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September 13, 2021 4:00 am
Now in a spiritual sense. Christ is our Passover. He has delivered us and now that we been delivered out of our old life into a new life.
Don't take any of that with you so 11 is not so much the definition of a sin. As such, the permeating influences that come from our past to learn the language are done well when you become a Christian. Your citizenship changes, your primary allegiance is no longer to anything on this earth.
So how do you adapt to a kingdom that's heavenly. Whom do you learn from and what can you study, as John MacArthur will show you today on grace to you in order to live in the kingdom you need to obey the instructions of the king and many of those instructions. He gave in a series of simple but profound stories take a fresh look at those stories now in John study titled the parables of the kingdom. This is going to be like a Bible study lesson and I want to take it into an interpretive situation that I think needs to be made clear because I believe that the parable were to look at today. The parable of the leaven has been greatly misunderstood. Let's look at it. The parable of the leaven in verse 33. Now I've already looked at the parable of the mustard seed we learned three lessons from it. The kingdom will start small, it will become large and the nations will ultimately enjoy its benefits, but now are going to look at a very similar lesson in the parable of the leaven another parables pokey under them, saying, the kingdom of heaven is like 11 which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. I was always our Lord picks his parables out of common life very common life as a boy growing up he would've seen his mother do this many many times make bread and make bread using yeast or leaven, or sourdough, as it sometimes called and this was a common occurrence in the home you take a new batch of dough which is all prepared and needed and ready and you take a piece of sour fermented dough from a former loaf and you place it in that new loaf and it foments and bubbles and permeates until it leavens the whole loaf and causes it to rise in our Lord would've seen this as everyone would. At times this was something that every Jew would know everyone would understand this. Not very difficult. One of the lessons the very simple story with very symbolist and yet I'm telling it so far.
Of all the parables I've studied people are more confused on this one than any other pair, and it is so simple. Some people think the leaven means evil and that what the parable is teaching is that evil is going to be in the kingdom permeating the kingdom will have several problems with that problem number one. It doesn't fit the layout of the parables. We've already dealt with the evil in the world in the first two parables now are dealing with the power of the kingdom to overcome that.
So it's inconsistent with our Lord's pattern. Secondly, the verse says this the kingdom of heaven is like what leaven now if I just asked you, plain and simple. What the leaven refers to. Based on that statement, what would you say the kingdom of heaven is like leaven. Therefore, the leaven refers to what good class.
The kingdom of heaven. And you really don't have to be Phi Beta Kappa to figure that out. It seems to me patently obvious that the kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which means that the leaven refers to the kingdom of heaven. And I have to believe that in that sense he is seeing the kingdom of heaven in its good sense the kingdom of heaven is good, and its influence is that which makes what it influences better as leaven does with Britt at this point. Now we want to keep in mind what is the major argument of those who make leaven be evil here and this is their argument that leaven everywhere else in the New Testament always refers to evil. Therefore, here, there must be consistency and they will say Jesus even uses it to refer to evil. Now let me take issue with that and on your seat.
Those of you who have taught that. That way, leaven, inherently never refers to evil that is not its intention to know in a minute if it says in Luke 12 one. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Lesson the leaven there is not so much the hypocrisy itself as the influence that it had. You see, leaven is only an analogy that is good when applied to permeating influence in a state so the point of using the leaven to describe the hypocrisy of the Pharisees was that the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. It affects them the way leaven effects bread permeates everything they do so that leaven is not an illustration of sin is an illustration of permeation that's very important. They were permeated with hypocrisy of which leaven is an apt analogy so that the analogy is an analogy of permeation not you take leaven any further than that.
You've destroyed it's analogy is not simply an analogy of something evil. Now, in the Bible want to talk about something that's evil it calls it darkness or blackness right we we see those terms for evil. The absence of light. Because that's a sort of static definition of evil, but when the Bible uses leaven as an illustration.
It's talking about something which permeates that is the usefulness of that analogy and I believe that's where we have to see it here. It speaks of something that permeates now, may I add another foot and this is something you might might go right by some of you but for some of you will be helpful.
