New Wine for New Wineskins September 2013

By , September 1, 2013 8:34 am

A Brand New Life

Isaiah 43: 18 – 19 (Amplified Bible)

18 Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert

2 Corinthians 5: 17 (Amplified Bible)

17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

Ephesians 4: 22 – 24  (Amplified Bible)

22 Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterised your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; 23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], 24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.

Just about everywhere you go you hear people talking about how God is doing “a new thing” – or how He is going to do “a new thing”!  According to Acts 17 when you find people continually looking for a new thing it can simply be a manifestation of a religious spirit.

The truth is that the new thing prophesied by Isaiah was fulfilled two thousand years ago when Jesus established the New Covenant!

The only hindrance to our experiencing the new thing is our holding on to the old things! The only way we can fully and truly embrace the new thing is by first abandoning and forsaking the old things!

I have come to realise over the years that every difficulty that people have in living and enjoying the brand new life that is theirs as new creations in Christ arises from a failure to fully transition from an old covenant mindset to a new covenant mindset.

The old has gone!  And so, the old way of thinking and of reasoning must also go!  Old thoughts produce old words and old words tend to become the same old actions that perpetuate old habits that keep us bound to our old character and our old miserable destiny!  Even though something incredibly supernatural and potentially transformational has taken place in our lives it is possible for us not to experience much in the way of great change.

The sad reality is that you often don’t have to sit around too long with someone and listen to their words before you realise that they are still stuck in, and bound by the old because the old way of thinking has not gone!

Luke 5: 37 – 39

37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the fresh wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled and the skins will be ruined (destroyed). 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine immediately desires new wine, for he says, The old is good or better.

We have become so conditioned to the old that we think it is simply good enough or in some cases even better.  We then go on to formulate a theology that supports our failure to fully enter into and enjoy the new!  No wonder contemporary Christianity can sometimes bear very little resemblance to the experiences of the first believers.

I believe it is true that while we have been quick to accept Jesus as our Saviour, we have not always been so quick to accept and embrace the full salvation that He has provided.  In fact, most people after they are born again very quickly, if not immediately, backslide into the old way of thinking, which in turn leads to the old way of speaking, acting, etc. Sadly, all that remains of their profession is a testimony of having been saved and the outward observances of religious duties and rituals.  Even though their born-again spirit cries out for reality there is nothing in the old to satisfy it!

More and more I am seeing that we need to return to a more basic, stripped-back version of the new thing that Jesus established two thousand years ago.   There have been so many layers of tradition added over the centuries that the mind-blowing simplicity of the Gospel message has been obscured from view for many people.

Jesus said:

John 3: 3

 3 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.

You must be born again!  Our thoughts must be born again and we must begin to think new creation thoughts!

Proverbs 23: 7

7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

Remember – “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation” – but if we don’t think new creation we will never experience the reality of being a new creation!

Jesus said that unless you are born again you cannot see the kingdom of heaven.  He is not speaking of seeing in the natural – He is speaking of revelation knowledge, without which you can never enter into and experience all that it means to be a citizen of the kingdom of heaven.

God’s heart is to challenge our old ways learned by tradition from our forefathers, and to encourage us to abandon them so that we can enter into and live continually in the fullness of His new thing!

Matthew 15: 6

6 So for the sake of your tradition (the rules handed down by your forefathers), you have set aside the Word of God [depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect].

John 10: 9

9 I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live).

A door is not only a way in – it is also a way out.  In order to enter in through Jesus the Door you have to exit where you were before!

In order to enter into LIFE you must come out of DEATH

In order to enter into the LIGHT you must come out of the DARKNESS

In order to enter into the POWER OF GOD you must come out from under the POWER OF SATAN

In order to enter into HEALING you must come out of SICKNESS

In order to enter into DELIVERANCE you must come out of BONDAGE, OPPRESSION, etc

In order to enter into PROSPERITY you must come out of POVERTY

Where do you come out first?  In your mind and in your thoughts!

And so, I would like to challenge you to come out and to exit the old way of thinking, and to prepare to enter into the new!

If you are born again then please consider this question:  when you hear a message on sin does condemnation immediately descend upon you and you think, “Oh yes! That is me!” and so you fall into mourning over your sinful condition. If your answer is “yes” then you are still bound by Sin-Consciousness and that has no doubt been responsible for limiting you in your appropriation of all that Jesus provided for you at the Cross!

If you are born again and you hear a message on sin, but you are no longer bound by Sin-Consciousness you will rejoice in your spirit and cry out, “Oh yes!  That was me!” and you will enter into praise for your deliverance and worship towards your Deliverer!  Every message on sin is a reminder of who you were – not of who you are!

If you are not born again then a message on sin should cause you to mourn – but the message should also contain an invitation to experience freedom from your mourning and to receive the oil of joy; and to put on the garments of praise in place of the spirit of heaviness produced by guilt and condemnation.

Sin-Consciousness destroys faith.  It removes the ability to come boldly into the throne room of grace.  It also removes the assurance that those who are born-again have the right to stand in God’s presence without a sense of fear, guilt, shame, or condemnation.  Every failure to receive from God can be traced back to, and is rooted in Sin-Consciousness which is the fruit of an old covenant mindset.

Almost all religion has its roots in Sin-Consciousness.  Religion represents man’s efforts to deal with the sin problem.  That is what sets Christianity apart from all other religions!  In Christ, God Himself dealt with the sin problem and removed it, reconciling man to Himself!  To return to living in Sin-Consciousness is to backslide out of the joy and freedom of a personal relationship with Almighty God, and into the fleshy striving of religion that is always doomed to fail!

