Jesus said he was going to be the New wine poured out for us. Jesus’s blood was shed for us to bring mankind a new way to deal with God, and when we try and mix the old Law with the New Covenant then we have trouble. Come and see the meaning of this parable whose meaning alluded me for many years.
This is going to be a teaching called “The Parable of the New Wine.” Jesus told this parable after he told another parable. The other parable he told was about the garment, putting unshrunk cloth on an old garment.
It says, “No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse.”
To get this teaching, to get this chapter in its proper context, you need to read the parable of the new cloth. Now, if you’re reading this as an article, you need to look up that article and read that first. If you’re reading this in a book, the chapter on the new cloth would’ve come immediately before this chapter. And so you’re fine. You’ve got this in context.
But essentially, the new cloth says that you can’t mix the New Covenant of grace and salvation with the Old Covenant of the law. If you’re a Christian, you should live in freedom and liberty. You should live to follow the whims of the Holy Spirit and the directions of the Holy Spirit and be directed by love, not be directed by a set of rules.
This parable starts, the new wine starts in verse 17 and it says:
“Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
You can live many years as a Christian and not understand this parable. In fact, you can hear this parable preached many times and still not understand it. For in order to understand this parable, you have to have been opened to the context and the meanings that underscore this parable.
Now, wine is mentioned in the bible. Wine is mentioned in the life of Jesus. Jesus, in the first miracle that he did, he turned the dirty water, the water that the guests washed their hands and washed themselves in as they came in to the wedding, the dirty water mixed up with filth. Jesus turned that dirty water into fresh wine. And he not only turned it into fresh wine, he turned it into the best wine.
So, all the people at the wedding feast were already drunk. They were already sloshed. When the master of the feast drank that wine, he said it was the best wine. Jesus in that parable said, they said, normally the master of the feast brings out the best wine so that people enjoy the wine while they’re drinking. When they start to get intoxicated, then they start to lessen the quality of the wine because the people are drunk and they can’t tell the difference in the taste.
Well, first of all, in that parable, you’ve got to understand the people were already sloshed when Jesus brought the new wine. And you’ve got to understand that Jesus used dirty water to make the best wine. There’s a lot of imagery in there.
Second, Jesus can take our dirty water. Jesus can take our dirty lives. Jesus can take our lives full of sin and hopelessness, shame and guilt. In an instant, he can turn it into joy and wine and peace and love of the Lord. We can bubble up with such a feeling that we feel that we’re drunk. Jesus can take our sins and our sadness and all the things that come against the person in the normal day to day routine of life. He can take all the junk and he can turn it into the new wine of his Spirit. He can turn it into joy.
Now the passage says, “Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined.”
If we consider that your life is precious to God, if we consider that as a Christian, God wants you to be whole. He doesn’t want your life to be like a ruined wineskin. He doesn’t want your life to burst like a wineskin burst in this parable. The only way your wineskin, the only way your life is going to burst and be destroyed, both the new wine be destroyed and your life be destroyed, the wineskin, the only way that’s going to happen is if you put the new wine, the teaching of Jesus, the New Covenant teaching of the apostle Paul, and try to mix it with the Old Covenant, with the Old Covenant law.
What am I saying? I’m saying that the Old Covenant, the law, has passed away. The apostle Paul was insistent. The apostle Paul was so concerned with this issue. The people in Galatia were, after they had been saved by the grace of God, they were starting to try to incorporate circumcision, and the sets and the rules of the Jewish law into their faith. They were trying to mix the Old Covenant law with the new wine of God’s grace.
Jesus was saying essentially, they were trying to put new wine into the old wineskin of the law. They’re trying to mix the two. Jesus is saying in this parable, if you mix the Old Testament law with his New Wine, with his teaching with his Spirit, with the spirit of his new teaching, if you try and mix the two, you’ll end up with a disaster. Not only will you be worse off, with your wineskin burst, you’ll lose the power and the fulfillment and the joy of the new wine of the Holy Spirit. The finished work of the cross, the joy of the cross will disappear. The sweetness and the essence and the beautiful sensation of being close to Jesus will disappear. The presence of Jesus will disappear. The peace and the joy that you found in salvation will go if you try and start to live by a set of rules as a Christian.
