What Skin Are You In?

new creation of God

What Skin Are You In?

Matthew 9:17“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”

Context/history:

– Jesus’ ministry is in full swing at this point. He has been healing people, and casting out demons, and his teachings are blowing their minds.

– Matt 7:28-29When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.

– There were already religious teachers, and even those claiming to be the prophesied Messiah. (The Jews had been waiting for the Messiah for 700 years.)

– But Jesus was different, and the people could tell.

– Matthew (aka Levi), formerly a “notorious sinner” and tax collector, has now become one of the 12 Disciples of Jesus.

– Jews who collected taxes for the Romans were generally considered to be despicable sinners by their fellow Jews. They profited from working for the occupying forces and engaged in legalized extortion. (Traitors, turn-coats, victimizing their own people…)

– Matthew responded immediately to Jesus’ calling, leaving everything behind to follow Jesus.

– Luke 5:27-2827 Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. 28 So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him.

– While walking along side Jesus, he heard all the challenges Jesus is receiving from the religious leaders. “Why do you eat with sinners? Why don’t you fast like we do?” Jesus was calling many notorious sinners to “follow him”.

– Even the disciples of John the Baptist were asking Jesus why he was doing things differently than John was, or the practiced traditions of the day.

– A “wineskin” is a “bottle bag” for holding wine, (Camelbak). Made out of goat or sheep leather.

– People didn’t drink all water because it was not purified. Well water would have been fine (natural filtration), or springs, etc… but lakes and rivers could have harmful bacteria.

– Adding wine to other drinks was a way to purify them (because of the alcohol content).

– Drinking wine was a very common practice in bible times, and important to have with you.

– Common experience shows that, like new fabric will shrink and pull away from the old, likewise brittle old wine skins will burst when new wine ferments in them.

– Old wine will sour the new wineskin, and ruin the taste of any new wine used after it.

– New wine continues to ferment and expand, destroying the old and inflexible wineskin.

Jesus uses this parable to illustrate his new covenant VS their old religious rituals:

– Jesus is the new wine. You can’t put him in the old heart.

– Also, you can’t put the old stuff back into the new heart Jesus has given you.

– In either case, the “old” and the “new” are not compatible with each other.

**You can’t just be new on the outside. And if the inside is new, the outside must change too. Both must change to be preserved.

  1. Holding onto the old is holding you back.

– Matthew left everything behind to follow Jesus when he was called. He would have been very rich, and powerful as a tax collector, but walked away from it all to be saved, and follow the Savior.

– Holding on to the old, no matter how valuable you believe it to be, will only slow you down and trap you when the “flood waters” of your life rise up.

– Example: Albany flood evacuation, Beautiful sunny day, and completely dry.

– South Georgia was nice, but there were flash floods in the north, the rivers were flooded and it was headed our way. The rivers became over 42 feet above flood stage.

– Marines took a school bus out to the neighborhoods to evacuate people, little time left!!

– One man tying a big armoire to an old Buick, didn’t listen to the Marine, and didn’t leave. He was cut off by the rising waters, so the bus had to leave him there. (more needed saving)

– Although you don’t see it coming, the water is rising in your direction. God is warning you!

– Your old sin and lifestyle have no value to you when Jesus has arrived to save you!

– Hebrews ch12 says, “… let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up… We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus…”

– Listen to Jesus! You have to let go of the old. It will ruin you spiritually.

  1. The old must die to make room for the new.

– Example: My lawn was full of weeds and moss. I tried to ignore it, but every year it got worse. The moss and weeds were pushing out and killing off what little good grass I had left.

– I always said, “At least it is green.” And, “My neighbors haven’t said anything about it.”

– It looked okay from a distance, but up close you could see it was a disaster.

– So I used some weed killer on it, and it is now mostly brown and dead. It will take some work and some time for it to become a nice lawn again, but at least I’m working on it.

My neighbors can now see that my grass sucks, but honestly, they live by me so they have been seeing that it sucked for a long time.

– Do you see the spiritual parallel?

– Sometimes we look at our own weed infested (sin infested) lives and say “at least it is green” (it looks like it’s good), and no one can tell that it isn’t good grass.

– But they can tell, and it will only get worse until you put that sin to death.

– You may feel exposed at first, and it may look ugly, but it is the first step in the process of getting real with your situation, and growingIt will get harder before it gets easier!

– Really, you weren’t fooling those close to you (your neighbors) anyway. Those who are close can see it.

– Looking green and being healthy are not the same thing. Make room for the good grass!V

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 The New Covenant is about heart condition, not religious actions, in our relationship to God.

– Not just “WHAT” we are doing, but also “WHY” we are doing it.

– Matthew 5:17, (Jesus)“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the Law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.”

– Hosea 6:6I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.

– This verse is quoted twice in the Gospel of Matthew!

– It has always been about heart condition and pursuing a right relationship with God. We just could never do it on our own. We have proven that.

– Gal. 3:21b-22If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. 22 But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.

– Believer, you have been given “new life” and a new heart when you believed in Jesus. Don’t keep trying to stuff the “old life” back in there, or both will be ruined. (Be set free!)

  1. The bridge is on fire! You can’t go back.

– (Read) 1 Kings 19:19-21

– Elisha destroyed the plow, burned it, and slaughtered the oxen. He didn’t leave them there “just in case”.

– There was “no turning back” because he left himself nothing to turn back to!

– When Jesus calls you into his service, think about what he has done for you. Leave your old life behind and follow him.

– Just like burning the bridge behind you. There is no way to go back to the old. You must move forward with this new thing that God is doing in you.

– Believer, You are a “new creation” in Jesus Christ:

– 2 Corinthians 5:14b, 15, 17Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

– NOT refurbished, recycled, or reconditioned! Brand NEW life!!

– You have to become new to accept what is new.

– The old body will crack under the growth of the new wine. Likewise, the old wine will sour the new skin, and ruin the taste of the future new wine.

Conclusion:

– Jesus said that you can’t put old wine in a new wineskin, or new wine in an old wineskin.

**You can’t just be new on the outside. And if the inside is new, the outside must change too. Both must change to be preserved.

– You must let go of the old life to become new.

– Don’t go back! Burn that bridge! God has something new for you believer, if you would be willing to let go of the “old life” and put on the “new life” that he has for you.

– If you are not yet a believer in Jesus Christ, I invite you to make that decision today!

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