You don't take analogies and absolutize them into theological terms. In other words leaven is only an illustration and does not have an absolute theological meaning you can assign it an absolute theological meaning so that every time you have leaven you got sin. I mean, that's only an analogy, that's only an illustration and you really have a lot of trouble when you get into the Old Testament and you get to the feast of Pentecost and all the Jews are commanded by God, offer God leavened bread I got from the offering evil to see that you can do that with a simple analogy or illustration.
So you got go beyond the term itself. Its basic meaning is permeation that is the analogy in its usefulness and is you look in the New Testament, its use several times. It's used of different sins, not just hypocrisy but different things accused of of legalism. In Galatians 59 its use of immorality in first Corinthians 5. So it could be hypocrisy or legalism or immorality to be anything that influences the permeates. That's the reason leaven is used, it is only an illustration of that which permeates so when you come here you can't take leaven and give it an absolute theological meaning of evil. You have to use it as an analogy, and it is an analogy of that which permeates and there's just as much right to use it heaven as an analogy of that which permeates for good as an analogy, that which permeates for evil. Even though it may never have been used anywhere else in the New Testament as an analogy of that which is good. Your sentencing, the Lord can still use it once for that.
So you can extrapolate off of the other uses only be another reason why look at first radius. Chapter 5 first Corinthians chapter 5 and I'll just give you an insight that might help you to see this verse six Paul and on indicting the Corinthian church for their sin uses the illustration here of leaven. He says don't you know verse six first Corinthians 5 that little leaven leavens the whole lump that is simply a proverbial state is just a saying it's a saying that it is an excellent analogy get a little bit influence in a mess of all our stuff. Now we have a very similar one that the Bible doesn't use our little analogy is one rotten apple.
What was Bill. We are analogy goes further because we've got will, and Apple rotten so it influences for evil but leaven is neutral. It depends on how you want to apply it leaven really makes bread better, but it can be used to speak of anything that ultimately influences a large mask from a small beginning permeating influence, but look at this. Now he applies this in verse seven. Here's how he uses the analogy purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump. They had a lump of dough right what is he talking about. You say you're a Christian now your new lump of dough right dog put into that new lump leaven.
Nowhere that leaven come from come from an old loaf right so when you're baking bread back here you drop a piece put it aside and let it ferment and you stick it in that new your policy. Your new creature in Christ.
Don't bring any of the stuff from that former life into influence that new life so easy beautiful illustration is the illustration of of continuity cut off the current annuity is what he sent because when you bake bread you'd make this local level P start the next that's what's called in and people who big red talk about starters and you you just keep one is coming from another Jesus cut off right there and start here with a brand-new low in verse eight, verse seven, rather for Christ, our Passover is sacrificed for us. So let us keep the feast nice talking in spiritual terms.
Not with all malice and wickedness.
The stuff of our former life, but with unleavened bread know what is this all about, where every read, you read that would know Christ is our Passover was a talk about that for listen very carefully back in Exodus chapter 12 the look it up.
God said you can leave Egypt to get out of Egypt out of captivity been here 400 years and when you go once you have a Passover feast member that is a death come by the blood in the doorpost.
So what you be safe when the engine goes by and so forth. It will be passed by, but I want you to keep a Passover feast to remember that the God God of grace passed over you spared you in mercy. Now when you keep the Passover feast.
Use what kind of written on leaven and you keep that feast for seven days.
Unleavened bread for seven days. Why well. Exodus 1239 talks about the fact I had to leave in haste.
But more than that there was symbolism there is interpreted by first Corinthians chapter 5 was symbolism you're leaving Egypt, here's Egypt, you're leaving Egypt you are new people you're going to a promised land. Don't make leavened bread. Why, because if you make leavened bread out here where is your little lump of leaven going to come from the bread you made where in Egypt cut off the court.
You see the unleavened bread became a symbol of the disconnection from Egypt cut that off after seven days, then you can begin again to make your leavened bread and then in Leviticus it says when you finally come to the time of the feast of Pentecost. Leviticus 23 then offer to me that leavened bread not leaven was always sinful that would there's no reason why God would have them offered to him and there's no reason why God would limit that unleavened bread thing to a seven day period because of leaven always met evil. Then they went through the rest of their life demonstrating God's tolerance for evil. Every time they made bread.
