I Corinthians 5



            The Excommunication of an Incestuous Offender (vs. 1-8)


1 It is reported” - The abruptness with which the subject is introduced shows the intensity

of  Paul’s feelings, and his indignation that he should have been left to hear of this crime by

common report. The news had come to him “from those of Chloe’s household.” –

commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so

much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.” 

Apparently this was some nominal Christian, who was living in open sin with his stepmother,

and thereby braving the curse of Deuteronomy 27:20. We gather from II Corinthians 7:12

that the father was living, and had also joined the Christian community. From the complete

silence as to the crime of the woman, it must be inferred that she was a heathen. Whether

she had been divorced or not does not appear, nor whether the offender was nominally

married to her or not.  2 And ye are puffed up” - There is, indeed, a subtle and close

connection between arrogance and sensuality, and both are sometimes fatally linked

to the conceit of religious knowledge without the reality –  “and have not rather mourned,

that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.”  So intense

was the effect produced by Paul’s stern severity, that a great part of the Second Epistle

had to be devoted to allaying the agitation which these words had excited (see especially

II Corinthians 7:8-12).  3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have

judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done

this deed” - The verb is not as before, poie>w, — poy-eh’-o; to do -  but

katerga>samenon katergasamenon, which is stronger, “the perpetrator of this

deed.” The “so” means “with all these circumstances of aggravation.’’ The same verb

is used in Romans 1:27. The broken periods of the Greek reflect the emotion of the writer.

The passage is as it were written with sobs. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus

Christ” - Each clause adds solemnity to the scene in which Paul imagines himself as

standing with them in the spirit, and joining with the assembly of the Church, and armed

with the authority of Christ, while he pronounces on the offender the sentence on which

he had already determined. That he could claim “the power of the Lord” resulted

from his possession of the Holy Spirit. and the special commission to bind and to loose,

to remit and to retain, on earth, which Christ had entrusted to the apostles (Matthew

18:18; John 20:23).  5 To deliver such an one unto Satan” - Scripture nowhere defines

the character and limits of such a sentence as this. By cutting off an offender from Church

communion (II Thessalonians 3:14-15), that is, from all the visible means of grace, he was

for the time separated from spiritual influences, and was, therefore, so far handed over to

Satan. The phrase is also applied to Hymenaeus and Alexander, in I Timothy 1:20.  It is very

doubtful whether it was necessarily meant to involve such physical inflictions as fell on

Ananias, Sapphira, or Elymas. It is, however, important to observe that the intention of the

sentence, like the true intention of excommunication, when exercised in a right spirit , was not

wrathful, but merciful. It was, as Calvin says, “medicinale remedium” — “not for destruction,

but for edification’’ (II Corinthians 10:8). Hymenaeus and Alexander were handed to Satan,

not for their final ruin and damnation, but with a kind and remedial purpose, “that they

 may learn not to blaspheme” , and this offender with the express object, that his spirit

may be saved.” Had these facts been more deeply studied, there would have been a very

different tone and spirit in many of the mediaeval anathemas. Such a one (II Corinthians 2:7).

He seems to hold aloof from the man’s very name. So “such as she” (ta<v toiau>tav) is

used of the adulteress in John 8:7 – “for the destruction of the flesh - i.e. that all carnal

influences in him might be destroyed. It is not his “body” which is to be destroyed, but the ,

flesh,” the jetzer hara, or “evil impulse,” as the Jews called it. When this was destroyed,

the body might once more become a temple of the Holy Ghost – “that the spirit may be

saved” - The destruction of the lowest element of our human nature is the salvation of the

highest; it is the cutting away of the dead corpse from the living soul  - “in the day of the

