Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mark 2:21-22 commentary: New wine into old wineskins

21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. 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.

In the NEW Testament there is a change. It is not just the continuance of Hebraism. When a Jew gets saved he’s not a “completed Jew”, he’s a Christian. In this dispensation there are unsaved Jews, unsaved Gentiles, and the Church (1 Corinthians 10:32.) A Jew who receives Christ needs to repudiate his former religion and come to Christ. Jesus has pointed out that with all the tradition and rules and regulations that they built on the foundations of the Mosaic Law they built a house on sand (Matthew 7:21-27.) All political religions, Judaism, Islam, Roman Catholic Christianity, Protestantism, Hinduism, etc. etc. are false religions.

All of the early Christians were Jews. They left their faith. There was a gradual process throughout Acts and they started out as beard wearing, Sabbath observing, pork abstaining Jews and then you get into Paul’s letters you find no mention of going to synagogue or worshipping in the temple.

You don’t take your old religion and add Jesus to it. You discard your old religion and receive Christ. Many fundamentalists retain the things of their former life such as Roman Catholic ritual or various Protestant beliefs or political ideologies that they find still acceptable and don’t put everything on the table for Christ to deal with in His way. I know fundamentalists who are still clinging to things like materialism, sports fanaticism, and state worship and yet, proudly proclaim that they aren’t like the homosexuals and abortionists, who have done the same thing, only the latter often won’t come to Christ because they will put nothing on the table for fear of God removing it.

The modern fundamentalist squeezes through but still retains some baggage which drags him down as he struggles to serve Christ. There is nothing wrong with taking care of your possessions or sports in and of themselves but to cling to them as part of what identifies you as a man is idolatry.

When you become a Christian you must lay everything on the table and let God deal with it as He will. It is no less than a complete surrender to Christ. Maybe He will let you keep some things but when I see Christians slavishly devoted to television, movies, alcohol, pro-sports, the cause of the day, and flag waving I think I can see that someone has not let go. It is one thing to be patriotic but another entirely to be a statist, one who worships the state and follows through with every idea that a leader proposes as long as it follows the Roman Catholic line on abortion and homosexual behavior.

We have our battles and our problems because when we come to Christ we don’t make the Bible pre-eminent, we don’t surrender everything about ourselves to Christ, and we aren’t willing to completely let go of our past affections. If you put new wine into old bottles they will burst.

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