Faithlife Sermons

Infectious Disease Control

Galatians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:22
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HO Hum

What is the purpose of leaven?
Agent used in breads to fluff it up and lighten it
Bread, air pocket when you slice it
Jews were commanded to use unleavened bread - Ex 12:18 in order to be ready to flee Egypt, passover there wasn’t enough time to wait for the bread to rise
Leaven “is any one of a number of substances used in doughs and batters that cause a foaming action (gas bubbles) that lightens and softens the mixture.”
It causes the dough to break down making the bread lighter and soft


Paul uses this illustration to refer to a softening and weakening of the faith in the church of Galatia
“running well” (7)
Obeying the truth
“taking no other view” than the gospel (preached cross)
“hindered in their belief” believing those who preached circumcision (opposed to the gospel)
“unsettled” wavering in their belief in the truth
Paul warns against the one who has done this
“bear the penalty”
Emasculate himself”
“A little leaven leavens the whole lump”
This false belief, turning from the gospel, was spreading through the church
This man was a negative influencer. Satan uses this in our life to turn us from the grace of Jesus Christ to something else.
Satan uses crafty ways, sometimes subtle ways, to turn God’s people away from the truth of the gospel


He uses sin in the life of the believer
Paul to the Corinthians
English Standard Version Chapter 5

6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

Simon J. Kistemaker
Two elders who were at odds with one another
Met with them: “I forgive you”
Had to meet a second time: “Will you forgive me”
Let us look at the sin in our life. If left unchecked it is like leaven that leavens the whole lump.
He uses sinful men in our personal lives
Paul to the Corinthians
English Standard Version Chapter 15

33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

FBI Takedowns - code of silence in small neighborhood in Boston
A history of organized crime
family business - kids would grow up with expectations to be involved in the family business of theft
gangs would be involved in crime sprees for years
Reminds me of the movie sing. Johnny was the gorilla who broke out of the family business of robbing banks to find a singing career.
Many of us grew up in homes where we were discouraged from hanging out with the bad kids
Sometimes the people we hang around can be used to draw us from the truth of the gospel.
He uses sinful men in the fellowship of the church
Writer of Hebrews
English Standard Version Chapter 12

15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

John Calvin has a great section on his Institutes of Christian Religion
believes that the church will always consist of the wheat and the tares
Will be the case until the great harvest
He believes this is for the benefit of practicing forgivenenss
The proof is in the Lord’s prayer
daily pray “forgive us our debts” or “trespasses”
Institutes of the Christian Religion 16. The False Claim of Perfection Comes from Distorted Opinion

But to godly and peaceable men Augustine gives this advice: “Mercifully to correct what they can; patiently to bear and lovingly to bewail and mourn what they cannot; until God either amends or corrects or in the harvest uproots the tares and winnows the chaff”

So What?

How do we respond to these attacks by Satan?
In each scenario we could:
Work really hard on not sinning, bordering on legalism
Get rid of friends and people who are bad influenes
Leave the church
look at every sin in our life as something we have to fight, work hard on our own power
Fight with friends and family, alienating them
Fight with everyone else in the church, thinking we are right and they are wrong


I believe Paul gives another option here. Its what frames his concluding statement:
English Standard Version Chapter 5

12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

Emasculate - to be deprived of strength and vigor
Play on the fact that they are teaching circumcision - righteousness by works
It is as if Paul is saying: “I wish they would cut themselves off, from the fellowship of the church.”
He does not say, withdraw or fight this person. Why?
He knows that the situation is God’s providence.
Rather, he wants them to trust in God to fight these battles.
John Calvin say it this way:
But if the Lord declares that the church is to labor under this evil—to be weighed down with the mixture of the wicked—until the Day of Judgment, they are vainly seeking a church besmirched with no blemish.
Calvin, J. (2011). Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2. (J. T. McNeill, Ed., F. L. Battles, Trans.) (Vol. 1, p. 1028). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
I believe this is because they both know that the purpose of the church being in this situation is because it is not our battle. It is a battle for our King Jesus.
This doesn’t excuse us from carrying out church discipline, but it does help us do it better.
Our job as Christians is to follow Jesus and to place our faith in him.
If he is the King and head of the church, maybe we need to trust in him. If he desires the church to include both the wheat and the tares until the great harvest, then there is nothing we can do.
The goal is to trust in King Jesus to defeat our enemies, to uphold his church, to remove the chaff, to protect his truth.
Paul calls the Galatians to trust in Jesus and to believe in His gospel. He calls them back to obedience to the good news not the law of slavery.
The way that we guard against these attacks by Satan is to cling to Jesus through faith.
Maybe you are one who likes to withdraw. Maybe you like to fight. We are reminded today that a “little leaven leavens the whole lump.” Let us trust in Jesus to protect us from turning away from the truth (the gospel) and from these attacks by Satan.
Let us pray and hope for his return that we may see sin and chaff removed from our midst.
Let us be content to have Jesus Christ as the churches “Infectious Disease Control.”
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