Hello everyone. Today’s post is not a philosophical argument for the existence of God nor theological reasoning for His character. It’s the truth about a life I’ve lived and the pains I’ve felt and the struggles I’ve walked through with God.
To begin, however, I need to turn that statement around. It’s not so much that I walked through these things with God. It’s more like God walked through these things with me. Frankly, I didn’t want God around a lot because His love didn’t seem to be doing the quick-fix trick I wanted so desperately. No, instead, the God I know knew me, sat with me, and is healing deep, deep wounds in my soul. Not only is He healing the wounds, He’s comforting me in the midst of the healing – no matter how long the healing takes. He’s good – so good – even when His treatments hurt so bad.
I’ll start by telling you a little bit about wounds, then a little bit about what it can look like to step into healing our wounds. I’ll hold off until the end to tell you the treatment – I just want to build suspense along the way.
Before I continue on, I want to clarify what I mean when I say “wounds.” As I discuss “wounds” in this post, I am talking about the inflicted damage done to our hearts throughout our life. This could be the extremely subtle build up of many events over a long period of time, or large, unforgettable events that happened in an instant. We all have them; some have more than others. Some of our wounds are open to the world; some of our wounds are covered with ratty bandages that have covered them far too long. Some of our wounds are self-inflicted, many of them are inflicted upon us against our will. I think a lot of the time wounds can be hidden even from our own conscious. Often, we discover them through dissatisfaction, dissonant behaviors, or through deeply resonating with someone else’s vulnerability.
A good friend of mine, Dan, once explained to me his view on “resonating” with the thoughts or experiences of someone else. He talked through the fact that resonation in its nature is when one object starts vibrating to the same frequency and wavelength as another object. I think something similar happens when we hear stories similar to our own. A similar sense of motion comes alive in us and we spiritually or emotionally resonate on the same frequency as someone else. I want to share some of my wounds with you all in hopes that maybe they might resonate with you and you can come to a deepened understanding of your own wounds.
To preface this section, I want to say that I cannot go too far in depth with the wounds I’ve experienced in such a public format for my sake and the sake of others involved in them. I can, however, share some general wounds of mine that you can at minimum resonate with on a superficial level. If you feel the frequency line up, I’d love to talk more about what resonates with you in greater detail in a more one-on-one setting.
In my life I’ve had a number of wounds inflicted on me by many people including family, friends, significant others, acquaintances, church leaders, mentors, even myself. Each come at varying degrees and consistencies. I’ve faced a fair share of conflict within family struggles, mental health battles, financial insecurity, boundary-crossing, anxiousness, heartbreak, and loneliness.
They suck. All of them. I would trade them away in an instant if I could. So often I’ve believed the lie that these hard things had to happen in order for me to learn something from them, yet, so often I see others learning the same lessons and they haven’t received half of the same wounds. In my own experience, this belief that everything happens for a reason seems like it cannot be the case at all. It isn’t comforting at all either. I could’ve learned another way. I wish I could have. But this world is broken, and bad things happen to all people as a result of it. That doesn’t mean they had to happen. It doesn’t mean they were out of God’s control nor that they were in His perfect intention for the world. It also doesn’t mean that the wounds don’t suck. They suck. All of them. Don’t discredit that.
Why Heal Wounds?
Take a few seconds to evaluate how we interact with others and how others interact with us. You’ll probably notice there seems to be a lot of brokenness in the interactions. Whether we know it or not, each of us have wounds that impact the way we interact with one another. So the question that arises is this: Why do we need to heal these wounds at all? Well, I think this can be answered in what happens when we approach our wounds. So, how do we approach them? There are two distinct ways we often approach wounds: we ignore our wounds or we heal our wounds.
In ignoring our wounds, we hope the wound heals on its own or act like we don’t have them. We grow ignorant or apathetic toward the consequences of the festering gash in our soul. It doesn’t mean that the consequences disappear, in fact, just like a normal cut, scrape, or tear, it can become infected and spread. We can even act as if we are acknowledging our wounds, but ignore the consequences of not nursing them back to health. Ultimately, ignoring our wounds causes us more pain in the long run and can lead to more and more repeated wounds.
Imagine, for instance, that you hit your shin on a table in your living room. Chances are, you don’t take the same route around the living room again or you move the table. Either way, you take the necessary steps to avoid hitting your shin on the table again. In the same way, we cannot ignore the spiritual and emotional wounds that we encounter in our lives or else we continue to take the same route through the living room of life and never remove the obstacles. We hit our shin over and over and over again until it becomes learned helplessness. We forget we can move the table and accept that we will have to run into it and experience the pain over and over and over again. The anticipation of hitting the table no longer phases us, but we would be fools to say it no longer hurts us or debilitates us when we run into it.
