I’ve made banana nut bread for a long time. This dense bread is made using baking soda, which helps it to rise a little. Yeast is used in fine breads like hot buttered rolls and croissants that are light and fluffy. It’s the yeast in these types of breads that make them rise, therefore: light and fluffy.
During the Jewish celebration of Passover, according to the Law laid out in Exodus, there is to be no yeast whatsoever in the home for the seven days prior to the feast. There was to be no compromise in preparing for Passover: all the yeast had to be eliminated from every storehouse in the home in ritualistic cleaning.
A biblical metaphor for sin, a little yeast can make a whole bowl of dough rise. Jesus warned His disciples to “be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees, “ [Matthew 18:5 NIV] regarding their teaching. He warned them because He knew the false teaching taught by the religious leaders was hollow and unsubstantial, yet, like yeast, a little false teaching would go a long way to getting the disciples off-center in their relationship with Christ.
That’s the way with sin. Once we ask forgiveness and repent of sins, we are not to intentionally bring sin (yeast) back into our lives. As we prepare to walk with Christ on a daily basis, any compromise of sin takes our focus off Him. A little bit of yeast can affect a lot of dough.
Any compromise of listening to false teaching leads us down a road that gets wider and wider, making more room for more sin to enter in.
What does this look like? Going to churches that embrace socially acceptable practices but are anything but biblical. Listening to pastors, themselves wayward in their walk, talk about what “their” god accepts — which is not the God of the Bible. The prosperity gospel, which says that Christ will bless you financially and make you successful, is false teaching that tickles our itching ears.
Christ Himself, the Son of the Living God, was poverty-stricken while He walked this earth. He did not have a home to sleep in, yet there are pastors who preach God wants you rich.
Buttery croissants may taste delicious, but they are not filling – just like false teaching that tells you what you want to hear. But bread without yeast, like solid and dense banana nut bread, will sustain you, like the Bread of Life, found only in Jesus Christ.
God wants you to rely on Him. God wants you to realize that He is the Provider and the Provision. He is the blessing.
Money is not.
Sin, like yeast, won’t just expand in one spot of the dough. 1 Corinthians 5:6 states, “Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?”
When we boast in ourselves, we are having a pride-attack. We owe Christ everything--our skills, our talents, our resources. When we think highly of ourselves, that’s opening the door to compromise and sin.
Just as yeast puffs up dough to make bread, so does pride. Scripture states, “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind,” [Colossians 2:18 NIV, emphasis added].
Nothing can damage a congregation more than pride. A little bit of pride and a little bit of sin can corrupt an entire church. What does pride look like in a church body? Collecting glory for the congregation instead of God. Saying, “Wow! What an awesome church!” instead of “Wow! What an awesome God, working through the church!”
Just as yeast puffs up bread, so too will pride puff up a church, and make it seem better than what it is. Christ, the Son of the Living God, didn’t do this. Philippians 2:3-8 states:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death--
even death on a cross!"
Do we have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, Who was God, yet did not use His Godship for His own sake? Should we then serve in His Name but point the glory back to Him?
What defeats yeast?
Do you know what defeats yeast? Salt. Salt has a “retarding effect” on yeast, meaning it slows its leavening rate; too much salt, and it kills it altogether.
What did Jesus say we are to be? “You are the salt of the earth,” He told His followers [Matthew 5:13a]. If followers of Jesus are truly the salt of the earth, there will be no yeast-sin in our churches.
The problem therein lies in the yeast of pride that puffs us up, making us think we’re in charge of God instead of the other way around. When we compromise on the Word of God, distort what it says, twist Scripture, and make God in our image, that is when churches are destroyed: because there is very little salt left to impede the yeast.
So, in preparation for this upcoming Passover—traditionally around Resurrection Day—let us throw out all the yeast-sin that exist in our homes, churches, and lives. Let us prepare to wait in eager expectation of Jesus’ will for our lives. Let us breathe in the sweet aroma that is Christ Jesus, and place on the altar our praises to His sweet Name.
© 2018 Terrie McKee
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