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A Time for New Wine

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
January 4, 2022 7:00 am

A Time for New Wine

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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January 4, 2022 7:00 am

When your computer gets hopelessly locked up, the best thing to do is shut it all down and start over. Dr. Tony Evans will tell us about how God can use divine resets to change our course and get us headed in the right spiritual direction.

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The reset God wants us to go through is to reset our spiritual priority to a relationship. Dr. Tony Evans says Christ didn't come to just fix us up, but rather to bring us a brand-new life. He came to be the centerpiece, and everything else must revolve around Jesus. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of The Urban Alternative.

Potholes in a roadway can be concealed for a season or two with a temporary patch, or they can be eliminated altogether with a full-depth roadway replacement. Today, Dr. Evans explains that when it comes to failures and imperfections in our spiritual path, God wants us to choose His lasting, full replacement method rather than a quick but short-lived repair job. Let's join him as he elaborates. In Luke chapter 5, Jesus has called disciples to Himself, and beginning in verse 29, He has a party. Levi, Matthew the tax collector, has a big reception for Jesus at His house, according to verse 29, and a great crowd shows up. I just want you to know by way of introduction, Jesus didn't mind a party. Jesus comes to the party as a crowd, but there's an interesting group at the party. We're told that they were tax collectors and sinners. I mean, this was not the approved crowd at the party by the religious elites of the day. The Pharisees find out that there's this jam going on in Jesus' honor, and so they begin complaining to the disciples. Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners? Verse 30.

That's the problem. I mean, one, you got a party going on. Two, we're not the main ones invited, tax collectors and sinners, the people that we don't have time for. And then you're gonna eat and drink with them? I mean, that has to do with fellowship.

You're gonna hang out with them? So they have a problem with this, with the group that's showing up to the party. Jesus answers and tells them that, is it not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick? It's not well folk who need help.

It's sick folk who need help. And I've not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. He says the reason why I'm having this party is I'm having, watch this, this party because my party is designed to make a spiritual impact. So I don't have a party just to have a party. I have a party to make a spiritual impact.

I'm not just calling the saints. I'm also after the sinners. And so this has a spiritual purpose to it, even though y'all are complaining about it.

So that sets the scene for the reset God is going to take us on a journey on right now. So the religious leaders, the Pharisees, in verse 33, the disciples of John often fast and offer prayers. The disciples of the Pharisees also do the same, but yours eat and drink.

Okay? There's the problem. We fast. Fasting is giving up a craving of the physical for a need in the spiritual. That's what fasting is, and that's what we do. We do it, the religious leaders, even John's disciples do it. And remember, John the Baptist's disciples were designed to get ready for the coming of Jesus. He said, so we do it.

They do it. We fast and y'all party. We must be the spiritual ones. So what they are bringing up is our religious commitment is greater than your religious commitment because we fast.

We wouldn't be out here partying. We'd be out here praying and bowing our heads and giving up food. Did you know that there was only one required fast in the Bible? Leviticus chapter 16 verses 29 and 31, that was the only required fast. There was no other required fast in the Bible but that one, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. In order for the people to get right with God, to have their sins addressed, there was this one fast required. Every other fast in the Bible was voluntary, not demanded. And those fasts happened on a voluntary basis because there was a great crisis, great grief, a great need that you needed the additional presence of God to invade. What the Pharisees had done was make fasting a requirement.

They made it a requirement to do twice a week. What the Pharisees did was create a mountain of requirements. Some of us were raised in churches like that that gave us a mountain of requirements that didn't come from God or maybe a principle came from God but they kept adding stuff to it so that it was no longer of God, it was of man, but because God's name was attached to it, it sounded legitimate. And so they made religion a big deal centered, in this case, in fasting. You know what we have done in American Christianity? We've created something that God never had in mind.

He never had in mind that our religious order would replace our spiritual intimacy and our spiritual relationship. And that was the complaint. That was their concern. They were into their ritual, fasting. We pray and you folks are partying. Y'all are eating and drinking and you're doing it with folk who are unacceptable to us.

So that's the problem. So Jesus now has to help a brother out. He says when the bridegroom is there, you don't fast. Jesus is the bridegroom.

Why? Because his church is the bride. He says the bridegroom is here, so there's no need to fast. In other words, you don't fast when you're celebrating.

That's what he's saying. And we're celebrating. And we're celebrating with these publicans and with these sinners. We're celebrating because Jesus is right in their midst. So we're going to have a party.

Now follow this. What he says, there's coming a time, in verse 35, the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them. Then they will fast in those days.