Now, let’s imagine another example. This particular table we were mentioning before is “the world.” Each of us probably understand that the world doesn’t actually operate as it ought to. It harms us. It doesn’t just sit idly as a table might and it certainly doesn’t let us control its actions and reactions. We cannot necessarily place the table of our world in a particular place as to prevent ourselves from running into it. We are hopeless in orienting the world as we know it ought to be oriented. Sometimes the table creeps its way back into the same spot it was in before, right where it can position itself for you to bash your bruised shin right back into it. You’re not sure how an inanimate table moved itself back into that position, but it did. Maybe it was an evil nemesis that pushed it there. Maybe it was the wood sprites in the mahogany inlay that shuffled it there. Regardless, you had no control over it and still hit your shin on the table.
There’s a dichotomy playing out here in both of these examples. We are caught in a tension of learning to be utterly helpless and being attacked by a corrupt, broken world. This tension feeds off of itself because the more helpless we become, the more wounds the world can inflict on us. The more wounds inflicted on us, the more helpless we become. This doesn’t sound like a fantastic way of living life, does it? Yet so many people live this way, including myself. This is the reason we must step out of our helplessness, remove ourselves from the corrupt, broken world, and step into healing our wounds.
This leads us to the second approach to your wounds.: to acknowledge there is healing and treatment available for all of our wounds and to accept the treatment. It seems straightforward: you have a broken bone, you go to the doctor because they’ll fix it. You run into the table a few times, so you move the table. We accept the treatment that is right in front of us. Simple, right?
Difficulty Stepping into Healing
While it is seemingly easy, it cannot be so simple if so many people walk around with their wounds going untreated. So what prevents us from treating the wounds? The issues for most individuals in this step are fear and doubt.
Fear comes from the anticipated pain it takes to clean out, stitch, and bind the wounds back into healing. The strenuous effort it takes to rearrange the living room. The hydrogen peroxide wash and tight bandage around a cut. The chemo treatment to rid the body of cancer. Unknowing comes from two places. The first is no one is telling us how to access the treatment that is readily available to us. Not knowing how to move the furniture around. Not knowing where the hydrogen peroxide and bandages are. Not knowing chemo is developed and available (barring financial and health concerns).
The second issue derives from doubting the treatment will actually work. Not knowing if you’ll still hit your shin even if you move the table. Not knowing if the hydrogen peroxide and bandage will actually clean and heal the cut. Not knowing if the chemo will rid the body of cancer. The hesitation to heal wounds that results from fear and unknowing is understandable, especially when we’ve been raised in a world that conditions us to be skeptical of nearly anything that offers to help us and consistently lets us down. It’s a state of learned helplessness. There is this overwhelming question looming over us when we are debating healing our wounds: Should I go through the pain for the healing that isn’t guaranteed?
But we aren’t helpless to this fear and doubt.
Stepping into Healing
I would have to say that the single greatest way to overcome fear and doubt would be through experiencing. Experiencing healing of our wounds is an obvious way to help break the cycle of being wounded. Once we experience healing ourselves, we then must remember. We remember the healing of our past wounds so we can trust the process of healing all over again for the next wound. This is important because the world doesn’t stop being out to get us once we figure out how to find healing from its assaults. Often times, the evil in the world fights back even harder and deals a few more good blows.
Again, this sounds simple, and truthfully, I hope that one day it does become this simple. A cycle of trusting and healing, healing and trusting without fear or doubt sounds like serene freedom. But often, many of us haven’t ever allowed ourselves to glimpse at this freedom we’ve been offered. We’ve never stepped into healing in the first place. We have no experiences; nothing to remember.
Luckily, we were designed to be around other people. Each of us have experienced that longing to be near someone. Each of us has missed someone that is not geographically close to us. Each of us has wanted a significant other. Each of us has desired deep friendship. That’s by no mistake because not only were we designed for this connection with others, it can help us heal too.
Through our interactions with others that have experienced healing in their lives, their stories and transformation can dispel our deeply-held doubts and fears. We begin to see that the treatment that is readily offered to us is trustworthy and yields results. These stories of healing that we hear from others are what I’ll call a “testimonies.” These testimonies can be shared verbally between friends or can be seen over the course of a long period of time without any words at all. It’s deeper than maturing and its deeper than reconciling differences. These testimonies are a complete, undeniable, unexplainable change in how people interact with other people around them because they have healed or are currently healing from their past wounds.
