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A Little Leaven (Audio)

 

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

“A little leaven leavens the whole lump”

To some this may be a phrase simply about baking bread and that would definitely apply.

However, in the churches I grew up in, this verse was used quite frequently to remind people of the dangers of even a little bit of sin in a believers life (wrong music, lustful eye, etc…). It is very true that sin is dangerous. We are taught that Satan seeks his prey like a lion who looks for the weak and unexpecting.

GalatiansPt5

I feel like this interpretation of Galatians 5:9 might fall short of Paul’s main intent. When read in context with the surrounding verses the leaven Paul is referring to is actually the sin of self-sufficiency. This false teachers have convinced them that they need to add the bondage of outward works to their salvation {see last week’s post}. This undermines the sacrifice Christ made on the cross to ultimately and completely earn our freedom! This pull to “go back” to slavery is a daily battle and one for which the gospel is the only answer!

We learn time and time again throughout all of Scripture that we are not sufficient in ourselves. It was for that exact inadequacy that Christ had to live and die perfectly.

Here’s an example…..
Envy is a sin (it even makes Paul’s list later in Chapter 5).
The tiniest bit of envy can snowball into a life characterized by jealousy and resentment toward God and others.
Envy is not the leaven. Self-sufficiency is. 

 

In other words, when the Holy Spirit points to the propensity toward jealousy in my life, it is the sin of pride that thinks I can keep it under control. I’m confident in my own abilities to replace envy with kindness and conquer grudges with gratefulness. It is my self-dependence that leavens the lump of my life.

 

It is only through crucifying my fleshly desires with Christ and boasting only in His accomplishments that I can overcome the constant pull of sin in my life.
By acknowledging my weaknesses, I am inviting the Holy Spirit’s power to conquer the temptations in my path.

 

Praise God for his glorious sufficiency in the most feeble of hearts!

 

 

>>>>>Thank you so much for spending some time in Galatians with me over the last few weeks! If you missed a part, you can catch up by reading OR listening HERE.