So he goes on to make a powerful point about your religion and mine. It is the presence or absence of Jesus that determines whether it's feast or famine. The reset that God is trying to do in our lives is to make it more about him than it is about church, to make it more about him than it is about human personalities.

There are times to fast when life becomes overwhelming, but that's the time to draw near. The reset God wants us to go through, through all these conveniences that he has allowed us to face, is to reset our spiritual priority to a relationship. That doesn't negate a program, but it puts the program in its proper place. It puts it in the place where it belongs. Now, here's the question.

How do you do that? How do you get this reset and remodel churchianity into biblical Christianity? Because we've got Christians divided foolishly, Christians talking foolishly, acting foolishly, walking foolishly, without any sense of Jesus Christ, but they're carrying on the program as prescribed by the religious order. Well, back to Luke chapter 5, and Jesus throws a Hail Mary through two illustrations, one having to do with clothes and the other one having to do with wine. You will notice in verses 36 to 38, the word new, new, new, new, new, new, new, and new. Look at all the times the word new shows up.

So the focus is this. Jesus says, I have come to bring you something new. I'm not just trying to get you to fix up something old. Okay?

This is remodeled here. I'm tearing up your religious order, not biblical truth, but all the stuff you've stacked on top of it. I hope you know religion without Jesus can make you a slave, can hold you hostage. It can make you miserable serving Jesus Christ without a smile because you're trying to keep up with all the regulations. Never being able to satisfy Him because here's when you know you're in false religion because they keep adding new stuff. They keep adding new stuff.

And it's a never-ending barrage of religiosity, of Pharisaism. Jesus says, no one, verse 36, tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. Otherwise, he will both tear the new and the piece from the new will not match the old. He says, you don't take a new garment and put it with an old garment. One, when you wash it and the new piece shrinks, it's gonna tear away from the old piece that's worn and then it's not gonna match. It won't be the exact color. It won't be the exact fit. You're gonna have some lines that indicate it's sewn in and out. It's not a match. So the first one is a garment. You don't take a new piece of cloth to an old garment.

It's not going to match. Dr. Evans will have more for us when he returns in a moment to wrap up the final message from his latest audio compilation called The Best of Tony Evans 2021. It contains 20 of Tony's most requested lessons from the past year, covering the importance of prophecy, our need for spiritual armor, how to find freedom from anxiety, and much more. We've bundled these powerful audio messages along with a special selection of bonus books and devotionals you can choose from. This is your last chance to get the complete Best of audio collection along with your custom selected bonus resource as our gift when you help support Tony's ministry with a contribution. Get the details and make the arrangements right away when you visit TonyEvans.org or call our resource center at 1-800-800-3222. Team members are standing by right now and after this broadcast to help you. This special offer with the bonus resources ends today, so contact us right away.

That number again, 1-800-800-3222 or online at TonyEvans.org. Well, Dr. Evans, we'll come back with more of today's message right after this. I'm standing here in Alaska, one of the most glorious places in God's great creation, and I want to invite you to join me and our Urban Alternative family for the Alaskan Cruise. We're going to have a magnificent time in God's Word and in God's creation. We're going to enjoy great fellowship, great fun, great food, and I'm looking forward to meeting and greeting you on our TUA Alaskan Cruise. Register to be there. Can't wait to be with you. To find out more about this unforgettable Alaskan Cruise, visit TonyEvans.org today.

That's TonyEvans.org. His second illustration. And no one puts new wine into old wine skins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out and the skins will be ruined, but new wine must be put into fresh wine skins. Wine skins were most of the time goat skins. Over time, however, the skin became old and brittle.

So if you put new wine in skin that was now old and brittle, and the new wine is fermenting, which means it's releasing gas into this old wine skin, the old wine skin is going to crack, and therefore the new wine is going to spill. When you try to put the new into the worn-out old, you're not going to make something better. You're going to make it worse. What is Jesus saying? He's saying, I didn't come here to do patchwork on your religion. I didn't come here to put my new message in your old churchianity.

I didn't come here to be an additive to your faith. I'm bringing new stuff. The old wine, what's the old wine?

What's the old cloth? It's the traditions of men that have been stacked on to our faith that's turned it into old, stale Christianity. No matter how good the choir sings, how good the preacher may be, how awesome the ministries are, if you're simply asking Jesus to be an addition, to come on top of, we're not going to change anything, we're not going to amend our priorities, but come on, Jesus, we want the new just to come in here and make it nice. You can sound good when you spring Jesus' name on something. You can sound like you're really spiritual. Jesus did not come to be an add-on.

