Purge Out The Leaven
The feast of the Passover was one of the most holy days for the Jew. It commemorated the terrible night when God struck the firstborn of all Egypt (including animals) with death. Moses received the command from the Lord for the Hebrews to make a sacrifice of a lamb without blemish, a male of the first year, taking some of the blood and putting it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they ate the sacrificial meal. Among the instructions given for the Passover night, they were to remove any leaven on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread. For seven days no leaven shall be found in the house. Every effort must be made to remove any type of leaven from the house to remove any impurities. Later in the Law of Moses, the regulation of Passover would include no leaven to be seen in the territory for seven days.
Paul addresses a serious problem in Corinth with a man who has his father’s wife. Challenging the saints to remove such a one from their midst he uses the imagery of the Passover to show how to maintain purity in the church. The leavening influence of wickedness will change the glory of the church. This principle is also true for the life of a Christian. There are many things that Satan puts in our way to tempt us, lure us away and destroy us with sin. Purging out these influences will help us to maintain a pure life and a holy service to God. If the Jews failed to purge out the leaven from their homes they would be cut off from Israel. When we fail to purge out the influences of temptation we leave ourselves susceptible to many dangers.
When the children of Israel were told to purge out the leaven it was a choice they made to obey or disobey. They had to strenuously remove any type of leaven. As the people of God, we must take every effort to remove any type of leaven from our homes so that we will not be tempted to sin. Our favorite television show may have content that is unfitting for the Christian. Many of the movies use God’s name in vain. Do we have the courage to purge out these kinds of influences from our lives for the sake of purity? We can act as if it does not matter if there is “a little language” or “brief nudity” but did the Lord allow “a little leaven” to remain? The internet without controls can destroy lives. For the sake of a little leaven in the home families are torn apart because someone did not have the bold courage to take a stand against the evils of what can be found. The truth comes to bear when we realize the worth of a soul lost over something as trivial as television, movies and the internet.
Brethren feel comfortable having alcohol in the home suggesting that a social drink is an allowable character of the holy child of God. Purging out the leaven would be to remove any form or fashion of alcohol from the home of a Christian. Purity means what it says. Being pure removes any impurities. This is especially true if a person is prone to drink. The home of the devoted child of God will remove any form of alcohol as a purging of the leaven of temptation. It seems that some brethren believe it is pleasing to God for His child to walk as close to Satan as they can without holding hands but staying close to the roaring lion. Placing oneself in the vicinity of the devil will only result in the devil catching hold of the simple one. Fleeing Satan means to remove his influence as far away as possible. Get rid of it. Throw it way. What shall it profit you if you lose your own soul? Purge out the leaven of temptation.
The process of purging takes many forms. It may mean a change in personal relationships, job positions, clubs, recreational pursuits and community involvements that hinder growth as children of God. Purging out the leaven is a vital part of Christian growth. There will come a great day of the ‘Passover’ when the judgment of the Lord will be brought to all men. When the Lord comes again – what leaven will He find in our homes and in our lives? Death came to those who did not remove the leaven and who did not embrace the sacrificial blood of the lamb. Salvation will only come to those whom the Lord will ‘pass over’ because He sees the blood of His Son and He sees lives purged of the influence of leaven. Today is a day for cleaning.
[Purity] is not an inactive virtue; it does not merely consist in not committing certain sins. It means using your life in the way God wants, exercising constant restraint. (Francis Devas, The Law of Love, 1954)