But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved (Lk. 5:38 KJV)
The Pharisees asked Jesus why His disciples were not following the regular fasting traditions of the day, as John the Baptist’s disciples did. He responded by saying new wine has to be put into new bottles, meaning what He has brought could not be received with the old system.
In Bible days, bottles were often made of animal skin. When they are new, they are stretchable. New wine by the process of fermentation produces gas that expands and if it is confined to a rigid container, the force of the expansion can break the container and spill the wine. New wine, therefore, had to be put into new bottles to preserve both the wine and the bottle.
When Jesus made this statement in His response to the Pharisees, the lesson was that they should not receive the new life of the Spirit which He came to give them with the old systems of the Law, and the traditions the Jews had created out of it. When we receive Christ, we receive the new wine of the Spirit which requires a new vessel. Some believers receive Jesus and try to combine Him with their old lifestyle. It does not work that way. The new life in Christ requires a new vessel: a new way of living.
The truth continues with us. If God wants to take you to a new level in life, there are things you cannot bring along, because the new wine of a new level requires a new dimension of life. The applications are many, but the truth is the same: new wine needs new bottles.
Why does the new wine of the Spirit require a renewal of the wine( “bottle”)? Can I live the life of God in Christ with my old ways of doing things?
APPLY THE WORD
Your mind needs to be renewed to live the new life in Christ. When we were in the world, for instance, we did whatever we wanted. We were our lords. When you come to Christ, the new wine of the Spirit requires you to abandon yourself to His will as your Master. If we don’t, we are putting new wine into old bottles, and we will continue to struggle in frustration as sin, Satan and the affairs of this life harass us. Do you want the enjoyment of the new wine? Put it in new bottles!
Ask the Spirit to help you prepare your vessel to be the new bottle that contains the new wine from heaven.