Sunday, 19th August 2018
Pastor Joseph Huang
“Nor does anyone pour new wine into used wineskins, for the skins will burst, the wine will pour out, and the skins will be ruined. Instead, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins, and both will keep in good condition.” (Matthew 9:17 )
When the Holy Spirit is at work, He will take us into a new level. We are the new wine skin and the new wine is the Holy Spirit. But in here it doesn’t mean that God will throw away the old wine skin, actually in Hebrews it means to ‘renew’ the old wine skin. When God is doing His work, He doesn’t thrown us away but He wants to renew us.
In the Bible time, when putting the new wine in the wine skin, the owner will soak the old wine skin in the water, then put oil on the skin, rub the oil into it, so the wine skin will restore its elastic nature, hence be able to contain the new wine. There are so many good things in our Heavenly Father’s house, but if we are still the old wine skin then we will not be able to carry all these blessings, so God is rubbing us to make us more flexible and elastic so we can carry the new wine of the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Joseph shared with us that when God is pouring blessings in our lives, He will first wash away some things in our lives.
1. Remove Legalism
“Know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)
Even though the Pharisees have seen all the miracles Jesus did but they didn’t believe in them. They didn’t see the miracles, instead they only saw how Jesus was ‘breaking’ all these laws in their mind. Legalism limits our mindset and stops us seeing God’s miracles in our every day lives. Legalism is based on our behavior instead of our faith.
2. Remove Condemnation
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)
Devil repeatedly try to condemn us with our past mistakes but God doesn’t control us this way, He attracts us with love. He doesn’t want us to worship Him out of fear. Therefore do not listen to the devil, because when we restore our relationship with God, all our sins are put on the cross, it is finished when Jesus went on the cross for us!
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
3. Don’t Judge
While we remove condemnation from ourselves, we will also need to stop the judgement toward others. When we forgive, we release; other the other, if we don’t forgive, then it’s like drinking poison but wanting others to die. The Bible says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)
“Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.” (James 4:11)
Putting the old wine skin into water, which is representing the Holy Spirit, we also let God to do these three things in our lvies: to remove legalism, to remove condemnation, and to not judge.
Next we need to rub the wine skin with oil and restore its elastic nature. There are three things God wants to restore in our lives.
1. Restore our Intimate Connection with God and Others
God wants us to return to Him. The worldly value tells us to only be good to those who benefit us, but the Bible tells us to love our enemies, to restore the intimate connections with Him and with others. “And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:20)
“But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:22)
2. Restore the Relationship between Heavenly Father and Us
Also, God wants to restore our relationship with Him as Father and children. It says in the Bible that Adam was the son of God. But when sin enters the world our relationship with God was broken. Thank God He restored this relationship when Jesus came into our lives. We are not slaves any more, but we can freely cry out to our Abba Father! “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15 )
3. Restore our Childlike Confidence
God loves children, and Jesus also said to let the children come to Him. Let us restore our confidence and faith like a child, and that way God’s glory will manifest in our lives.
“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
God wants to open our capacity like a child’s faith, so we should ask God to give us faith like children. When we enter into a stage where we cannot be stretched any more, we should let the Holy Sprite come to us and restore our faith. God wants us to be saved from body, soul and spirit. He has gone many things in-store for us!
Freedom – First God wants to put freedom into our lives. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
Identity and Status – God wants us tor restore identity and status as His children; and we represent God, the Holy Nation. “Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says about the things that are left in the house of the Lord and in the palace of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem” (Jeremiah 27:21)
“‘They will be taken to Babylon and there they will remain until the day I come for them,’ declares the Lord . ‘Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’” (Jeremiah 27:22)
Our Health – God wants us to have good health; sin brought us broken body and sickness, but God wants to heal our every diseases! “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 1:2)
Our Happiness – God wants us to be happy like children; He doesn’t need us to obey and to worship Him, but He cares more about if our soul has been saved, so that His joy and abundance can come to us. “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:12)
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)
Our Property – God blesses us so we can bless other people; God wants to restore our richness, as it says in the Scriptures, “Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” (Zechariah 9:12)
Pressure from sins can no longer influence us, God wants the best for us! It’s easy to remain our current status, but God wants to pour in the new wine into our lives and therefore we need to be restored into the new wine skin!