Lord Jesus” - when the Lord should judge the quick and the dead. The merciful intention

of Paul is clearly developed in II Corinthians 2:6-11. He looked on God’s judgments as

remedial, not as solely retributive (ch. 11:29-32). Here, as Chrysostom finely says, the

apostle lays down, as it were, his laws to the devil, telling him how far, and how far only,

he can proceed. The object of excommunication is to save the offender, and not to do

the devil’s work by ensuring his eternal ruin. We can imagine how awful would be the

solemnity of these words when they were first read aloud to the little Christian communities

of Corinth. It was natural that they should produce an overwhelming excitement.  6 Your

glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” –

The taint alluded to is not only the presence of the unpunished offender, but the general

laxity and impurity displayed by their whole bearing in the matter.  7 Purge out therefore

the old leaven” – No doubt the metaphor was suggested by the fact that Paul was writing

about the time of the Passover. The most essential requisite of the Jewish regulations, with

which his whole training had made him so familiar, was the absolute putting away, and

even destruction, of every trace of leaven, (as we recently studied in the book of

Leviticus – CY – 2010) which was diligently sought for the day before the Passover began.

The putting away of leaven was a type of sanctification   The least willing tolerance of

the taint would cause it to work THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE SOCIETY.  that ye

may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened” – Leaven is the type of evil in its secret

and corrupting workings.  Ideally, Christians can only be addressed as “unleavened,”

i.e. as “purged from their own old sins” (II Peter 1:9); and it is the method of Scripture

(indeed, it is the only possible method) to address Christians as being Christians indeed,

and therefore in their ideal rather than their actual character. “For even Christ our

passover is sacrificed for us” - rather, in the true reading, for our passover also was

sacrificed — even Christ. As Christians, the Gentile Corinthians certainly did not keep

the Jewish Passover; but Paul reminds them that they too had a Passover — that for them,

too a Paschal Victim had been offered, whose sacrificial blood had been shed for their

redemption (John 1:29; 19:36; I Peter 1:19).  8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not

with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the

unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” - “All that corresponds to an unsullied,

uncontaminated, and genuine Christian character.” The beautiful Greek word for

sincerity” - eijlikrineiav, - eilikrineias - means freedom from all admixture. It is,

perhaps, derived from “testing in the sunshine,” and is used by Paul in II Corinthians

1:12; 2:17.



   Correction of a Mistaken Inference Which They Had Deduced from a

                        Former Letter of Paul’s. (vs. 9-13)


9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators.  10 Yet not

altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or

extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

The clause throws painful light on the condition of the heathen world. If all communication

with “fornicators’’ was to be forbidden, the sin was so universal, especially at Corinth,

that all relations with Gentiles would have become impossible.  11 But now I have

written unto you” - Paul expressly tells them in ch.10:27 that he never intended to

forbid all social intercourse with heathens. They were not to be “taken out of the world,”

but to be free from evil (John 17:15) -  “not to keep company, if any man that is

called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a

drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” - If the phrase be

pressed, it would involve exclusion from all privileges of the body, for the Holy

Communion was celebrated in connection with the agapa feast.  But the

general meaning is that of II Thessalonians 3:6, “We command you...that ye

withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly.”

12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? To pass

sentence on heathens is no concern of mine; it is no part of my office.  The phrase

them that are without” was originally a Jewish phrase. To the Jews all men were

outsiders (chitsonin) except themselves. The phrase was adopted by Christians, but

in a less contemptuous sense (I Thessalonians 4:12; Colossians 4:5). We find a

description of “those that were without”“aliens from the commonwealth

of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope,

and without God in the world”.  (Ephesians 2:12) – “do not ye judge them that

are within?  An appeal to their own practice and to common sense.  Christian rules

can only apply to Christian communities.  13 But them that are without God judgeth.

To that “judgment of God” (Romans 1:32) Christians must leave them. They have no

jurisdiction over them. The mention of “judging” forms a natural transition to the next

chapter.  Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”

(a direct reference to the language of Deuteronomy 17:7 and 24:7)



                                      ADDITIONAL NOTES


                        The Socially Immoral in Churches (vs. 1-5)


“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you.” The greater portion of

this chapter is taken up with one subject, that is, gross social immorality. The verses before

us suggest three general remarks:



