Leaven of the Pharisees (1)

  • Jesus warned, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Just a little leaven spoils the whole batch. What was Jesus saying. Although He spoke a parable associated with bread, He was really warning them not to allow even the slightest portion of religion or legalism to creep into the truth surrounding His great grace.

    Here is the problem. People insist on trying to live by the law and by rule-keeping. It’s religion, legalism, and performance to try and be holy or righteous and acceptable to God. Lets see what Jesus and the truth in scripture has to say about this.

    Jesus stated the following in Matthew 16:11,12.

    11 Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 12 Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

    Did you notice how ignorant they were concerning what Jesus said. That’s the same thing that happens today. Many “read” the scriptures rather than “study” the scriptures. They read a commentary by someone else who may have a religious twist on things rather than let the Holy Spirit teach them through revelation what the truth really is. Then they form a wrong opinion about what Jesus said rather than just letting truth surround what Jesus said.

    People are very willing and ready to give you their opinion about what Jesus said. I’m not interested in their opinion, or someone else’s commentary, or some false teaching about what they think Jesus said. I’m only interested in what Jesus said as provided me by the Holy Spirit.

    It appears Paul was of the same belief or mindset. He sought truth, not religious sounding sermons that have a hint of truth. How can I come to this conclusion about Paul. Easy. Look what he wrote in Galatians 5:9. “This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough”!

    When we dabble just a little bit, we are trying to be holy and righteous on our own. It will eventually take us totally away from ever relying on God. That is why you cannot mix law and grace. It renders both covenants totally useless.

    Galatians 3:23-25 in the NLT reads as follows.

    23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.

    When was the “way of faith in Christ” available to us? After the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. When the dispensation of grace began. Once again let me say right here that “until you fully understand and comprehend the finality of the cross, you’ll never experience the power of the resurrection”. The majority of Christians continue to struggle with sin and the law because they don’t fully understand the power of their conversion.

    24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith.

    Now, if you just read verse 24, you’ll miss the powerful importance of what it is truly saying. You’ll miss the part about being “made right with God”. You see? It’s us being made right, not us making ourselves right. Come on. Also, don’t miss the bolded words until in verse 23 and 24. It establishes the end of the law. That is further confirmed in the next verse. 

    25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.

    Wait a minute. Did that just say we “no longer need the law”. I thought so. Why? Well, because it’s now written on our hearts. No longer on tablets. And since it’s now on our hearts, the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts manages and takes care of the law for us, we do not have to perform to keep the law. Besides. The law is not made for a righteous person.

    Where does it say that? Right here in 1 Timothy 1:9. “For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders”.

    The King James says the law was not made for righteous man. Now I’m not going into the teaching about the truth we are righteous and not sinners. I have plenty of teachings on that on this web page. Just go and study those teachings. Suffice it to say, I am righteous, holy, and perfect because the truth in scripture says I am. Therefore, the law has no power in my life. Since the power of sin is in the law, then sin has no power in my life. All scriptural statements. You look them up for yourselves.

    With this strong message of grace people like to play the “license to sin” card. Let me say I have no power or authority to give anyone a license to sin, but God does and He did. He gave everyone the right to choose. You see grace would not be grace if we didn’t have the right to choose, and it was God that gave us that right (license). Why? Because that is love in it’s purest form.

    Freedom isn’t freedom unless we are free to choose what we want. Also, freedom isn’t freedom until you know you are free. The right to choose the fruit of the wrong tree is always there. He could have just left that stupid tree out of the garden, right? Sure, but to do so would not be love.

    He didn’t want automatons (robots). His desire is for us to desire Him and his covering of righteousness. To choose the tree of life over the tree of death, because we believe God. He described the fruit of both trees and it is up to us to believe him or not.

    Here’s how much He loves us and wants us to make the right choice. He gives us a multiple choice question and then provides the answer.

    Deuteronomy 30:19 – “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    The answer to passing the test will never change. Choose right. Choose to eat from the tree of life. Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil will never produce, godliness, goodness, or righteousness in your life. For God said it’s fruit is death. It will always separate you from His life at work in you!

    Paul said it this way in Galatians 5:16. “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” What does that sinful nature look like? Here’s Galatians 5:19-21.

    19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    These are the symptoms, or outward fleshly result, of walking apart from His Spirit leading you; but what is the root cause? Go back to the garden for the answer. It wasn’t that Adam and Eve were trying to be like God. It was that they were trying to be like God apart from God!

    We will pick this up with Galatians 5:17 in part 2. You can study that verse ahead of time. We will see that by falling into the trap of trying to be good, and pure and holy and righteous by your own attempts to remain what he made you to be and He alone can keep you to be, will only serve to produce bad fruit. The reason is because you went to the wrong tree to try and achieve it! Grace and Peace.


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  • Mark Kunerth
    Mark Kunerth John Alex - Apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I am doing very well. Hope you are enjoying the posts.
    October 2, 2020 - Report