It’s very important that you read the chapter or the article on the new cloth because that goes into a whole lot more detail of what we are talking here.
So, Jesus said, “But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
So, what is this new wineskin? What is this new wine? How can that happen? How can we do that? Well, first of all, we’ve got to consider that our old life is our old life. We’ve got to understand that we are a new creation in Christ. We’ve got to understand that we are a new creation, that the Spirit of God resides in us and it’s not us anymore but Christ that lives in us.
“But I don’t understand,” you say. “I’m a sinner. I don’t understand. I do bad things all the time.”
You’re forgiven for those bad things. You’re a child of God. You’re a precious child of God. You’re forgiven and you’re justified. You’re justified fully, and you’re sanctified fully, at salvation. It is not a process of getting better and better. It’s a belief. It’s simply, simply a belief that you are righteous right now, that your sins aren’t held against you right now.
Jesus died for every sin on the cross. Jesus died for all of the sins that you’re ever going to do on the cross. If the sins that you’re ever going to do weren’t nailed to Jesus on the cross, where are they? If Jesus didn’t die for every sin that you’ve done this week and every sin that you’ll ever do, wasn’t his death good enough? To say that you’ve got to go to church, you’ve got to repent, you’ve got to pray, you’ve got to read your Bible, you’ve got to be a good participant in the church, you’ve got to pay your tithes and you’ve got to fast to be accepted is to bring yourself under a set of rules. To say you’ve got to do all these things to be holy is an insult to the cross.
Jesus died for all of our sins. That is the gospel. That is the new wine. And what’s the new wineskin? The new wineskin is the fact that you are the righteousness of Christ. You are holy right now. When God looks from heaven at you, he looks at you through the mercy seat. On the mercy seat is the sprinkled blood of Jesus Christ. He doesn’t look at the law anymore. He doesn’t look at the rules and the regulations anymore. He’s not a God that punishes sin anymore. He doesn’t punish sin anymore. This is the Gospel of the new wine. He is not punishing you for sins. He’s not interested in punishing you for sins. He took all His punishment out on Jesus Christ on the cross. All of his judgment, all of his condemnation, all of his wrath was poured out on Jesus Christ on the cross. God isn’t angry with America. God isn’t angry with Australia. God isn’t judging these countries. God isn’t losing the fight. God won the fight when Jesus died on the cross.
So, to walk in the new wine, the best way I can suggest for you to come into a life, come into an understanding, come into a new way of living is to check out a person called Andrew Wommack on the internet. I’ve mentioned this so many times. I must be getting commission, some people may ask themselves. Now, this transformed my life. Up until eight weeks ago, July 2010, I was of the understanding that I had to work for my salvation. I had to go to church. I had to read my Bible. I had to be holy. I had to attend. I had to pay God money. And if I didn’t do all these things, God was angry at me, and I had to repent. I had to be sorrowful for my sins. I’d beat myself up. I’d carry this big load of shame and this load of having to compete and measure up to be worthy of Jesus Christ. Eight weeks ago, I came into some teaching that transformed my life and Andrew Wommack was responsible. I urge you to check out his teaching.
Anyway, you need to understand this parable. Never in my life have I understood the parable of the new wine. The new wine can take your dirty life, your dirty water. What you did today, what you did last night, all the sins you’ve just created, you’ve just done. Can take all that dirty water and in an instant it can be turned into beautiful, new, fresh-tasting wine. The best wine you’ve ever tasted. You can go, if you perceive this, if you believe this, you can go from feeling shame and condemnation to joy and peace. You can go from feeling worthless to feeling full of the Holy Spirit and joy and peace. You can go from sadness to joy, from mourning to excitement.
Isn’t it wonderful? It’s a wonderful message. It’s a wonderful passage. It’s a wonderful parable. I hope that you are blessed by the revelation I’ve given you today.