Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Wineskin

New Wine in New Wineskin

Wine and wineskins were familiar to the people of the first century. New wine is fresh wine that has not completed fermentation. A wineskin was the skin of an animal that was specially prepared to contain wine. As the wine fermented, it would build up pressure in the wine skin. Old wineskins would not stretch like new ones. Putting new wine into an old wineskin would cause the skin to rupture and the wine to be lost. 

Jesus used the figure of putting new wine into old wineskins in answer to the Pharisees, who kept asking why the disciples of Jesus did not keep the traditions of the Jews. The Pharisees were focusing on obeying certain rules in order to be righteous. None of the Pharisees were righteous, because they all broke the Law. The Law required that they love God with all their being, and that they love their neighbor as themselves. Jesus told them “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (Luke 5:31-32, NKJ) Jesus knew that they all were sinners, and that we all would be sinners. Jesus fulfilled that requirement of the Law for us, kept the Law perfectly, and offered His perfect life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. 

Jesus would not put the message of redemption through His blood into the framework of the Law of Moses. That would be like putting new wine into old wineskins. As Jesus told the Pharisees, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved." (Luke 5:37-38) 

Attempts to be justified before God by keeping religious dogma is like putting new wine into old wine skins. The new covenant cannot be placed within the old covenant. The writer of Hebrews quoted the prophet Jeremiah to explain the passing of the old covenant, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the Lord: “I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Heb 8:10-13, NKJ)

Apostle Paul explained to the Colossian Christians about the problem of trying to be justified by keeping certain rules, “Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations--’Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle, ’which all concern things which perish with the using-- according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” (Col 2:20-23, NKJ)

No one can be saved by keeping rules. We all need a savior. The new wine is redemption through the blood of Jesus by obedient faith, trusting the grace of God. The old wineskin is a system of justification by keeping ordinances, which none of us can do perfectly. We need to put the new wine into the new wineskin, justification by faith in Christ. As Paul wrote, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Rom 8:1-2, NKJ) 

Thank God for His marvelous grace! He put new wine into a new wineskin!
spirit+given.jpg (1322×752)

No comments:

Post a Comment