Bread of Sincerity

1 Corinthians 5:6-8

6Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7Get 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. 8Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Sourdough Bread

            Do you regularly eat bread for breakfast? Do you eat Sourdough Bread for breakfast? How do you describe sourdough bread? It is crispy on the outside and chewy in the inside; it has tangy flavor or a little bit of sour taste, just as its name suggested. According to experts, sourdough bread has better health benefits than regular commercial bread; it is easier for the body to digest and absorb.

            What else? Does sourdough bread use commercial yeast? Yeast or leaven can ferment, rise, expand or make the dough puff up. And a little yeast or leaven can double and expand the size or volume of the dough. Interestingly, Christ had compared the similarity of the kingdom of heaven and yeast in Matthew 13:33:

33The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.

            The term “Kingdom” pertains to “kingship or authority to rule. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer and say, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we are asking our heavenly Father to reign and rule. Christ said that the kingdom of heaven is like yeast mixed in the dough. Do you interpret that we won’t be the same again when the authority of heaven rules and reigns in us?

            And who is the authority of heaven? Let’s reflect on what Christ declared in Matthew 28:18: 18All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 

            Jesus Christ has authority in heaven and on earth. So, when he reigns and rules with authority in our hearts, our life will forever be changed. Additionally, Christ has also compared yeast to Pharisaical behavior of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy like yeast can affect anyone’s behavior. Christ warned us in Luke 12:1-3: 1Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.  3What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.

            Pharisaical yeast of hypocrisy can influence anyone; the church in Corinth was victimized by Pharisaical hypocrisy. Previously, Apostle Paul wrote his rebuke for the arrogant leaders in the Corinthian church. He informed them that, if it is the will of God, he will visit them to find out what the arrogant people are talking about; like yeast to the dough, their boasting can influence others to be arrogant.

1.  Boasting

6Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 

            The term “Boasting” can be interpreted as exultation, glorification or having proud confidence. When boasting is focused on Christ, it is exultation and glorification; it is good. But when boasting is focused to the self, it’s having proud confidence; it is not good. Apostle Paul said that the boasting in the Corinthian church is not good because it can influence other members to be arrogant also.

            The church in Corinth had quarrel, and they were divided because some of the leaders tolerated a guilty man among them. Apostle Paul decreed that the accused man must be excluded from their assembly. He explained that as yeast ferments or leavens a batch of dough the accused man can easily influence others to follow his undesirable behavior; even pagans cannot tolerate such behavior.

            Together, let us sincerely reflect on what commands us in Colossians 3:5:

5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

Pastor Mayor

            Lately, it was reported that the mayor of a particular town served as pastor of a local church also. According to a published article, he declared: “What I do in private life has nothing to do with what I do in my holy life.” Why? His behavior in private contradicted what he preached or how he behaved in public. He kept secret his private activities; but recklessly, he posted in social media account his private secret; but someone uncovered and exposed his double personality.

This Pharisaical hypocrisy of preachers is tragic reality in Christianity. What should we do when preachers behave differently and do not practice what they preach? Christ warned us in Matthew 23:2-3: 2The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 

Be careful what you follow. It helps to have great knowledge of God’s word. We respect teachers of God’s word but our loyalty must be given to Christ alone.

What has caused the quarrel, faction and division in the church of Corinth? Was it because they declared loyalty to their preferred leaders? They can’t decide what to do with immorality; they didn’t know that wickedness is disgusting.

Apostle Paul decreed to exclude the guilty person from their assembly; he compared it to getting rid of the old yeast when baking unleavened bread.

2.  Batch

7Get 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. 

To effectively use yeast or leaven, bakers would add sugar. Accordingly, sugar energizes the bacteria in the yeast to be more active and cause the dough puff up and rise. Health experts warn that sugar can be harmful to health. In comparison, bread without yeast does not require sugar; therefore, unleavened bread can be more beneficial to health than bread that has yeast and sugar.

            Well, if you prefer to eat bread that has yeast and sugar, unleavened bread may not be very appealing to the taste at first. But if you were health conscious, you prefer to eat unleavened bread rather than bread that has yeast and sugar.

            How is Christian life compared to unleavened bread? Initially, Christian life may not be instantly appealing to potential believers. They may try life in Christ, but still crave for old lifestyle. By God’s grace, we discover practical and spiritual benefits of living by faith in Christ and certainly appreciate it until forever. Amen!