So if you’re in need of healing but you’re not sure you can trust the treatment, seek those who have trusted it. Once you find them, ask what their story is. Pay attention to their stories of the bitterness they’ve overcome; the pains they’ve been freed from; the comfort they’ve experienced in heartbreak. Let these testimonies spark your confidence and curiosity in the treatment they’ve undergone. If you need help seeking these individuals, CS Lewis details just what they may look like when he writes,
“Already the new men are dotted here and there all over the earth. Some, as I have admitted, are still hardly recognisable: but others can be recognised. Every now and then one meets them. Their very voices and faces are different from ours: stronger, quieter, happier, more radiant. They begin where most of us leave off. They are, I say, recognisable; but you must know what to look for. They will not be very like the idea of ‘religious people’ which you have formed from your general reading. They do not draw attention to themselves. You tend to think that you are being kind to them when they are really being kind to you. They love you more than other men do, but they need you less…They will usually seem to have a lot of time: you will wonder where it comes from. When you have recognised one of them, you will recognise the next one much more easily. And I strongly suspect (but how should I know?) that they recognise one another immediately and infallibly, across every barrier of colour, sex, class, age, and even of creeds…”
Though there are countless biblical and extra-biblical stories of physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual healing from faith we can share with our friends, I recently began to realize the testimony of my own wounds that God alone is healing is arguably as significant and powerful. I hope that by living a life that is so different than one would assume me to live given my wounds and circumstances, the only rational and reasonable explanation would be God. Not by my efforts at covering up my wounds, but by freely living in them, giving them air, and letting God tend to them.
This is also where I want to challenge those of you that have experienced this healing. Please share your testimonies with others. I’m not in any way asking you to overshare your personal experiences with other people, but I am asking you to share your stories of healing with others. Think about this: where have you seen healing and redeeming of broken pieces of your life? How can you share about that healing in a beneficial way? How is your behavior different than it was before you experienced this healing? Can you explain that to someone else? Do other people simply think you a really nice person, but not necessarily as someone who has experienced true adversity and hardship? You are more than your past situations and circumstances and they no longer define you. Yet, others are walking through hardships of their own and they may resonate with your past situations. Growth and healing has happened in your life since those wounds were inflicted, you have every single right to move on in that healing. I will challenge you, however, to share these stories of growth and healing so that others can step into the healing too.
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. I suspect some of you may already have an idea of what I’m going to talk about. I hope that this section can provide a new perspective to this treatment, but first, I need to clarify something.
What I’m about to tell you is not the same kind of treatment you’ve experienced in this world. It is of a completely different nature. It is a treatment that will know every last detail of the wounds you’ve been dealt throughout your life before you do. It requires no explanation of your own pain from you, but instead it provides the explanations and solutions as you work with it. It doesn’t heal you immediately all the time, but it can. It doesn’t promise that you’ll even see the complete healing of your wounds in this lifetime. It can honestly bring you to the point of dying in order to be healed. It is not a treatment that you leave behind or toss out once it makes you “well enough,” but rather it lasts and brings you to complete wellness. It is not at all like a typical treatment from a doctor’s office. No, this is much, much better.
The treatment I so speak of is faith in Jesus Christ.
What is faith in Jesus have to do with healing our wounds? In short, everything. Jesus, if he is who He says He is, is the permanent example of how to live through wounds and also equips us to walk into the healing of our wounds. Similar to how each of our testimonies of healing help others step into helping, the testimony of Christ is the ultimate example of this – but it takes the exemplification one step further. While people’s testimonies can only serve to be reminders that this kind of healing from Christ is effective, Christ’s testimony promises to actually heal us.
Here is His testimony, the testimony that serves not simply as a reminder that healing is possible, but as the actual healing itself. Christ – who suffered on the cross, suffered being lied to by His friends, suffered His best friends turning from Him, suffered people rejecting Him, suffered endless persecution, suffered spiritual warfare, suffered loneliness and sorrow and loss – overcame all of it when He rose from the dead. He lived a blameless, perfect, holy life. He deserved none of the persecution, none of the affliction, none of the consequences of sin because He was completely without sin (For a more in-depth look at His crucifixion and suffering read Christ: The Suffering Servant). He never missed the mark. He never failed to love His neighbor. He never failed to stand up for the emotionally, socially, and spiritually oppressed. He was altogether God and man at the same time. He carried in His body the wounds sin had inflicted on Him, but never once met sin with sin. Then He died. As a completely perfect sacrifice, He willingly sacrificed himself, being crucified on a cross to pay for our sins against God. Not only to forgive us of how we have wounded others, but also to guarantee us a day when we will no longer wound others. Not only to protect us from being wounded, but to eventually remove the possibility of being wounded in the first place. Not only to heal our wounds that sin and brokenness have inflicted on us, but to completely eradicate the world of sin and brokenness and wounds altogether.
