The Old Wine vs. the New
man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The
old is better.
What is it about new wine? Obviously from the wine connoisseur's perspective it is not even fit for drinking. Well the answer to that question can be derived from asking why the old wine is better. What is the difference between the two? Old wine is a finished product; stable and fully mature.
They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and
when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he
said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Not a single detail recorded within scripture is devoid of meaning. The gall was added to make the vinegar even more bitter. Why did they give Christ vinegar to drink? What those men saw as an insult to Christ actually turned out to have spiritual significance. Vinegar is after all just wine that has turned sour, and it is no accident that Jesus final act on the cross before crying “It is finished!” was to reject it. How so? Because the vinegar was representative of the Law which Jesus finished on the cross.
And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying
one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full
of new wine.
Once again, those who have eyes to see will discern that the above verse is not merely a mocking remark recorded for posterity, but yet another clue. Just as the 'old wine' (vinegar) represented the Law the new wine represents the infilling of the Holy Spirit. So spiritually speaking, those in the upper room were indeed full of the new wine!
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.
Herein lies the final answer to the hidden riddle of the new wine. New wine is in a constant state of change; expanding, contracting maturing with age. It has not finished the fermentation process yet. Everyone prefers the finished old wine simply because it is, well, finished! But we are not finished products, are we?
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new
creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Yes, we are indeed all new creatures in Christ, filled with the new wine of the Holy Spirit. And with each new trial and struggle He is fermenting us into what we shall become. And what is that?
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not
yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we
shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which
hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
We haven't taken on our final forms yet, but we know that when He has finished that 'good work' He is doing in us that we shall be like Him. Our part is to 'work out our salvation with fear and trembling”, “fight the good fight”, “finish the race” and “endure to the end”.
Is the New Wine Really Better?
So why do people still say that the old wine is better when Jesus showed us that it had turned rancid and rejected it? They simply deny that fact! In Galatians 5:4 Paul plainly tells us that whoever tries to justify themselves by works of the Law has fallen from grace (given up their salvation). He further deals with the topic of law keeping in the book of Acts.
Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went
out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye
must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
It may come as a surprise to some that even during the days of the early church there were 'Hebrew Roots' teachers going around spreading their subversive doctrines of devils. No less than Peter himself fell under their influence and was rebuked by Paul for doing so (Galatians 2:11 KJV). He should have known better, because contrary to what the Roman Catholic church teaches, scripture tells us that his ministry was actually directed to the Jew, not the Gentile (Galatians 2:8 KJV).
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to
lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain
from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and
from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare
In Acts 15 the matter of what parts if any of Mosaic Law have been carried over is settled forever. What of the many obvious sins not mentioned? Can we now murder people? Of course not! The presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts is what now convicts us of sin, not the Law written on stone tablets (2 Corinthians 3:3 KJV). If we are not convicted of sin then the Spirit of truth is not in us.
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