Beware of Leaven

Where this command is found:

”Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.”

Matthew 16:6

Yeast: the leavening agent of the bread. Throughout scripture, God uses the example of leaven to picture sin. Sin can be hidden deep within your heart, but if it is not quickly taken care of, it spreads impacting every part of your being. Just like leaven puffs up, so does pride in the life of a believer. Like leaven, our hidden sin resulting in hypocrisy can indicate a deeper root issue of a love of self and pride that has not been dealt with. One of the best examples of this is found in the command of Christ, Beware of Leaven.

In Matthew 16:6, Jesus warns about the leaven of the scribes and Pharisees. He connects their leaven with their doctrine. While it appeared good on the outside, their doctrine was full of hypocrisy and pride (see Luke 12:1). The scribes and Pharisees had an appearance of godliness but inwardly, they lacked a true love for God and His ways. Why? Because they rejected the only way God had provided for them to be made righteous…faith in Jesus.

Jesus came to earth to live a life that perfectly fulfilled law so that whoever chooses to believe in Him could not only be forgiven, but be made righteous in the eyes of God.  However the scribes and Pharisees rejected Christ turning to their own efforts in order to be made right with God. By doing so, they had to act what they were not resisting the only Way to be made righteous before God.

In the same way, just as nonbelievers can reject Christ by looking to themselves and trying to just be a “good person”, it can be easy for believers to rely upon their own strength to live the Christian life. This results in selfishness and pride leading to hypocrisy. Not only do we need the power of Christ to save us, we need it to sanctify us. As believers, we need to daily recognize our need for God’s Spirit to empower us to live the Christian life. This happens by choosing to humble ourselves, admitting that we are nothing and Christ is everything. We should also be daily filling our hearts and minds with God’s Word through daily reading it and meditating upon it. It is when we do this that Christ’s life will naturally begin to flow out of us enabling us to live a life free of the leaven of hypocrisy and pride.

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Beware of Leaven — Part 4

How are we to deal with compromise, hypocrisy, unbelief in our lives? Nate & Gabe give encouragement on how to allow the Lord to search our hearts, expose us, and bring us back into fellowship with Him.