2751 Old Religion, New Wine
Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved. Matt. 9:17 ESV
In the Bible, wine is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. In this verse, Jesus says that new wine, that is still fermenting, can cause old wineskins to break. By this He wanted to warn that the forms of the Jewish religion would not be able to accommodate His new teachings or the new work of the Spirit. Their religion had become old and rigid.
Religion is important because it preserves and practices God's truths in various ways. This helps us find our way to God. However, there is good and bad religion. Bad religion can keep us away from God. It can become its own purpose. It can prevent us from receiving anything new from God because it only knows the old ways. These are old wineskins. Good religion, on the other hand, can deal with the new wine of the Spirit. It realises that God cannot be contained. It bubbles with excitement about God's work, which is new every day. The old is heavy and dour; the new is joyful and free!
Heavenly Father, do a new work in my life through the Holy Spirit! Bring something fresh: a new anointing, new joy, a new testimony! Let us rejoice again and be glad about Your works! Holy Spirit, do what You want in me, in Jesus’ Name, amen.
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