see if you're really going to develop the love of God or not. But love never fails!

"…But whether there be prophecies, they shall cease; whether there be languages, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away" (v 8).

When we know God the Father—as we are known by Him—and we know Jesus Christ—as we are known by Him—everything that we every knew is going to be paled into absolute insignificance. Now let's understand some truths here:

Verse 9: "For we know in part…" That's true! We've got to grow in grace and knowledge, and never, never, never—at any time—think that we know it; or you think that you know it, and you don't need any more. That's not true.

"…and we prophesy in part" (v 9). We don't know how they're going to turn out; but we know they're going to turn out to fulfill the prophecies the way that God said, so that's what we need to look to.

Here's a promise—v 10: "But when that which is Perfect has come… [at the resurrection] …then that which is in part shall be set aside."

So he draws an analogy here; and this is what we need to do during this Feast of Unleavened Bread in thinking about our lives, and thinking how we can grow, and overcome and live the way that God wants us to live, think on this:

Verse 11: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child…"—led by emotions and feelings! We have to be led by the Spirit of God in knowledge and His grace.

"…but when I became a man, I set aside the things of a child…" (v 11). We're to no longer be infants in Christ!

We are to grow to the fullness of the stature of the measure of Jesus Christ Himself.

  • that's why we live in the flesh
  • that's why we overcome sin within
  • that's why we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread

So that every year we can learn! Yes, another year has gone by, and another year is ahead of us.

  • What are we going to do with it?
  • How are we going to live our lives?

That's why we keep the Feasts!

Verse 12: "For now we see through a glass darkly, but then we shall see face-to-face; now I know in part, but then I shall know exactly as I have been known…. [no more flesh, but spirit beings totally unleavened] …And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love." That's how you overcome! So you can:

  • stand in grace
  • walk in faith
  • believe in hope
  • live in love

Just like Jesus said: 'If you live in My love, so shall you be My disciples.'

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 23:4-8
  • Exodus 13:3-10
  • Psalm 39:1-5
  • Job 35:13-14
  • Jeremiah 2:1-5
  • Psalm 94:3-11
  • Romans 1:18-20
  • Romans 3:9-12
  • Romans 5:1-5
  • 1 Corinthians 3:18-20
  • 1 Corinthians 4:18-21
  • 1 Corinthians 5:1-6
  • Colossians 1:10-13
  • 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 13, 15-20
  • Romans 7:12-25
  • Romans 8:1-4
  • Colossians 3:1-14
  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 12
  • Deuteronomy 16
  • John 7
  • Philippians 2
  • Acts 2
  • Hebrews 3

Transcribed: 3-11-09
Reformatted/Corrected: 3/2020