So how does Christ’s death and resurrection play a direct role in healing your wounds? How can you be healed by a man that lived two thousand years ago? It all seems extremely obscure when we ask questions like this, but the answer is actually quite simple.
We often forget that Jesus was not just a man that lived two thousand years ago. He did, after all, come back to life. We also often overlook the fact that His Holy Spirit, who is also fully God, is alive and active in the world. You see, we are given mercy, love, life, grace freely through faith in Christ. This mercy, love, life, and grace effectively heal us of our wounds. Faith is not simply having confidence in something. Faith is not simply trusting something more than another thing. It’s not a lukewarm mingling of a ton of beliefs that may have varying levels of truth. This faith is staking everything in your life – the way you behave, think, frame, act, perceive, live – on one single belief.
This particular faith in Christ has two distinct components and a guaranteed assurance. There is nothing obscure, abstract, or uncertain about it. The first component of faith is this: your faith in Jesus Christ guarantees salvation. The second is this: your faith in Jesus Christ guarantees sanctification.
I believe this word, salvation, has lost its profundity in American culture. Salvation, once again, is not an obscure, abstract concept which we do not understand. Let me be clear, we do not fully understand what heaven will look or feel or smell or sound or taste like. We are not sure what it means to have no more mourning or tears or loss. We do not know what it feels like to not have wounds inflicted on us and to not inflict wounds on others. These things are purposefully left in obscurity. Salvation, however, is not. Here are a list of true, concrete characteristics of salvation. Salvation is certainly…
- perfect relationship with God.
- being made new.
- going to heaven after we die.
- being saved from Hell when we die.
- only given by Christ.
- being healed of every affliction.
- never experiencing affliction, pain, or suffering again.
These are all necessarily good things. Notice too that none of them are experienced immediately. My sister, Emma, once told me a story. While she helped rescue individuals from human-trafikking, she noticed her bank account dwindling – a lot. She needed funds to travel for work, get a VISA, help out these women, eat, have a flat, et cetera. In the midst of the stress and fear she felt in the financial situation, waiting for financial support to show up, she said this to me, “You know, God is a funny guy. He’s a comedian or something. I’m just waiting on the punchline.”
*queue her nervous laughter*
Here’s the deal y’all. He has stored up his greatest punchline for us – Salvation. I’m not saying the life we’re living is a joke. It’s something that is meant to be taken seriously. But I am saying that at the end of this life there will be tremendous joy and laughter. That is the first component of faith – an assurance of redemption. An assurance that one day everything will be perfect, including ourselves. An assurance of our salvation.
The second essential and certain component of faith is sanctification. Again, I believe there to be some common misconceptions about what this word, sanctification, may mean. The term “sanctification” became nothing more than a lofty religious term associated with rules or judgment or priests. This, or even more commonly, it fell out of our vocabulary entirely. So let’s add this word back into our brain-dictionaries and refine the definition to a truer representation of what this means in accordance to faith.
Sanctification is essentially becoming more saint-like, or like a “little Christ.” The term Christian itself means “little Christ.” We must then, I’d venture to say, define what makes someone a saint, more like a “little Christ.” Counted among the greatest of the saints are exemplars like Peter, Paul, and Timothy. Each saint has unique roles, skills, doubts, and stories just like these three. Peter was the rock the church was built on. He walked alongside Jesus and led the Jewish people to Christ. Paul was the great apostolic leader. He sought to promote the gospel across the world and was willing to face all persecutions for the sake of the gospel. Timothy was the disciple and pastor. He led the church of the gentiles in Ephesus and sought wisdom of other leaders.
The commonality amongst all of them is they were no longer living for their selves, in fact they were dying to self. They were becoming less of who they thought they ought to be, and more of who they actually were. Here are some examples:
- Peter thought he had to prove himself to Jesus, saying he would not abandon Jesus in Jesus’ darkest hour – but he did. Three times. Yet, Peter began to see that his worth was not based on his performance for Christ, but rather in the grace Christ showed him.