      CHRISTIAN CHURCHES. It had been reported to Paul that there were some

      members of the Corinthian Church guilty of grossfornication;” that one of the

      members had actually married his father’s wife — not, however, his own mother,

      but his stepmother. Such a piece of immorality would be regarded with the utmost

      abhorrence, even through the whole Roman empire. Paul says that such a case was

            not “so much as named among the Gentiles.” How such a character became a

            member of the Christian community is not stated. It is reasonable, however, to

            suppose that it was through imposition on the one hand and the lack of scrutiny on

            the other. It is to be feared that the admission of the socially immoral into Churches

            has in every age been too common. How many Churches are there in the United

            States entirely free from those who every day outrage the golden rule, “Do unto

            others as you would have others do unto you”? There are merchants that cheat

            their customers, lawyers that swindle their clients, doctors that take advantage of

            their patients, statesmen that deceive their constituents and in the name of patriotism

            promote their own selfish ends, business owners that oppress their employees,

            employees who are unfaithful to their employers. Ay, the Church is a field in which

            grows the “tares” as well as the “wheat,” a net in which there is the “unclean”

            as well as the “clean.” (Matthew 13:24-30, 47-50)




      AMONG THEM. “And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned.”

      (v. 2) - Probably there were those in the Church who were proud of the membership

      of this incestuous man; (no doubt open-minded – CY – 2010) - perhaps he was an

      orator, or had a long purse, or was a person of great social influence. We have

      known joint stock swindlers who have been made chairmen of religious meetings,

      and who have been cheered to the echo. Party feeling was so strong, and religious

      disputation so rife amongst them, that such immoralities escaped their notice. Who

      is the best preacher? What is the sound doctrine? What are the ceremonies to be

      observed? Such questions as these were all absorbing amongst them. Moral character

      was a secondary thing, theories and beliefs primary. This has ever been too much

            the case in Christian Churches. Creeds are more thought of than character,

            doctrines than doings, heretics dreaded more than rogues. Some of the worst men

            morally have been prominent members of Churches. Hence the saying, “Sooner

            trust a man of the world than a professor of religion.”



      THEIR MIDST IS AN URGENT DUTY. A true Church is a community of Christly

      men, and the presence of such characters in it is an outrage. The verses teach:


ü      That their expulsion should be practised with the utmost zeal. It would

                        seem that no sooner did Paul hear of this abomination than he determined

                        to put an end to it. “For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit,

                        have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that

                        hath so done this deed.” As if he had said, “Though absent from you, as

                        soon as I heard it I determined to get such a vile character expelled

                        forthwith from the community;” and to do it when they were gathered

                        together “in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” that is, by the

                        authority and power of Christ. Paul seems to burn with zeal in the matter.

                        Zeal is not an uncommon thing in Churches: in some cases and seasons it

                        becomes a glowing passion; but, alas! it is too often concerned more with

                        the tenets of creeds and the interests of sects than with purity of life in its



ü      That the expulsion should be practiced with the utmost zeal, not to destroy,

       but to save the offender. “Deliver such a one unto Satan for the

                        destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the

                        Lord Jesus.” Satan was regarded as the origin of all physical evils, and the

                        meaning here may be — deliver the immoral person over to the sufferings

                        of excommunication. But what for? Not to destroy him, but “that the spirit

                        may be saved.” All punishment should be reformative — should be inflicted

                        to correct, not to crush. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye

                        which are spiritual, restore such a one.”  (Galatians 6:1)



                                    The True Church a Feast (vs. 6-13)


“Your glorying is not good.” There are numerous Churches, but only one true Church,

viz. that community of men who possess the Spirit and exemplify the character of Jesus

Christ. These verses lead us to look upon the true Church:


  • In its INTERNAL ENJOYMENTS. It is called here a “feast.” Truly the

            association of such Christly spirited men is a “feast” of the sublimest kind,

            a feast to each and all. A “feast:”


ü      Because it contains the choicest elements for spiritual nourishment. The

                        quickening, elevating, and suggestive ideas current in such fellowship,

                        current, not only in language, but in looks, and bearing, and acts, and spirit,

                        constitute the soul banquet, a “feast of fat things,” – “And in this

                        mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast

                        of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow,

                        of wines on the lees well refined.  And He will destroy in this

                        mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the

                        vail that is spread over all nations.  He will swallow up death in

                        victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces;

