Yesterday we talked about the power of yeast. If you have baked with yeast you will see it doesn’t take very much to permeate the dough and make it rise. Today we will be looking at how sin permeates our lives just as yeast permeates the bread. Yesterday we looked a little at the process of bread making, so picture the yeast in the warm water as it activates. Even at this beginning point, the little granules of yeast you measured out have changed. Then once it is proofed and added to the flour mix, it begins to rise and those granules are gone. Now picture taking out of that dough the yeast you originally put into it and put it back into your container of dry yeast.
This is the image I want you to keep in mind when talking about the sin in your life. Sin has permeated all through us of which only Jesus can purify. First of all no one is without sin. 1 John 1:5 “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” Once we repent and confess we also must understand that no one will continue to sin. 1 John 2:1 “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 5:18 “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.” This can only happen with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sin permeates the body and it cannot be removed without the power of God. Paul said in Romans after talking about sin, Romans 7:24 “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” He then says in Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”
Here is the problem in the church. We are not talking about people who do not profess Jesus as their Savior; we are talking about the church. Jeremiah 2:13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Going your way means turning your back on God. We are supposed to Psalm 37:34 “Hope in the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.” Since the church has become about what our hands have made, as Paul said, we cannot please God. Here should be the startling part for the church today. Paul said, “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ,” so since God has turned his face from shining on us, the power of the Holy Spirit is removed so what exactly does the church today think they are doing. If we had the Spirit of God we would be doing what Jesus did but clearly the church is not.
As we saw earlier after I take the risen dough out of the oven (I love that part), I cannot remove the yeast and put it back in the jar and neither can our sin be removed without the power of God. The church has been operating without this power for generations so this means the church has had the yeast of the Pharisees spread all through it yet they say what have I done. Jeremiah 8:6 “I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle.” By creating our own water source, the results can only be manmade. By digging our cisterns we gave up on the eternal water supply. John 7:13 “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” So the church is still thirsty and do not consider themselves worthy of eternal life like the Jews. John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
As John told us we do not continue to sin. Most in the church either do not believe this or have tried and failed and now don’t believe it either. They have not been told this cannot happen in their own strength; what they have been told is do the best you can as God loves you. But when there is true power everything changes. For example Paul describes those who are sinning. 1 Corinthians 6:9 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Revelation 21:6 “He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” Paul went on to say in 1 Corinthians 6:11 “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” These changes cannot happen without the power of God. These are not just changes but the beginning of eternal life. No one can offer you that but God.
Becoming a Christian is not just about going to church. It is about being changed from the old, healed from our infirmities, freed from demons, and released from the wrath of God. John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Romans 5:9 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” Matthew 8:16 “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” This wasn’t a one and done event. If it were, no one else would have carried on the work of defeating satan. The bible is not just a story about Jesus but also about the power and authority Jesus gives to all who believe. Jesus showed us the way and then He sent His disciples out and Luke 9:1 “He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” He then sent out the seventy-two to Luke 10:9 heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name. 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” This power was supposed to continue. The manmade, powerless church cannot offer this power. Yes people will go to the hospital and get better but they will still be under the power of satan when they come out. The dangers of false teaching lead us backwards not forwards. We cannot be washed on our own. 2 Peter 2:17 “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” Those who end up listening to these men and women end up unclean and worse off than they were before. Removing our sin is not like having a shower, which is about all a manmade church can offer. Jeremiah 2:22 “Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me,” declares the Sovereign Lord.” Many who are baptized have only gone through the ritual of baptism and only got wet. They were not filled with the Spirit as they were told, simply because there is no power that follows. God can only remove the stain of our sin, not fancy programs and the visions of men.
There is so much more God wants to offer us than we have seen in the church so far. The church is supposed to Jude 1:23 “save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” Jude tells us we were supposed to remember 7 “what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Unfortunately the church is filled with natural instincts and corrupted flesh. Some of the sin is obvious while in others there is so much deception happening they are unaware. In this passage Paul is dealing with the corruption in the church at Corinth. 1 Corinthians 5:1 “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate.” This church was not dealing with the sin in their midst. Jesus said to the church in Thyatira Revelation 2:20 “Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.” Paul said 1 Corinthians 5:6 “Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Paul is referring to the Passover as talked about in Leviticus and how you are supposed to get rid of the yeast, which in this case is the sin happening in this church. Here he wants you get rid of the old yeast and start over. Get rid of the sin but many churches refuse to call sin sin and do not teach true repentance for fear of loosing people and money. Paul went as far as to say 1 Corinthians 5:4 “So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.” Malice and wickedness needed to be replace with sincerity and truth.
God has made available the power to defeat our enemies, power to save and power to heal if we would obey His words. Jesus also wants to cleanse us from all our sin so that it is completely removed but we must turn form our wicked ways. This is how it is supposed to be. Jeremiah 31:34 “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Psalm 51:7 “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Like when yeast permeates the dough, our sin is like a stain except you can’t paint over this one. It will only be removed by the power of God. There is good news and hope because God is merciful. Titus 3:3 “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” This is what the church is supposed to look like. Ephesians 5:5 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” This is only possible through the power of God.
We are supposed to repent and turn from our wicked ways. Like the yeast or a stain, God wants to wash us and cleanse us so Hebrews 10:22 “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (2 Chronicles 7)
Even though there is only a remnant left in the church, like Israel, God will raise us up once again. Jeremiah 33:6 “‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 7 I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. 8 I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. 9 Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it. 14 The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah. 19 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 20 “This is what the Lord says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21 then my covenant with David my servant—and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me—can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. 22 I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.’”
Day and night are still here so that means the promise to David is too. Isaiah 4:2 “In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. 3 Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. 4 The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. 5 Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy. 6 It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.”
Just as the glory came to the first temple, His glory will fall once again on us. 2 Chronicles 7:1 “When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.” Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” This is the hope we have as we are the temple that God wants to dwell in. Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Peter preached Acts 2:17 “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” This started at Pentecost. John 7:39 “By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
Will you stand firm and be faithful till the very end? Jesus said Matthew 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” The church has fallen to the power of satan because we refused to follow God’s word. The yeast of the Pharisees has spread like gangrene throughout the church and millions have fallen because they did not stand firm. You only have your life to get this right. There are no second chances after you die. The abomination has certainly devastated the church just as Daniel saw and Jesus warned. False teachers like yeast have infiltrated the church with deception and false doctrines so much so no one is immune to it, yet there is a remnant that will rise up. Jesus offered us eternal life and never to be thirsty or hungry. John 6:35 “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” Hold on to His word so that you will hear ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world,” because you do not want to hear “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” We must persevere and never give up, as God will keep his promise. Revelation 7:13 “Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” 14 I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb .(This is not the tribulation the dispensationalists talk about as there is no second chance after Jesus returns and there is no church, this is happening now as Jesus already promised us not to thirst or hunger) 15 Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. 16 ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”
Don’t be like our ancestors and those who went before us who refused to listen Zechariah 7:11 “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. 12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry. 13 “‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Hebrews 12:25 “See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”