Jesus was definite on the matter. The new wineskin was radically new. Not a patched up vessel but a completely new departure. Jesus was speaking of the coming incarnation – the result of His cross and the realisation of the plan seeded before the foundation of the world. This is the plan in which the fullness of the Godhead lives in human beings just as the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelt in Jesus.
LOVE AND GRACE
The new wineskin is ‘we and our Father are one.’ It is the new covenant gifted to us out of love and grace. I was brought up to think that the new wineskin was salvation. It is more than that. It’s the way and means of salvation and more. It is the Spirit of God in and with all who believe. It is the new and living way of union with God and fellowship with heaven. It is happening in the Spirit now and will manifest in fullness at the culmination of all things.
In the new wineskin we are contained in God. We are alive in Him by the Spirit of One. Rooted in the trinity we become the expression of all that God is. We have become the manifestation of their life. Now there is no separation between humans and God. The separation caused by Adam’s distrust has been annulled by the Last Adam who believed and trusted Father in our place. Jesus is ‘all things us’ in our relation to God. There is no separation with Christ as our life. We and our Father are one. This is he new wineskin, the new container, the new in Him we live and move and have our being that is the reality of the new testament age.
The old wineskin is extinct. It was designed by God not to last. We need to be done with talk about ‘rubbing Holy Spirit oil into the old wineskin.’ Jesus has ended the old and dead way of Adam. He is not going to revive separation and death with a dollop of Holy Spirit and the gifts. Indeed He cannot do so because the old pre-cross way is by nature separation from God which is death to our spirit and life.
The new wineskin is not a new way of doing church or some clever Holy Spirit way of making the old and dead way the new and living way. Communities of belief that live from this basis always end up dormant, fragmented and dulled because they have no root in God. It is impossible for the Kingdom of God to grow from the old wineskin. Kingdom life grows from new covenant union with God.
Life never grows from the death-dealing knowledge of good and evil or from its proxy the law. Life grows when we are rooted in the trinity by the Vine. This life in the Spirit, this life in the Spirit of Christ with His mind and as sons and daughters of God is our life is our life. In this new and living way, this wineskin, we are the agents of the new creation.