The “New Wine” Of The Kingdom
“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.” Mark 2:22
We need to be constantly filling the mind with Christ, and emptying it of selfishness and sin. When Christ came into the world, the leaders of the Jews were so permeated with Phariseeism that they could not receive His teachings. Jesus compared them to the shriveled wineskins which were not fit to receive the new wine from the vintage. He had to find new bottles into which to put the new wine of His kingdom. This was why He turned away from the Pharisees, and chose the lowly fishermen of Galilee.
Jesus was the greatest teacher the world ever knew, and He chose men whom He could educate, and who would take the words from His lips, and send them down along the line to our time. So, by His Spirit and His Word, He would educate you for His work. Just as surely as you empty your mind of vanity and frivolity, the vacuum will be supplied with that which God is waiting to give you—His Holy Spirit. Then out of the good treasure of the heart you will bring forth good things, rich gems of thought, and others will catch the words, and will begin to glorify God. Then you will not have the mind centered upon self. You will not be making a show of self; you will not be acting self; but your thoughts and affections will dwell upon Christ, and you will reflect upon others that which has shown upon you from the Sun of righteousness.
Christ has said: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” John 7:37 Have you exhausted the fountain?—No; for it is inexhaustible. Just as soon as you feel your need, you may drink, and drink again. The fountain is always full. And when you have once drunk of that fountain, you will not be seeking to quench your thirst from the broken cisterns of this world; you will not be studying how you can find the most pleasure, amusement, fun and frolic. No; because you have been drinking from the stream which makes glad the city of God. Then your joy will be full; for Christ will be in you, the hope of glory.
E. G. White, Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 21
“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17
The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ. When men who claim to be Christians retain all their natural defects of character and disposition, in what does their position differ from that of the worldling? They do not appreciate the truth as a sanctifier, a refiner. They have not been born again…
A genuine conversion changes hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. The religion of God is a firm fabric, composed of innumerable threads, and woven together with tact and skill. Only the wisdom which comes from God can make this fabric complete. There are a great many kinds of cloth which at first have a fine appearance, but they cannot endure the test. They wash out. The colors are not fast. Under the heat of summer they fade away and are lost. The cloth cannot endure rough handling.
So it is with the religion of many. When the warp and woof of character will not stand the test, the material of which it is composed is worthless. The efforts made to patch the old with a new piece do not better the condition of things; for the old, flimsy material breaks away from the new, leaving the rent much larger than before. Patching will not do. The only way is to discard the old garment altogether, and procure one entirely new.
Christ’s plan is the only safe one. He declares, “Behold, I make all things new.” “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.”… The patchwork religion is not of the least value with God. He requires the whole heart.
Jesus gave His life…for us, and shall we not give Him our best affections, our holiest aspirations, our fullest service?
E. G. White, Maranatha (The Lord Is Coming) p. 237