Leaven as we all know is put into bread to make it rise. Yeast is a type of leavening agent which causes a reaction and makes the bread puff up and rise in the oven.
However leaven also is symbolic of sin in the Scriptures.
But when Paul wrote Galatians he mentioned leaven in the context of being under the Law. Who would have thought being under the Law is like the leaven of sin??
7 “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”Gal 5:7-9 NKJV
They were being persuaded by someone to be circumcised and Paul was warning them that if they did so they would be debtors to keep the whole Law. Not only that but they would effectively estrange themselves from Grace!
Therefore when Paul used the expression “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” he was saying a “little Law keeping will spread to much law keeping”.
It starts with one law….the sabbath, circumcision, tithing, any law…and quickly spreads to a mindset of having to keep all the law to be just before God.
Paul had been teaching them —
5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.(LAW KEEPING) 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.Gal 5:1-6 NKJV
The yoke of bondage is the Law of Moses…
In Acts 15 we read…
5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”Acts 15:5
10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”Acts 15:10,11
It is pretty clear that keeping the Law of Moses is NOT what God has in mind for the believer. It is a yoke of bondage and slavery! It is like leaven. It will spread throughout your life and bring a deadening effect to the GRACE of God in you.
It will deflate your spiritual life and magnify your flesh(old man)!
If you have lost your joy, or perhaps never had it , it could be that you are being hindered from coming daily to God through grace. The one who is intent on law keeping is in effect refusing the grace of God and saying that they can please God without it. This pride will place a barrier between you and God. God will withdraw from you so you do not get rewarded for your error. Living without any joy should get our attention! Something is wrong!
Revival is found by repenting of your law keeping and coming humbly to God acknowledging your deep need of His grace and forgiveness (daily).
Law preachers will say you are being unlawful or accuse you of lawlessness. But they are wrong. The believer in Jesus is not lawless though we have been set free from the yoke of the Law. We are under law towards Christ.
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;1 Cor 9:19-21
Paul tells us that we are NOT WITHOUT LAW TOWARDS GOD though we are without the law of Moses….he says we are under law toward Christ.
You see, we are not lawless at all.
Those who would preach to Christians telling them they must keep the Law in any way are putting that person into bondage. They are putting them into a flesh position because the law is NOT OF FAITH. The Law DOES NOT require faith to “do” but is in the domain of the flesh(human ability).
To be ‘under law toward Jesus’ is another way of saying “I walk in the Spirit with God”. Walking in the Spirit is a faith walk. Walking under Moses Law is a flesh walk. One leads to and brings life, joy and peace the other death, condemnation and accusation.
Are you struggling with accusations against yourself or against God? It shows that you are striving in your flesh to please God by your own efforts -ie Law! As long as the enemy can keep you thinking that you must NOT BE PLEASING to God he will condemn and accuse you and push you into striving to do more, do better, keep rules, be hard on self etc. All of that causes you to bite and devour others….
But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!Gal 5:15
So where the works of the flesh which Paul lists are manifesting themselves it is directly related to our walk. Are we walking according to the fleshly mind which DOES NOT accept Jesus’ grace for us? Or are we walking in joyful surrender to His full grace for us which alone pleases God?
So beware of those who would tell you that you must be keeping laws. They will kill the life and joy that Jesus gives us through simply believing we are already pleasing to God by what HE did. They will deflate you.