Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We Can't Handle the Truth

by Steve Popovich

"No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins."  Mark 2:22

You can't handle the truth! an angry Jack Nicholson bellowed to the lawyer played by Tom Cruise. It is one of Hollywood's most memorable courtroom scenes. But what was said in anger in that Hollywood courtroom, God says in love as He extends a merciful hand of salvation to fallen man.

Jesus said that the joy of the Vine will well up in the branches as they abide in His word (Jn. 15:10-11). How can the stony dead heart of fallen man receive and keep words from the heart of God while being vessels of His joy? We need a bigger boat! We need a new expandable heart.

Bingo! that is exactly what the Holy Spirit becomes for us. The Spirit is our new covenant heart; He germinates eternal life in us as we are born of the Father's word and bears fruit as we grow in that word. We now have a new heart that grows and grows and grows. It matches up perfectly with the word God as we take it in and live it out. Will these new hearts ever stop growing? Well, maybe a trillion years from now if God runs out of words to give us.

A wineskin is a great poetic picture of the heart of a believer. Why? Because water in the Bible is a symbol of the word of God (Is. 55:10-12), and wine represents joy (Ps. 104:15). Put the two together and we see that the vessels who are keeping God's word are also experiencing joy. Water into wine...it's a miracle! And it's a truth we couldn't handle apart from the indwelling Spirit; He is our new wineskin.

For those outside of Christ, God's word is the thundering waters of a curse. But for all who hear, repent and receive the word of the Gospel, His word flows through our new wineskin as a river of life and fountain of joy.


1 comment:

  1. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.