New Wineskins

Posted: March 20, 2011 in Christian Living

New Wineskins
Monday, November 29, 2010 12:40 PM

There are times when christian institutions box themselves in with scriptural revelation distinct to their own movement and create inflexible boundaries of lifestyle evangelism.  It is a “one size fits all” outlook on how we are to minister to this present generation.  Their methods and attitudes (aka:  their wineskins) look and function no differently than it did in the 1950s.

The wine skin of the old church order refused to adapt to the phenomena of cultural change.  This has created the appearance – whether justified or not – that the church is simply out of touch with society.  This problem of inflexibility in the church has developed cracked wine skins.  Wine skins that can not adequately hold the powerful wine that God has to offer His church.  Many, many wine skins have burst under the stretching and power of the Spirit of God, because they were not replaced or renewed.

Mark 2:22
“And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles”

Luke 5:37-39
“And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.”
Both Mark and Luke are describing in their own words the same event.  Luke adds more detail to the story…

Jesus performed a miracle and shortly thereafter calls Matthew (Levi) to be His disciple.  Jesus is then invited (along with Pharisees and other religious Jews) for dinner at Levi’s home.

Luke 5:29
“And Levi made him a great feast in his own house”.
The religious  experts versed in the law murmured against Jesus because he was breaking the traditions of the elders.  He was breaking bread with “publicans and sinners” (Lu 5:30).  If that weren’t bad enough, they were breaking bread at a despised tax-collector’s home.

If Jesus represents the Wine of the New Covenant, then wineskins represents the delivery system for the wine.

Jesus took His New Wine to Levi’s home.  He was demolishing stale, plastic tradition.  He knew that the only way to reach publicans, sinners, Pharisees, and tax collectors was to be with them, eat with them and provide a new wineskin for the New Wine they so desperately needed.  Jesus took the gospel with Him.  He was determined to minister to those with needs no matter where it took him because,

“They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”.
Luke 5:31-32

Jesus knew that every person at the meal needed Him, including the so-called religious of his day. 

Let’s put it THIS way:
Sin affects us all.  Its effects clearly show the human need for a loving Savior.  The New Wine available in Jesus Christ is a metaphor for His love, His refreshing, His forgiveness.  It is liberating!  It is invigorating, fresh and clean!  Some older wineskins ’s delivery systems have not been maintained or protected from abuse.  They are largely ineffective and have over time developed more traditional meaning than Biblical meaning.  They are structured more around a church system than around Jesus Himself. 

We have religion that is well-versed in the scriptures but takes a contradictory approach to the New Wine.  This religion is old, out of date, dry on the outside.  It is cracking from within. 
Anytime churches or pastors place church rules or requirements ABOVE a relationship with Jesus Christ it means it is just one more outdated wineskin needing to be CHANGED

You are responsible for the condition of your wineskin.  Not your pastor, your priest, your spouse or your siblings.  How you take Jesus to this world is up to You!

Now is the time for believers to take Jesus to the world! 

Now is the time to preach Christ and Him crucified.

Now is the time to preach the holiness and love of God.

Now is the time to be Christ – relational.

Now is the time to take Jesus in our wine skins.  This includes our methods, the way we “do church”, our delivery systems, our temperance and lifestyles that show Jesus to the world! God is changing the church paradigm today.  We don’t “do church” like our parents did.  This is not your father’s oldsmobile. 

The question prompting Jesus’ response was concerning the followers of John the Baptist and why His (Jesus’) disciples didn’t fast the way John’s disciples did.  Check out Jesus’ response: 

He didn’t infer that the old wine was worthless or that the old wineskins were evil, but that the new wine (the gospel) requires  flexibility, a new container, an expandable bottle; with the ability to stretch and grow with its contents.  Stretching can be uncomfortable at times! 
“No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better” Luke 5:39.  At times it’s not easy for those used to drinking old wine to try the new.  We have to wean ourselves from old methods that have grown stale and don’t work.

Rather than wringing our hands over the ‘wretched moral condition” of the American church and holding the fort until He returns, we need to throw away the old methods and start over!
Jesus Christ will help us adapt to culture without diluting His influence.  He will meet us where we are and give us what we need.

There is no special formula or Pentecostal rosary for us to have to take to people in need.  We have Jesus Himself, (Christ in you, the Hope of glory). 

You and I, with the wineskins God gave us, take Him to this broken culture to minister to the needs of our fellow man by being FLEXIBLE, using every means possible to take Jesus to them.
Are you ready to be used in new ways?  Are you willing to partake with saints and sinners and become involved in meeting the needs of those that God places in your life?  

Let Jesus re-create your purpose and direction!  He will go with you and in you to this world and culture.  He will give you courage to do new things and be what you never thought you could be.

Finally, check out this perfect example of Jesus taking new wineskins with Him that happened IMMEDIATELY after the meal at Matthew’s home.

“While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples” (Mathew 9:18-19)

It is no coincidence that that Jesus made the comment about wineskins at the same time Jairus approached him about his dying daughter…

Jairus said,
“…come and put your hand on her, and she will live.”
Verse 25,
“…after the crowd had been put outside, (Jesus) went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up”.

Do a spiritual checkup…what’s your ‘skin made of?  There’s no telling what He can do through you in Jesus’ name!

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