- Paul was a persecutor of the church, a murderer of Christians, at war against Christ until he encountered resurrected Jesus. He placed His faith in Christ and was radically transformed, to the point that his testimony of radical transformation radically transformed entire regions of the Near East, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
- Timothy was a young man with a Jewish mother and Greek father. We can imagine that his cultural identity may have been wildly confusing growing up, Yet, as he traveled with Paul and learned about this faith, he was equipped to step back into his Greek culture with a renewed perspective. No longer was his Greek heritage and ethnicity for his consumption and enjoyment, instead he accepted his responsibility to share the gospel which frees his cultural and ethnic brothers and sisters.
The saints can teach us a lot about what it means to undergo sanctification. They teach us that we each start off broken and self-interested. We start off as people-pleasers, liars, killers, obsessive, ruthless, emotionless, dissonant, purposeless just like them. We seek our worth in friendships, wisdom, and education like Peter; in power, wealth, and political ideology like Paul; in our heritage and culture like Timothy. Then they teach us that we can encounter Christ, walk with Christ, and experience relationship with God and others. As they continually encounter this relationship with God, they are changed in the core of their being. No longer do they find their own worth in the things listed above, they find their worth in the grace and love God shows to them. They all three moved from their self-idealized worldview to a more eternal, global worldview. They are freed to see the inherent value in each of the things they once found worth in, but no longer do those missions and fields define the content of their character – God’s love does. As they change internally, they are willing to lay down their advancement, social spheres, future plans, and even their physical lives without hesitation.
This change is what we can expect from faith. That is sanctification. We are being made more like Christ, our physical lives begin to reflect His life. We are able to lay down our selfish intentions, our corrupt ways, our deceitful desires and become more loving, wise, and grace-filled. Not only this, but we can expect that as we are changed in sanctification we will be healed as well. The wounds inflicted on us that put us in a cycle of seeking our worth in relationships, in power, in politics, in philosophy, in culture, in ethnicity, in ourselves are bound up and they begin to heal in this lifetime. That’s the point – in faith, our wounds begin to heal in this lifetime. Not just in some mystical future. Not just in some distant heaven we cannot fully imagine yet. No, healing and transformation begin now. There is hope in this lifetime.
These two tenants of faith are vastly important to how we approach our wounds. We have a hope that derives from our assurance of all things being healed in heaven, but also the beginning of healing in this lifetime. We can be certain that we won’t be wounded and broken forever, while also moving toward wholeness and healing right now. Contemplate the words of Paul in Ephesians: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” We are given life through grace and we are freed to be who we were made to be, doing what we were made to do.
A.W. Tozer writes, “For human beings the whole possibility of redemption lies in their ability to change. To move across from one sort of person to another is the essence of repentance: the liar becomes truthful, the thief honest, the lewd pure, the proud humble. The whole moral texture of life is altered. The thoughts, the desires, the affections are transformed, and the man is no longer what he had been before.” So we rejoice in the fact that we can change and have hope in that change. We rejoice in the hope that we can become better. We rejoice in the fact that though we will continue to experience the wounds of this world, they will be bound up again, and again, and again, and again because of Christ’s death and resurrection. We rejoice because one day the wounds of this world will no longer inflict damage to us physically, emotionally, or spiritually because they will no longer exist.
The question “So What?” is dangerously important. I apologize if you perceive this as overly dramatic or vehement, but frankly this question should shake to the very core the ones that believe in this hope I’ve articulated. There ought to be a deep sorrow in your spirit to hear these words: “So What?” This very treatment was worth the death of the only human being to live a completely, utterly blameless life. It was so psychologically painful that He pleaded with God to take the burden away with blood sweating from his pores. It was so entirely excruciating that after living in perfect, uninterrupted relationship and oneness with God, He cried out “Father, why have you forsaken me?” The weight of this question is so unbearable when we recognize the sacrifice that was made. Not only this, but that this very sacrifice was made for us. For us to attain wholeness again. For us to be redeemed. For us to be free. For us to be protected. For us to have hope. For us to be healed. For us to experience everlasting, unchanging love. For us to be in relationship with God.
When we see the overwhelming love that is wrapped up in the death and resurrection of Christ. When we know that He bore our transgressions, our sins, and our wounds. When we understand that Christ was bound, beaten, and crucified, so we may live and be free. When we treasure these things in our inmost being, we become like Christ. We have hope as we begin to experience healing and protection in this lifetime and whole healing and protection in eternity.
I pray you would experience this healing today. I pray you would rest in the assurance that your wounds can begin to be healed now. I pray you could find peace and comfort knowing you will no longer be wounded in eternity. I pray you are made into a new creation by Christ. I pray you could experience Him today.
Read these for more understanding.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:13-16)
[Christ] committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:22-25)
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (Revelation 21:3-7)
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:4-14)
Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)