Belt of Truth
Knowing and Applying God's Truth to Real Life
Matthew 9:16-17 (NKJV) 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. 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."
What truth is revealed? Is Christ alone really enough? That was the question that the early Believers had to answer. The first Believers were Jewish and then, suddenly, Gentiles were putting their faith in Jesus. This was new wine, and some misguided leaders wanted to put that new wine (Gentiles) into the old wineskins (The Jewish Law). Evidently, this teaching from Jesus had gone unnoticed.
What can we learn from this teaching? The Apostle Paul understood this teaching from Jesus and spent a lot of time and effort thwarting the effort of those who were trying to force the “new” Gentile Believers into becoming followers of the law. Jesus had already made it clear; you cannot put new wine in old wineskins. If you try, you will destroy the old wineskin and spill the new wine; which is a lose—lose proposition. Jesus was the author of a new covenant of grace, and as the early church expanded, the new wine began to roll in.
How can I apply this lesson to my life? As long as the New Testament as been around, “we” are still tempted to propagate a works-oriented righteousness. To pressure new Believers to instantly act like “mature” Christians who keep all the rules. When we do that, we are taking new wine and putting it in old wineskins. I need to leave the work of transformation to Jesus, because, “Jesus alone” is what they need!
Questions to Consider:
As revealed by God through the Life and Message of Christ; through the wisdom of Solomon; through the letters of the Apostles; through the inspiration of God.