Tuesday, August 1, 2017

New Wine In New Bottles

UV 2737/10000 New Wine in New Bottles
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever
I Peter 1 v 23
That which is born of perishable seed will perish while that which is born of the imperishable seed will live forever. We who are born of the perishable seed have the opportunity in Christ, the Seed of God, to be born again of the imperishable seed, the eternal Word. This is why St Paul describes the believer in Christ as a new born creature, the old has passed away, the new has come. The old values have passed away, the new has come. The old hopelessness is replaced by new faith and hope. The old goals have perished, the new ones have taken their place. The old attitudes have passed away, the new has come. The old actions and reactions have passed away, the new ones born out of the imperishable seed, the word of God, have come. The old emotions have passed away, the new have taken their place.
The perishable is born out of untruth while the imperishable is born out of the truth. When we believe and hold the words of eternal life spoken by Jesus, we are destined to live forever. The outer shell of our lives, our bodies and minds will perish while the spirit that is revived in us will dwell with the Lord forever. Without belief in the Word, we are but the grass that perishes and the flowers that fade. But with belief in Jesus, we are cross pollinated with the seed of eternal life and we become instead like the cedars of Lebanon, the poplar trees that grow by the streams. The Lord has breathed new life in us so that we become like new wine in new bottles, not old wine in a new bottle. We are born again by the word and by the Spirit.

The change due to belief in Jesus is not superficial but supernatural, not physical but spiritual. The first effect of being born again in Christ is the change or transformation of our perspectives and values. What is chaff to the grain? Our old values, our former thoughts and ideas are like the chaff is to the grain. This is the reason that St Paul wrote that what he thought formerly to be valuable had become virtual garbage and refuse to him. Even the things that we valued formerly, like the gold and silver of this world will fade away and perish. But the new gold is our faith, the new silver are the words we think and speak by faith. We are born again not by the will of man or by mere chance or accident but by the will of the Father. We are the first fruit of His creation. We are the new creation, begotten by faith, not made. Our focus is on the incorruptible, the eternal, the higher things of the kingdom of God.

Prateep V Philip

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