But you see it was a point of continuity and the reason that they were to cut off that leavening process was to symbolize it. They were starting all over again with no Egyptian influence that tough time. Let go of Egypt and they got out in the wilderness and started complaining.
We want the leaks in the garlic's in the onions and they must've smelled some awful the stuff they needed what they want to go back and get all the stuff they had in Egypt and the Lord wanted to cut that cord.
That was the whole point.
Now when you come to first Corinthians 5 and understand what he saying now in a spiritual sense. Christ is our Passover right he has delivered us and now that we been delivered out of our own life into a new life. Don't take any of that with you so leaven is not so much the definition of a C and as such, but of the permeating influences that come from our past life.
Don't influence your present life with the stuff from past so leaven speaks of that permeating influence. You know, the rabbis used to have sayings about that the rabbis used to talk about the fact that leaven was not necessarily negative but but even positive one rabbi said this. Great is peace in that piece is to the earth as leaven is to the no use that in a good sense was proverbial and could be used in any way, you might want to know. Another interesting little note when a Jewish mother's daughter was getting married, the mother would give her gifts and one of the gifts that a mother gave a Jewish girl was a little piece of leaven from the last dough made before the wedding and the girl was to start her first loaf in her new marriage with that starter from her mother that similar symbolize that. All the best, all the good all the blessedness of that family was to be carried into the next room and the passing of a righteous seed onto the next generation was symbolized and that very simple Jewish custom of passing on leaven to the daughter speaks of continuity. At that point. All I'm saying is that the way leaven is used in the Bible is very broad and it is a very excellent analogy of permeating influence. So we see that our Lord uses that I believe in that very same manner.
Here sure its use in the New Testament to speak of evil and it's permeating influence, but always saying that God can't use it.
Also to speak of the influence of good, especially when he says the kingdom of heaven is like leaven, and especially when it's in a couple of parables which obviously are geared to show how the kingdom's power is extended as over against the influence of evil given in the first two parable William are no has such a marvelous insightful word on this. He said this boldly as a sovereign may this teacher sees is a proverb which was current as an exponent of the adversaries successful strategies and stamps the metal with the image and super corruption of the rightful king.
The evil spreads like leaven you tremble before its stealthy advance and relentless grasp but be of good cheer disciples of Jesus.
Greater is he that is for you then all that are against you. The word of life, which has been hidden in the world hidden in believing hearts is 11 to the unction of the holy one is more subtle and penetrating and subduing than sin and Satan were soon abounded, grace shall much more about and what he saying is so good he saying Jesus knew that they understood the analogy of leaven related to evil, and that they perceive the massive moving spread of evil and what better thing to grasp that which they understood and say and that's exactly how fast and how unstoppable and how penetrating will be the spread of the king. A marvelous genius for imparting the truth of the spread of the kingdom. So the leaven is the kingdom and the world. The massive does the world and from the inside it begins to bubble and boil annual Christianity troubles the world in a sense, doesn't it influences it for good, but it sometimes painful for the world to endure our single what Ahab said when Elijah showed up and he saw face-to-face and he said is is you you the trouble of Israel that's always the way the world reacts to the prophet of God in Thessalonica.
They said these men that have turned the world upside down. Come here also in Philippi.
They said these men are Jews and they are disturbing our city. Good living, disturbing people for 2000 years is an incredible the results you start out with 120 little disciples.
There banded together in Jerusalem and look today millions across the face of the earth have been influenced by Christianity. Millions to the point where all of the social advances all of the legal and jurisprudence systems. All of welfare and education and art and music and everything reflects the influence of Christianity, all of the caring and the benevolent societies.
All of those things that help the poor and give aid to those that are downtrodden and depressed, and so forth comes out of the spirit of Christ put through the hearts of his people who are leaven in the world if you don't think so. Go to countries that have never known the touch of Christianity and see how they treat people the world is been 11.
It's been influenced dramatic incredible way. What a hopeful full parable for the disciples so discouraged and distressed that the Lord wasn't bringing the kingdom and its fullness. What is going to happen where this little tiny group yes but he says you're like leaven you're going to bubble informant boiler before it's over, you're gonna permeate the whole second lesson positive influence of the kingdom comes from within the comes from within.
