Charles Spurgeon – Purging Out the Leaven (1 Corinthians 5:6-8)

“Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out, therefore, the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” — 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

“WHAT God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” Evermore in Scripture the doctrines of grace are married to the precepts of holiness. Where faith leads the way, the virtues follow in a goodly train. The roots of holiness and happiness are the same, and in some respects they are but two words for the same thing. There have been persons who have thought it impossible that holiness should come out of the preaching of salvation by faith. If you tell men that “there is life in a look at the crucified One,” will they not conclude that cleanness of life is unnecessary? If you preach salvation by grace through faith, and not at all by the works of the law, will they not draw the inference that they need not be obedient to Christ, but may live as they list? To this the best answer is found in the godly, honest, and sober lives of the men who are most zealous for the gospel of the grace of God. On the other hand, there have been others of Antinomian spirit, who have dared to say that because they are saved, and Christ has finished his work for them, so that nothing is left undone by way of merit, therefore, henceforth they may act as they please, seeing that they are not under law, but under grace. Our reply is, that the faith which saves is not an unproductive faith, but is always a faith which produces good works and abounds in holiness. Salvation in sin is not possible, it always must be salvation from sin. As well speak of liberty while yet the irons are upon a man’s wrists, or boast of healing while the disease waxes worse and worse, or glory in victory when the army is on the point of surrendering, as to dream of salvation in Christ while the sinner continues to give full swing to his evil passions. Grace and holiness are as inseparable as light and heat in the sun. True faith in Jesus in every case leads to an abhorrence of every false way, and to a perseverance in the paths of holiness even unto the end. The apostle Paul while he was showing the Corinthians how wrong they were to tolerate an incestuous person in their midst, compared the spirit of uncleanness to an evil leaven; then the leaven suggested to him the passover, and turning aside for a moment he applied the type of the paschal feast, so as to make his argument yet more cogent. He would urge purity upon them by every conceivable reason, and his keen eye saw an argument in the celebration of the passover. In using this type he furnishes me with another proof of the fact, that hard by any Scripture wherein you find the safety of the believer guaranteed, you are sure to see needful holiness set side by side with it. Here you have at the passover a favored people safe beneath the sprinkled blood, safe in that dire hour when the destroying angel’s sword was unsheathed, but you find that people busily engaged in purging out the defiling leaven from their houses: the were not saved by purging out the leaven, but being preserved by the sprinkled blood, they were obedient to the divine precept, and diligently put away the corrupt and forbidden thing. The purity of the house from leaven went side by side with its safety by the blood.

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Michael lives in Belleville, IL, a suburb of St. Louis, MO with his wife Erica and daughter Alissa. An 8 year Navy veteran, he is now employed at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) where he oversees advanced educational programs. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Religion (Biblical Studies) from Liberty University. He is an avid reader and blogger operating the website Christian Apologetics and Intelligence Ministry ( which provides both original content and shares relevant posts and articles from around the web.

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