Old Made New
‘One puts new wine into fresh wineskins.’ Mark 2:22 (NRSV)
So, what might happen if new wine, that is grape juice in the process of fermentation, is poured into old wineskins? Jesus tells the Pharisees the results will be disastrous since the wineskin is no longer strong enough to withstand the process going on inside.
Jesus is not giving the Pharisees a quaint lesson on how to store their wine. No, there is a far deeper message being offered, which is just as applicable to our lives today as it was to the audience of that time.
The old, dead orthodoxy of the Pharisees, their righteousness of works, did not fit with the doctrine of Jesus that spoke of the free grace of God in and through Jesus Christ.
The Pharisees were unable to receive the good news of the gospel because they were like old, worn out wineskins clinging to their old traditions and beliefs.
The doctrine of salvation by works does not fit into the gospel of grace.
Are we still trying to adhere to the old religion of works which will eventually lead to eternal loss?
Only the work of Christ, rather than our well-meaning work, leads to eternal salvation.
The new wine of the gospel of grace will not be accepted into hearts that are bound up in pride and self-righteousness.
Hearts that believe works, not faith in Christ are the way to salvation.
No, there is salvation in none other than Jesus Christ.
And only where hearts have been made new by the Spirit of Christ, will the gospel of grace find the reception it ought to have.
Jennifer lives near Toowoomba, Queensland, with her family. She enjoys encouraging others on their Christian journey through mentoring and writing. Contact