Apostle Paul instructed to get rid of the old yeast to be a new unleavened batch. How can we realize that? Christ, the Passover lamb was sacrificed. The Lord took our sins away and nailed them with Christ; Christ himself got rid of the old yeast, our old behavior; he washed away our sinful attitude by his blood. By faith, we believe this mysterious process of God; he made a new batch of unleavened bread among us. Together, let us meditatively reflect on Hebrews 9:28, 28Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Reflect on the sacrificial death Christ as requirement of the Lord for the forgiveness of our sin. How can we prove that we believe it? We practically prove our faith in Christ by repentance; we turn away from sin. As believers, we use the Scripture as guiding principle to store up eternal treasure in heaven for ourselves.


            Maybe, when you hear about retirement, you reflect and consider how you spend time during retirement. How do retirees spend time during retirement?

How about you? Maybe, you imagine exciting activities you may experience when it is time for you to retire. You can watch online videos of retirees travelling to beautiful places. Maybe, you considered and reflected on how long you travel.

            Here’s a reality: Christ instructed to store up eternal treasure for ourselves. You may still spend retirement benefits in luxurious leisure and pleasure; but pray for opportunity to join short-term mission or fulltime missions. Why? You can visit new places and at the same time, you can participate in the spread of the gospel.

            Be intentional; pray how you store up eternal treasures for yourselves in heaven. Ephesians 4:22-24 states: 22Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

The old self craves for pleasure and relaxation. Always remember that we are heaven bound. Retiree or not yet, pray that the Lord completely get rid of the old yeast of sinful behavior so that you may be a new batch of unleavened bread.

3.  Bread

8Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

When old sinful instinct dictates behavior, malicious wickedness is present. Malicious wickedness contaminated the church in Corinth because they tolerated immoral behavior of influential man that even pagans cannot accept. Regardless, Paul encouraged them to celebrate the Passover festival with sincerity and truth.

New life in Christ behaves in sincerity and truth. The Holy Spirit of Truth inspires us to be sincere and true to the Lord. Meaning: We prioritize the Lord. We also gather regularly and celebrate our freedom from our old self. By faith, our old self was buried with Christ; and we resurrected to new life in him.

Together, let’s personally reflect on Romans 6:4 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

            Reflect now: Water baptism is public testimony of faith in the death and resurrection of Christ. During water baptism, baptismal candidates are immersed into the water; it symbolizes that their old life was buried with Christ. When they get out of the water, it also symbolizes their resurrection to new life in Christ. Our personal reflection: Am I behaving in unleavened bread of sincerity and truth?

            How do you compare anyone who works harder when their boss is around, but when nobody is watching, they are slack and lazy? Maybe they’ve a mindset of mouse. You heard it said, “When the cat is away, the mouse will play!”

 Someone said, “Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.”

Another one added, “Integrity gives you real freedom because you have nothing to fear when you have nothing to hide.”


            Here’s a fictional story: A blind woman asked her lawyer to find her lost brother. A man claimed to be her lost brother appeared but told her that he will not stay long because he will be going abroad to manage a restaurant. The blind woman asked him to cook for her. While he was preparing the food, she listened sensitively to how the man used a knife. She said, “That’s not the way expert cooks use a knife.” The man stopped and said, “Okay! Let’s just order food.”

Actually, she cannot really identify the sound how expert cooks use knife. She just wants to check, if the man was honest or pretender. She suspected that the man was a pretender, and her lawyer confirmed her suspicion subsequently.

            Did you know anyone who behaves well when the pastor is around? Do you anyone who suddenly keeps quiet or changes topic when a pastor passes by? Someone said that “Honesty is the only policy.” Most often, human is not honest naturally. But when Christ transforms us, we can behave honestly in what we do.

            Reflect on Colossians 3:22-25, 22In everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

            There is trouble anywhere; but in Christ, we can have peace. How can we have peace in Christ? We seek to be filled and inspired by his Holy Spirit always. He produces peace in us; he transforms us to have sincere reverence for the Lord. Reverence for Christ is practically exemplified in our obedience to him. By the way, how strong is your confidence that Christ returns and takes us into heaven?

Reflect now: Do you eagerly wait for the second advent of Christ our Lord?

When we hear Christmas carols, it reminds us of Advent Season. We remember the birth of Christ on earth, and we also eagerly wait for his return. Amen!

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