                        and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth:

                        for the LORD hath spoken it.  And it shall be said in that day, Lo,

                        this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is

                        the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His

                        salvation.” - (I have learned to appreciate this passage from the tutelage

                        of Mr. Spurgeon – CY – 2010)


ü      Because it contains the choicest elements for spiritual gratification. A

                        feast implies not merely nourishment, but pleasure and delight. What is a

                        higher delight than the loving intercourse of kindred souls, free interchange

                        of the most lofty thoughts and purest sympathies, loving souls flowing and

                        reflowing into each other? The true Church is not a moody, melancholy

                        assemblage, speaking in sepulchral tones, and singing doleful dirges; it is

                        the brightest and most jubilant fellowship on earth. “These words have I

                        spoken unto you, that your joy may be full” – (John 15:11) – Rejoice

                        in the Lord alway:  and again I say, rejoice.”  (Philippians 4:4)




ü      There is a connection with ungodly men that it must avoid. They must

                        not be admitted to its “feasts.”Purge out therefore the old leaven,

                        that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ

                        our Passover is sacrificed for us.” As the Jews put away leaven at the

                        celebration of the Passover, so all corrupt men must be excluded from the

                        Church feasts. Christ is its Passover, its Feast. It is suggested that the

                        presence of corrupt men at the feast would be contagious. It would be

                        likely to act as “leaven” through the community. As leaven kneaded into

                        a lump of dough spreads from particle to particle, ferments in its process,

                        spreads through the whole, and assimilates all to its own character, so a

                        bad man’s spirit may work through the community of the good. Therefore,

                        because it is so contagious and pernicious, exclude it. “Therefore let us

                        keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice

                        and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

                        (v. 8) - No Church that has such leaven in it, whatever its intellectual, social,

                        or spiritual advantages, has any reason for exultation. “Your glorying is not

                        good,” says Paul: “know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole

                        lump?” (v. 6) -  Be grave, be serious, look well to the moral character of

                        your members.  (Titus 2:7-8)


ü      There is a connection with ungodly men that it cannot avoid.I wrote unto

      you in an Epistle not to company with fornicators: yet not altogether

                        with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners,

                        or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.” You

                        cannot avoid contact and some kind of intercourse with the ungodly men

                        outside.  (God meant for us to be the salt of the earth [Matthew 5:13] –

                        we cannot have any preservative force apart from men – we look to

                        the Lord Jesus for help by His Spirit, to keep us from contamination –

                        CY – 2010).  You cannot attend to the temporal affairs of your life without

                        them. Nor can you discharge your spiritual obligations without going amongst

                        them.  As a Christian you are bound to go amongst them, to correct their

                        mistakes, to enlighten their darkness, to reprove their wrongs, and to

                        endeavour to “turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of

                        Satan unto God.” (Acts 26:18) - Over such you have no legal control, you

                        can exercise no jurisdiction; they are without. You have no power to exclude

                        them from your neighbourhood or your country; they are to be left alone in that

                        respect. “Them that are without God judgeth.” (v. 13) - But if you find

                        such characters inside the Church, you are to deal with them. “But now I

                        have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a

                        brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a

                        drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no not to eat.” (v. 11) -

                        Observe here:


Ø      Sin in man takes various forms. Paul adds to the incestuous man, the

                                    fornicator,” the “covetous” man, the “idolater,” the railer,” the

                                    drunkard,” the extortioner;” all have to be avoided. Sin is to be

                                    avoided whatever form it takes; and it takes many forms. What is

                                    a temptation to one man is not to another. Hence one is tempted to be

                                    a “fornicator;” another a miser, “covetous;” another an “idolater,”

                                    worshipping false gods; another a scorner, a railer;” another a

                                    drunkard,” intemperate; another anextortioner,” overreaching,

                                    overexacting, tyrannic.


Ø      In whatever forms this “leaven” shows itself, it must not be tolerated

                                    for a moment. It must be excluded at once.




