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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians


“Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”


This verse may refer to Exodus 12:18-20; 13:6,7.

Therefore purge out the old leaven,

God exhorted each Jewish household to remove all leaven in the house in preparation for Passover. Leaven (yeast) symbolized a complete break with the old life in Egypt. Moses identified leaven with the putrefaction of life in Egypt. Paul uses this idea to “purge” incest from the church in Corinth. The church is to “purge” (cleanse) decisively and thoroughly (Greek) the leaven of incest that will spread throughout the church if they do not deal with it.

that you may be a new lump,

The church has status before God because of their position in Christ. They were to become what they are – in union with Christ. Note the emphasis is not on “to be” something but on something that they “are.” The church was to live according to their eternal status before God in Christ.

since you truly are unleavened.

The church is a “new lump” since it is “justified” forensically before God. The word “new” means new in the sense that it did not exist previously. It was a new lump of dough that never had yeast put into it. The church was not just a reformed church patched up but was something radically new.

For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

Christ is the Passover Lamb. The Greek places great emphasis on “Christ.” The sacrifice of Christ the Passover Lamb was the means of the church becoming “unleavened.” Christ’s substitutionary death contained the principle of death to sin. Christ took my hell that I might have His heaven. The essence of salvation lies in a sacrifice on our behalf. Incest is a blight on the finished work of Christ. Jesus was the last lamb that God ever recognized because He fulfilled all the Old Testament’s sacrificial typology. The sacrifice on Calvary was the true and final sacrifice. Christ once and for all dealt with the issue of sin on the cross.

John 1:29, The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

1 Peter 1:18-20, 18 …knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.


The church is to live in light of who they are.


The believer and the church have status with God – the same status Jesus has before God forever. Both the church and the individual believer live their Christian lives in light of who they are in Christ. Everything we do reflects our position in Christ. Jesus cleansed us from sin, so we are to live like cleansed people.