Got us to plant his leaven inside the world. The reason he lets the two go together so that we can influence. This is the time for men to be saved. This is the time for Christianity to do its work. The world and don't think of it this way, but the world has been injected with eternal life, and it's spreading. I think about that little tiny piece of leaven that was planted in the incarnation that little baby in Bethlehem that little piece of leaven plunged into the world and ultimately will dominate the world.
Ultimately, every knee will bow, and here we are extensions of that same eternal life. Christ dwells in me the life I live. I live by the faith of the son of God or love me and gave himself for me.
I don't live not I but what Christ living in me.
The life of Christ in me is in the world. Leavening and leavening and leavening and the influence moves and moves and moves incredible from the inside.
We don't need political position to do it. We don't have to be the president of the United States will have to have the organization of the government to do will have to have laws and guns and soldiers in in March and dominate the world was Christianity know we can just begin to move from a small beginning. I think about that first tape we are made from one tape to another to little machines and make them one at a time.
It took the whole hour to make the tape each one small beginning in all before the Lord returns it says in Matthew 2414, this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world is going to extend it's going to go permeate everything. Then finally, our Lord will come and set up his kingdom.
So in spite of the weeds in spite of the birds it snatched the seed in spite of scorching sun of persecution for some good soil, in spite of the presence of the Dardanelles over. Soon the wheat is going with all this evil opposition. The mustard seed grows in the leaven influences. It sums up really what our Lord's in Matthew 1618 he said this, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not hold it in, not a confident thing Christ is building his kingdom, and the day will come when it all climaxes in its indicated revelation and I read it to you. The seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.
That's what's going ultimately Christianity will win. Jesus will reign evil will be destroyed. Evil men will be sent to eternal hell kingdom will come in its eternal phone's when a hopeful hopeful this is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us.
John's current study from Matthew 13 is looking at the parables of the kingdom.
Jon, I was amazed at what you did in today's lesson exploring the world of first century Israel and explaining all those cultural references in this passage takes a lot of homework to get all of that material down and I know that's a process that you not only enjoy but you believe that's necessary for anyone who wants to know exactly what the Bible means.
Well exactly what the Bible means is the whole point of the Bible right if you don't get what it means you don't get the revelation from God at yeah we say this frequently but it needs to be said again there is always an attempt among Bible teachers to to bring the Bible into modern times.
That's the opposite of what you want to do. You don't want to bring the Bible in the modern times you want to bring the modern reader back to Bible times because whatever it meant when God gave it whatever it meant when he revealed it when he inspired it is what it means now and in order to know what it meant.
Then you have to restructure the setting and the context and so context is absolutely everything that's what we call the science of hermeneutics. The principles of interpretation of Scripture absolutely essential so we we take the time and make the effort to do that. Not because it's particularly interesting, but because it's absolutely necessary to know what the Bible meant when it was originally revealed because that's what it will mean forever his application obviously extends through all eternity. Its meaning never changes. So are always looking for tools to help you in that process and that leads me to remind you again of something a been talking about and that is the new addition in our real launch of the study guides the newest one is the believers armor. Now this study on the believers armor is coming up in just a few weeks and we are designing these study guides so that you have them in your hand to follow along while you're listening to the series they they were immensely popular. Decades ago that we stop doing them but were re-launching them so that you can. Not only hear what I'm saying but you can see additional material following outline in the booklet and this will enhance your learning opportunity.
So if you never contacted our ministry before we want to give you a free copy of the believers armor study guide free to anyone contacting us for the first time and you can have it when the series comes up very soon. Yes, and the believers armor study guide comes with a lot of extra material that we won't have time to get into in the radio series. So to get your study guide and it's free if you never contacted us before getting touch today. You can call 855 grace or go to our website Jide TY.org the believers armor study guide lays out powerful biblical truth for dealing with the spiritual warfare that Christians face. It can help you take hold of the spiritual protection God provides.
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Now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to be here tomorrow when John looks at the incredible blessings God gives his children and why those blessings are better than anything this world can offer. Don't miss the next 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you