Many of us were taught for so long that we were unworthy and unrighteous, and that we were weak and pitiful and had no faith, that it shaped our thoughts and governed our reason.

It many churches anyone who says anything different – who makes a more positive confession – is branded a heretic, but we need to  remember that religion had the audacity to call Jesus a heretic!  Why?  Because He offered people relief from the effects of sin upon their lives – and all they had to do was believe that God loved them enough to actually want to do it for them!  There are now warnings circulating in the church against teaching that is labeled as “hyper-grace” but the truth is that grace is hyper.  God’s word clearly says that where sin abounds grace abounds much more.  That sounds like hyper-grace to me.  Paul asks whether we should continue to sin so that grace may abound.  His answer to his own question is an obvious “no” because that would be diametrically opposed to the purpose of grace, but the implication is that if we continued to sin then grace would abound.

Sadly, because the Church has promoted Sin-Consciousness and propagated and perpetuated the message of unworthiness and unrighteousness, the only way out that man has seen is the way of works.  And so, over the years various “holiness” movements have come and gone that emphasised some supposedly pious but unrealistic means of relief from the pain of Sin-Consciousness, and sought to attain to a state of righteousness on the treadmill of religious works.

We thought that if we could sacrifice or give up something, or if we could pray long enough or hard enough, if we could confess our sins enough, if we could repent enough, or if we could weep and cry enough and bawl and squall enough, and sling enough snot, then maybe – just maybe – our spiritual lives would come right, at least for a little while until we end up blowing it again. Some churches compiled a list of practical commitments (thou shalt not’s) that members were to rigidly adhere to if they were to retain their status as part of the holiness club.

But none of these human efforts – no matter how well-intentioned – can produce righteousness, because they are not God’s way!

The Church has been very diligent in preaching the need for righteousness, and emphasising man’s weakness and inability to please God.  There has also been a strong message preached against sin in the lives of believers – against worldliness, etc, but there has been very little teaching of who we are in Christ, or of how we have become the righteousness of God in Him!  Some people who have been Christians for years – when I have shared this foundational truth with them – have told me that they have never even heard it before!

Basically, the theology that most of us grew up with put all the good stuff off until after death.  Rest, peace, victory, healing, etc will be ours when we get to heaven.  We will be overcomers when we get to heaven.  But right now we can expect failure, misery, disappointment, weakness, and sickness.

This is not the truth of the message of the New Covenant, and this is not the Good News that Jesus said He was anointed to preach and which He demonstrated during His three and a half years of ministry – a ministry that is to be continued through all those who believe!

It is time to put off the old faulty theology and tradition that the Church has developed over the years, so that we can put on the armour of light and enter into God’s new thing – experiencing the fullness of the New Covenant and shining forth as the light of the world!

Colossians 2: 10

10 And you are complete in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power].

When are we to be complete?  Now or in eternity?

Romans 8: 37

37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.

When do we become more than conquerors?  Now, or after we leave this world?

Philippians 4: 13

13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

When can I start doing all things in Christ?  Now, or in heaven?

Romans 8: 1

1 THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.

If this is ours NOW then why does the church have to listen to so much condemnation being preached?

Romans 5: 1

1 THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

When does this become a reality?  Surely it is right now!

2 Corinthians 5: 21

21 For our sake He made Christ to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

Is this righteousness ours now, or only after death?

1 Peter 2: 24

24 He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His stripes you have been healed.

When does healing become mine?  Now, or in the sweet by and by?

2 Corinthians 8: 9

9 For you are becoming progressively acquainted with and recognizing more strongly and clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (His kindness, His gracious generosity, His undeserved favor and spiritual blessing), [in] that though He was [so very] rich, yet for your sakes He became [so very] poor, in order that by His poverty you might become enriched (abundantly supplied).

When can I wave poverty goodbye and welcome prosperity?  Now, or when I walk the streets of gold?

Scripture is more than abundantly clear that these promises are for now and that they are all a part of our relationship with God in Christ (the Anointed One with His anointing!)

Religion will never allow you to live in the now of your salvation – it will always have you looking back in nostalgia or looking forward in the hope of a temporary relief in the form of a come-and-go ‘revival’.

The New Testament was not written to sinners – it was written to saints!  You can’t be a sinner and a saint at the same time – you are either one or the other!  The saint has the nature of God – and the sinner has the nature of the devil!  We are either new creations or we aren’t!

There can never be any real development of faith, or a strong, victorious Christian life as long as we are double-minded!  If we are living in weakness and defeat it is because we don’t know who we are in Christ!

If you think sinner – then your words, actions, habits, and character will reflect that!  And you will be destined to continue in defeat!

If you think saint – then your words, actions, habits, and character will reflect that!  And you will be destined to live a life of victory!

You may already have noticed that religion and those people affected by religion don’t always like to hear saint talk – they don’t like to hear about you being the righteousness of God, or the healed, or the delivered, or the prosperous!  But that is the message of the New Testament – the New Covenant – the new thing that God prophesied through Isaiah – and that is the message that He wants to see restored in the lives of His people!

It is time to forget the former things and to stop giving consideration to the things of old so that we can enter fully into God’s new thing!

Are you willing to abandon and forsake Sin-Consciousness with its crippling effects? Are you willing to:

COME OUT OF SIN – to stop thinking SINNER – and to have your mind renewed to RIGHTEOUSNESS

COME OUT OF SICKNESS – to stop thinking SICK – and to have your mind renewed to HEALING

COME OUT OF OPPRESSION – to stop thinking UNDERDOG and FAILURE – and to have your mind renewed to OVERCOMER and VICTORY

COME OUT OF POVERTY – to stop thinking POOR – and to have your mind renewed to PROSPERITY

Isaiah 43: 18 – 19

18 Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

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