For example, as it works, dough rises and alcohol is released. In a Hebrew person’s life, it was symbolic of sin, and today is still removed from the home for Passover in traditional Jewish families. Paul, knowing the symbolism of yeast or “leaven”, used it to form a word-picture for describing sin in the believer’s life and the community of a church fellowship. He says:
“…Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” – 1 Corinthians 5:6 NKJV
As a believer, the temptation is to attempt to “understand” the leaven or “appreciate” it for what it is, but meanwhile, it’s busy making changes and producing byproducts. Active yeast is alive, and Paul gives two clear directives in the follow-up verses concerning it:
- Purge it out (1 Cor. 5:7)
- Stay with the pure unleavened truth (1 Cor. 5:8)
Purging involves repentance and habit change. For the church community, it could mean taking issue with someone, or righting a wrong. The unleavened truth may not have icing or cream filling, but it’s the sustaining nourishment of a disciple.
Are there areas of your life that need purging? Is there a person or situation you need to address to prevent further working of the yeast? Decide to focus on the pure unleavened truth…