                                                            CHRIST OUR PASSOVER (v. 7)


The connection of this illustration with the passage in which it occurs is obvious. The Jews

commenced the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the slaying, roasting, and eating of the

Paschal lamb. Now, the apostle has been urging the Corinthians to moral purity, and has

enjoined them to put away the leaven of wickedness, and keep the feast with the

unleavened bread of sincerity and truth; and, as a motive to do this, he reminds them

that the Christian dispensation is as a spiritual Passover, which commenced with the sacrifice

of “the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)  The Paschal

lamb is regarded as a symbol of Christ.


  • IT COMMEMORATED A GREAT DELIVERANCE. The Israelites were reminded

      by the Passover feast of the bondage from which their ancestors had been delivered

      when they were brought out of Egypt “with a mighty hand and a stretched out

      arm.”  (Deuteronomy 5:15)  The nation had been emancipated from the tyranny of

      the Pharaohs, and had been spared the doom of the first born of the people of the land.

      Christ’s redemption set His people free from the tyranny, the bondage, the unrewarded

      toil, the darksome night, the dreary hopelessness, of sin; and brought them out into the

      freedom, the light, the gracious privileges, the glorious hopes, of the gospel.



       Put to death by the head of the family, the lamb was taken to the priest, who

      sprinkled its blood upon the altar and burned its fat, according to the ordinance.

      Although the lamb was offered yearly, it was in the first instance that it was regarded

      most strictly as a sacrifice. Christ was offered once only; “There remaineth no

      more offering for sin.” (Hebrews 10:26) - Yet the Eucharist is a perpetual memorial

      of the great Sacrifice of Calvary. It is by the willing, accepted, vicarious sacrifice

      of our Redeemer that mankind have been reconciled and consecrated unto God.



      PASCHAL MEAL. It was in this way that every Hebrew family was reminded

      of its share in the covenant mercy and faithfulness of the Eternal.  As they ate the

      lamb in the appointed way, and with the appointed observances and

      accompaniments, the children of Israel were led to appropriate, in faith and

      obedience, the spiritual provision which the God of their fathers had made for them.

      In like manner the members of the spiritual commonwealth of Israel “eat the flesh

      and drink the blood of the Son of man,” (John 6:53) taking Christ as the

      nourishment of their souls, and appropriating the strength, the wisdom, the grace of

      God Himself. In the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, they who eat and drink in faith

      participate in the provisions of Divine bounty and love.



            NATIONAL, PURITY. In connection with the Paschal meal, several

            circumstances may be noted. The lamb was without blemish; the house was

            freed from leaven; all were careful to avoid ceremonial defilement. These

            arrangements symbolized “holiness unto the Lord,” and they remind us that

            those who regard the Christ of God as their Passover are bound by every

            sacred consideration to seek that purity of heart, that sanctification of

            nature, which can alone render a man and a society acceptable to a holy

            and heart searching God



                                                “OUR PASSOVER” (vs. 7-8)


What the Jews had, we have — only with fuller and richer significance.  They had the

foretastes, the shadows; we have the substance. The events in their history point forward

to the greater events in ours. They had a Passover, and so have we; and theirs was a

pre-figurement of ours:




ü      He was typified by the Paschal lamb. Often called the “Lamb” (John

      1:29; Revelation 5:12).


Ø      Appointed by God Israel’s Passover was the Lord s Passover”

                                    (Exodus 12:27); “My sacrifice” (Exodus 23:18). Jesus is the

                                    “Christ, the Anointed of God. “It pleased the Lord to bruise

                                    Him” – (Isaiah 53:10) - Here is our confidence, that our

                                    Passover is the Lord’s Passover, appointed and approved by

                                    the Eternal: “My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

                                    (Matthew 4:17; Luke 9:35) - Salvation by the cross is God’s

                                    plan of salvation; it must, therefore, fully commend itself to God.


Ø      Innocent. Here is the pathos of the cross. He died not for His sins,

      but for ours. He had not transgressed, but we had, and therefore

      He died.