He came to be the essence, the centerpiece, the newness, and everything else must revolve around Jesus. Don't go to church because it's Sunday. Go to church to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

It just happens to be done on Sunday. Don't have devotions because a verse a day keeps the devil away because you were told to. Have devotions because you want to let the Lord know you are devoted to Him today. You want to spend time with Him? He's not just an add-on. Jesus spent time with publicans and sinners because they would be more responsive.

Why? Because they hadn't been beat to death with religion. A lot of folks leave the church because they've been beat up by religion because they've never run into Jesus. So they'll leave church and never go back because they were beat up or abused by religion. He says these folk that don't know about church, I can work with them because I don't have to plow through all this religious nonsense that y'all have accumulated over the years. And so religion without Christ is like putting Bengay on a broken leg.

It may make you feel better but you haven't fixed a thing. And a lot of the things we offer people is more and more and more religion. You must reject anything and anyone who compromises the centrality of Jesus Christ.

Either to get to heaven or to get heaven to help you on earth. The centerpiece has to be Jesus Christ. And when my church, your church, any church, and when churches make it about the relationship with Christ and the program surrounds that, now it'll be time for a party.

Yeah, there'll be those times of fasting because we've got pandemics in our personal lives, pandemics in the culture. But when we get the relationship right, there won't be rules we're forced to do. We'll do the legitimate rules because we want to. Many of you will remember the story of the woman who was married to Bob. And Bob was a taskmaster with rules. They were married and he gave her a list of 25 rules to follow to be a good wife. She did her best to keep the 25 rules to be a good wife and hated it. She hated the institution of marriage while she tried to keep up with Bob's 25 rules. Because to make herself acceptable to Bob, she had to keep all the rules.

And the rules were just beating her to death. Some years later, Bob died. Bob died. She was free from Bob. But then a little time later, she met John. She met John on a trip. They got to know each other and she fell in love with John. She fell in love with John. John said, will you marry me? She married John. Some time later, she was cleaning out one of her bureau drawers and noticed something. Bob's list.

The old husband. 25 things that she had to do to make herself acceptable to Bob. When she saw the list, she laughed. She grinned. She broke out in joy and celebration. You know why she was so happy? Because it dawned on her she was doing all 25 things that Bob required. She was doing all 25 things required for John and loving every moment of it.

You know why? Because she was keeping rules out of a relationship, not keeping rules out of a religion. Not keeping rules to make herself acceptable. Keeping rules because she was already acceptable. When you and I know how much Jesus loves us, when you and I know we're already accepted, the Bible says, in the beloved, when you and I know He already cares for you and you don't have to earn His acceptance, you do what you do because you have His acceptance, then you know you're not just adding religion.

You're responding to a relationship. Dr. Tony Evans will come back to share the ultimate divine reset in just a moment. The lesson you've been hearing today is the final installment in Tony's latest audio compilation, The Best of Tony Evans 2021. As I mentioned earlier, this giant collection is available as our gift to you when you help support Tony's ministry with a generous contribution. And if you do that today, then in addition to the 20 audio messages, we'll also include a special bonus.

Choose from the powerful Kingdom and Rising devotional, the Made by God book for children, or Tony's newest release, Kingdom Race Theology. Just visit tonyevans.org today to get the details and make the arrangements. Or call our resource center at 1-800-800-3222, where team members are ready to help you day and night.

Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. You know, the atmosphere in our contemporary culture has become contaminated with hatred, crime, disrespect, and other expressions of insensitivity. We're in desperate need of reclaiming the civility needed to experience a peaceful environment in which to live, work, and to raise our kids. Well, to that end, Dr. Evans encourages each of us, at least once a week, to find a deliberate deed of kindness we can do for a friend, neighbor, coworker, or even a stranger who has a need. He believes that doing so will greatly contribute to changing the atmosphere of our culture for good and for God. Well, tomorrow Dr. Evans will present a very honest answer to a question every one of us has asked at one time or another.

God, do you really care? Right now, though, he's back to share this closing thought. So here's the divine reset. The divine reset is to spend this year pursuing a relationship and, yes, keeping the rules, but keeping His rules, not man's rules, because you want to please the One who already loves you.

You don't have to earn His love. That's a reset, spiritually. If you haven't accepted Christ, do that. Right now, you can do that. You can acknowledge your sinfulness and your need for a Savior.

Do that. By placing your faith in Christ, to look to Christ alone, you can express it in prayer, saying, Jesus, I look to You alone. I'm a sinner, and I want to be forgiven. And I want eternal life, and I believe in You to give it to me, because I believe You died on the cross in my place. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-02 03:15:43 / 2023-07-02 03:24:05 / 8

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