In the last verse we studied (I Corinthians 5:6) we saw how Paul compared sin in the local church to yeast: if left undealt with it can easily spread throughout the entire church just as yeast quickly spreads throughout a loaf of bread. Paul therefore warns the believers at the church in Corinth to very quickly get rid of the sin in their church:
Get 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. (I Corinthians 5:7)
Paul reminds his readers that Christ has sacrificed Himself to atone for our sins. He is pictured as the passover lamb, that had to be slain in the book of Exodus in order to save the first born Jews from the angel of death that had been sent to punish the Egyptians (Exodus 12:12-13). As our passover lamb, Jesus was slain so that we could escape God’s punishment for our sins. If Jesus had not died for us we would all burn in hell for eternity.
We need to show our appreciation for Christ’s sacrifice, and the genuineness of our faith, by getting rid of the old yeast, that is the sin in our lives. We need to live holy lives, as a new unleavened batch without sin. Indeed, if we are true believers this is natural for us, the way we really are. We have been changed inside out by the Holy Spirit who came to dwell in us when we repented of our sins and believed in the power of Jesus’ blood to cleanse us from our sins. In old testament times (and even in modern times) the Jews would eat the passover feast with great care to make sure that their bread was not defiled in any way by leaven (yeast) (Exodus 12:15). Yeast, as I have said, is a picture of sin. It is not fitting for those who have been saved from their sins by the blood of Christ to be still living in sin. So we must purge sin from the local church. It is a great spiritual shame and travesty when Christians who claim to have been washed in the blood of the lamb meet together in church on Sundays to brag about the sins that they are still committing! This is wrong, horrible, and all too common. We have been saved by the blood of Christ, now we need to be serious to stay away from the thing we have been saved from. Let us not be defiled by sin, but rather let us live holy lives that honor God.