December 14, 2021 – Tuesday
1 Corinthians 5:8 NIV
8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
1 Corinthians 5:8 NET
8 So then, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of vice and evil, but with the bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.
1 Corinthians 5:8 NASB
8 Therefore let’s celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Because we are in the season of celebrating the birth of Christ, I went looking for verses with celebrate or celebration. Most are in the Old Testament, but there are some in the New Testament as well. However, the NIV as well as the KJV and others have keep the Festival and the idea is not to keep the Festival of Unleavened Bread, but to keep on keeping on. As we will see below, it is not for one day, but for a way of life of being sincere and truthful.
But all versions have Therefore or So then, which has to do with something prior. So let’s look at the verse with two prior verses for context NIV, 6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 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. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. For some reason they were boasting (!) about keeping a member within the church even though he was involved in a terrible sin. Maybe the man had great wealth or a high position locally. We don’t know, but he clearly was involved in a terrible sin. Paul’s solution, put him out! Accepting his sin would lead to accepting other sins. Yeast affecting all the bread, a yeast of sin or as verse eight tells us, a yeast of malice and wickedness.
Paul is clearly contrasting the leavened bread with the unleavened. The leavened contains all types of impurities like malice and wickedness. But the unleavened bread contains sincerity and truth. Using the present tense, Paul urges the Christians in Corinth to celebrate “the Festival,” by leading a life (bread) day by day without malice and wickedness. Instead, it is characterized by sincerity and truth.Paul is not talking about salvation here, but he is addressing the walk of a believer who has been saved. Sincerity does not save you, but it should be a characteristic of anyone who has been saved. This was not the church in Corinth as they had accepted a terrible sin in their midst. They were living a lie.
They needed to remember, as we need to remember, Christ was sacrificed as our Passover lamb. He died at the time of the Jewish Passover celebration. Which begins when the Passover lambs were sacrificed and is called the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Thus, when Paul writes Let us keep the Festival, he is saying let us live the Christian life in a manner pleasing to God. The Expositor’s Bible says, This means, he says, that we are to live not with the old yeast of malice and wickedness, but on the basis of the unleavened principles of sincerity and truth.
The Believer’s Bible Commentary goes further stating, The feast here does not refer to the Passover or to the Lord’s Supper but rather is used in a general way to describe the whole life of the believer. Our entire existence is to be a festival of joy, and it is to be celebrated not with the old leaven of sin nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness. As we rejoice in Christ, we must have no evil thoughts in our hearts toward others. From this we see that the Apostle Paul was not speaking about literal leaven, such as the yeast that is used in making bread, but rather he was using leaven in a spiritual sense to describe the manner in which sin defiles that with which it comes into contact. We are to live our lives with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. To which I would add, in contrast to the Old Testament Passover feast celebrated once every year, as believers we are to constantly celebrate the “feast” of the new Passover—Jesus Christ. For as the Jews celebrate Passover with unleavened bread, so as Christians we are to celebrate our continual Passover with unleavened lives.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Clearly Jesus is our Passover Lamb saving us from death, calling us to lead lives unsullied with malice and wickedness. Thank You for such a lesson from Paul. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek