The Effects of Leaven

There are all sorts of voices around us that tell us Jesus is not enough.

The blatant heresy endorsed in many churches today did not come out of nowhere. Only through the slow erosion of truth do the visible churches of Christ come to the point where they deny Jesus. Pray that you would always stand firm on the truth of the gospel.

 

You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Galatians 5:7–9,

Returning again to the topic of circumcision (Gal. 5:1–12) might seem to be a strange way for Paul to begin his exposition of Christian freedom in Galatians 5–6, but it makes sense given that the imposition of circumcision and the attendant yoke of the Torah is what most threatened the Galatians’ liberty in Jesus. Today we might not be tempted to add old covenant ceremonies to our faith in Christ, though there are all sorts of voices around us that tell us Jesus is not enough. Sometimes we are told that we need a second blessing or baptism in the Holy Spirit to give us that extra strength we need to live the “victorious Christian life.” Perhaps others want us to follow a magic “prayer formula” or guarantee new power if we “do church in a new way.” Whatever the form they take, all of us deal with the suggestion that Jesus is not sufficient.

Believing that we need anything more than faith in Christ, which is evidenced in the imitation of Him through the Spirit (3 John 11), leads us only into new bondage. Invariably, these extra things fail to deliver on their promises, and we find ourselves enslaved to false guilt, believing that it is our fault somehow that these extra things did not work. Such false guilt can paralyze us, encouraging us to give in to sin, thinking that there is no way we can resist it.

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