Ø      Without blemish. “With the precious blood of Christ, as of a

      lamb without blemish” (I Peter 1:19). Keen unfriendly eyes were

      upon Christ, but the reluctant verdict was “no fault.”  (Luke 23:4)

      Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews



Ø      Slain, Christ crucified. The converging point — “Without

      shedding of blood  is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22) –

      The Paschal lamb was slain by those for whose welfare and safety

      it was appointed; so Christ was crucified by men whom He

      came to redeem. No bone broken (comp.Exodus 12:46 with

                                                                        Psalm 34:20 and John 19:36).


Ø      The blood sprinkled. The blood shed is not enough, it must be

      applied.  The blood of the Paschal lamb was applied with a bunch

      of hyssop, a type of “faith” which, though apparently small and

      insignificant, brings the blood of Christ into saving contact with the



Ø      The flesh eaten. We have to feed upon Christ. “My flesh is meat

                                    indeed.” (John 6:55) The Passover was a feast; the idea of enjoyment

                                    is involved. So those who feast upon Christ obtain truest happiness.

                                    The Paschal lamb was eaten by the Israelites with loins girded, shoes

                                    on feet, staff in hand; so the followers of Christ, when they become

                                    such, confess themselves to be strangers and pilgrims upon the earth.

                                    The lamb was eaten in Egypt. So we are saved as sinners; we have

                                    not to come up out of the Egypt of corruption. We have not to get

                                     ourselves ready for Christ; we are ready when we are lost and desire

                                    to be found of Him. Many are hindered by their “unworthiness;”

                                    they want to be holy before they seek salvation, which means that the

                                    patient desires to be cured before he sends for the doctor. And

                                    He comes to us; we do not come to Him, — we are in Egypt

                                    when we first behold the Lamb of God.


Ø      The whole eaten. We have not to take a part of Christ. We have to

                                    accept the full terms of salvation, not those only that most please us.

                                    Christ and His cross as well as Christ and His crown.


Ø      Eaten with bitter herbs. So repentance should accompany faith.

      We should have bitter sorrow for bitter sins. Our sins were very bitter

      to Him.  We have never tasted sin fully — only a part of it, the

      sweeter part of it.  He tasted the bitter part for us.


ü      Identified with deliverance from wrath and bondage.


Ø      The destroying angel was abroad, and smote every house

                                    unprotected by the sprinkled blood. So the wrath of God falls upon

                                    the rejecters of Christ, but those upon whose hearts and consciences

                                    the blood of Christ is sprinkled are preserved from the stroke of Divine

                                    justice. At the cross “righteousness and peace have kissed each

                                    other (Psalm 85:10). The blood of the Paschal lamb made the

                                    Israelite perfectly safe; we are made so by the blood of Christ.


Ø      From bondage. The Passover and the Exodus are indissolubly united.

                                    So in our spiritual history. When God pardons, the bondage of Satan

                                    is destroyed. We are no longer slaves of the devil, but children of God.

                                    And this becomes manifested; justification and sanctification, joined by

                                    God, are not put asunder. We begin a new life; we depart from our old

                                    master; we “spoil the Egyptians,” (Exodus 3:22) for we bring

                                    everything with us out of the old life that is worth bringing; and our faces

                                    are set towards the new Jerusalem, the everlasting home of the




      Jews were exceedingly anxious to get rid of every particle of leaven (Deuteronomy

      16:4); so all who can call Christ their Passover should search and purify their hearts.

      As the Feast of Unleavened Bread followed the slaying of the Paschal lamb, so the

      unleaven of righteousness, of godly life, should abide with all who have part in the

      great Passover.  This is “keeping the feast.” (v. 8) - It is then a feast, a time of joy

      to the believer, when all leaven of “malice and wickedness”  (ibid) - is excluded.

      The “unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (ibid) is not only wholesome, it is

      surprisingly sweet.  The influence of Christ’s death is not only towards salvation,

       but towards holiness. If we are His we must depart from evil. We must have works

      as well as faith — the former a natural outcome of the latter. The one is not

            without the other — the Passover and unleavened bread go together.  Profession by

            all means, but certainly practice as well. We must show that we are out of Egypt by

            a repudiation of Egyptian manners. “Christ our Passover;” “For to me to live

            is Christ.”




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