Jesus said, “Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved,” – Matthew 9:17. We see here how Jesus speaks to the religious Pharisees of the time, explaining to them the importance of living a life that is transparent, holy and righteous. These pharisees thought they could fool God and people by pretending to be holy, using their religious facade. In their eyes they did everything “right,” they fasted, prayed, and appeared holy in front of the public, but nothing about them was holy and righteous. Here we see the significance of what Jesus is saying in Matthew 9:17, the new garment represents a life of holiness and consecration to God. Versus old wineskin, which represents our old sinful lifestyle, the old man so to speak. There is a great lesson to learn here, many Christians consider themselves in good standing with God, simply because they go to church on Sundays and “believe in Jesus,” but the reality is, that false pretense will send you straight to hell. Jesus did not die on that cross for you to keep sinning, but to be set free. Jesus paid a huge penalty for your sins, not for you to continue in them, but to renew your mind and be holy. Now, you may be thinking, “but I still struggle with sin,” then what? We all struggle with sin, we have a fallen nature, but this doesn’t mean we are slaves to sin. We are dead to sin, it no longer dominates us. When you repent, you repent for good, not temporarily. No matter the sin or how hard the struggle may be, Jesus can help you overcome it, if you let Him. This is why we have our helper, the Holy Spirit, to enable us to find a door of escape, to practice self-control, and to deny ourselves daily.
There is a great danger when you see Christians who are lukewarm, professing to be saved, yet remain in habitual sin. Not only is this a stumbling block for unbelievers to trust that God does change someone’s life, but it is also a stumbling block for new believers. 2 Timothy 3:5 says, ” having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” If we live lukewarm lives, we are on our way to hell. There has not been a true born again transformation. “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” Romans 6:1. We have to guard our testimony and conform to the image of Christ. Many new believers look up to Christians leaders and people within the congregation. We must set the best example and show them the standards of God. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” If we as Christians demonstrated this in our daily lives, we could literally change the world. If Christ lives in us, and Christ is indeed holy, then we should reflect holy living. For it is written: “Be Holy, because I am Holy,” 1 Peter 1:16.
This is why the word of God commands to come out them. To be ye separate. We cannot serve two masters, either we’re hot or cold. Either we follow Jesus’ commands, or we follow our own will. And this does not only pertain to us, but to the decisions that we make every day, who we allow into our lives and who we receive counsel from. I hope this encourages you to reflect and examine your life. To live a life that is with integrity and without hypocrisy. For the Lord knows your deepest thoughts, what you do in the secret, and what is in your heart. Choose whom you will serve today. God bless brethren!