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1 Corinthians 5:6 – A little leaven

16-02-2019 - Posted by Andre Piet

Not ideal is your boast. Are you not aware that a little leaven is leavening the whole kneading?

Paul had noticed several times that the Corinthians were “inflated” (4:6, 18, 19, 5:2). That association also sounds in these verses. Because puffing up is exactly what leaven does with dough. It makes the dough rise, making it inflated. Acid or yeast is a piece of dough from the previous day. That is why we speak of ‘ye(a)st-erday’.

Leaven is acidic, which causes decay and corruptibility. Leavened food is prone to decay. It is a type of the old creation in which sin and death reign. The Corinthians boasted about the world. The world of yesterday, which passes, despite all bluff and puff. Which is leaven indeed.

The leaven that Paul noticed in the Corinthians was not the man in their midst who lived with the wife of his father. No, it was their boasting of their moral tolerance in which they thought to be world champions (5:1,2). Such a focus on the old (yesterday) acidifies everything and corrodes everything. It also causes sour faces and acidic relations. Leaven is opposed to the life in the resurrected Christ: new and incorruptible!