Galatians 5:7-9 – Leaven

Daily Devotional Bible Verses

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

Leaven is a substance, typically yeast, that is added to dough to make it rise. It only takes a small amount and the entire lump of dough has been permeated by the yeast and will begin rising. Throughout the Bible leaven is used as an analogy for evil that creeps into the lives of people. Jesus tells the disciples to watch out for it (Matthew 16:6) and Paul mentions it again in (1 Corinthians 5:6-7). Paul is specifically referencing a legalism that has creeped into the Gospel at the church in Galatia, and has actually twisted it, distorting the Gospel’s truth. Paul’s word were relevant then, and they are applicable to our lives today.

Leaven doesn’t always equal legalism, however. Leaven can refer to any distorted doctrine that is attached to the Gospel. We must be careful as we follow and listen to religious leaders who are great communicators or creative in their presentations. They might be fun to listen to, and they may speak bits of truth once in a while, but if there is a leaven of bad doctrine in their message, it can hinder us from obeying the truth of the Gospel as it creeps into every corner of thought and life. We are no better than the disciples who Jesus warned of this or the churches in Galatia and Corinth who were warned by Paul. So, we must always be on guard as we listen to and follow religious leaders and communicators.

Is there “leaven” spreading in your life?

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