Contrary to universal church opinion, God does not turn bad into good, sin into righteousness, negative into positive. As Jesus said, new wine must be contained in new bottles (Mat. 9:17). In other words, the “old man” of sin cannot contain the “new wine” of God’s holiness. In ancient times grape juice was kept in the skins of goats while it fermented into wine. As it fermented it expanded. If grape juice was placed in an old wineskin it would eventually burst it and its contents would be be wasted. Old wineskins are useless in the wine-making process.
In Matthew 9 Jesus was being questioned by some Pharisees as to why He was eating with publicans and other sinners. Jesus spoke to them using two parables He knew they would understand. The first parable concerned sick people needing a doctor; the second concerned the wine-making process. He replied that He had not come on behalf of righteous people. Rather He had come to help sinners–to call them to repentance.
Note the word “repentance” relative to sinners. True repentance is the first step on the road to true conversion. Note also that “repentance” is singular, meaning one singular act. Note also that righteous people had to exist prior to Christ’s coming to earth, else Jesus would not have mentioned them. These people did not need to repent, for they had already repented of their sins, stopped sinning and lived their lives (“walked”) according to God’s will. Adam and Eve’s son–“righteous Abel” (Mat. 23:35)–had been one such repentant (righteous) person. In that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 2:23), Abel had repented of his sins and HAD REMAINED IN THAT STATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. If he had sinned and repented repeatedly as we are told we must do, Jesus would not have called him “righteous” in that there is no such thing as a righteous sinner. Unlike his parents and brother, Abel had overcome Satan’s siren call to sin, just as Jesus had done and just as we must do in order to join Him on His throne in the Kingdom of God (1 Jn. 2:6)/ Rev. 3:21). Jesus stated that He had not come for the sake of the Abels of the world. Instead, He had come for the Adams, Eves and Cains of the world, to call them to repentance to be followed by conversion and a lifetime of “walk(ing) as Jesus walked” (1 Jn. 2:6). I have no doubt that Abel would have so walked (lived) if he had not been killed by his elder brother because of his righteousness.
In 2 Corinthians 5:16,17 the Apostle Paul writes of the new “walk” (life-style”–thoughts, speech and actions) one must exhibit following true repentance and conversion in order to be born again and receive eternal life upon Christ’s Second Advent (return to earth). In verse 16 Paul compares the apostles’ relationship with Jesus when He walked the earth to their relationship with Him following His death and resurrection. Paul states that the disciples no longer related to Him as they had while he was in the flesh. Now they related to Him as a spirit being Who LIVED WITHIN THEM in the form of the Holy Spirit. The statement: “Christ in you (gives you) the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) means that the presence of the Holy Spirit within us (the true meaning of “Christ in you”) enables us to glorify God as we are led and empowered by His Holy Spirit to obey His Word. In this way true converts are His human representatives who manifest Him before others by “walking” as He had walked (1 Jn. 2:6) in accordance to His Father’s will. His ministers have the added responsibility of formally proclaiming His will by speaking and writing it publicly. Paul states in Romans 8:14 that (ONLY) THOSE WHO ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD (WITHIN THEM) ARE TRUE SONS OF GOD. The Holy Spirit leads us to obey God’s Word (will). God’s Spirit does not lead us to sin. God is no respecter of persons. His command to the prostitute and the man at the Bethesda pool to “Go and SIN NO MORE” still applies. He did not command them to cut back on their sins and to be sure to repent after each sin. Those who claim that Christians can sin and get away with it because of Christ’s death are deceiving themselves (Jude 4/ Jam. 1:22) and, in the case of false ministers, deceiving others.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul states that if any man is in Christ–a true saint–he is a “new creation.” Note that the new man is TOTALLY NEW. Symbolically speaking, he is a new wineskin filled with new wine. Note that Paul grabs our attention by saying, “BEHOLD,” meaning that we are to pay close attention to what he is about to write. He notes that ALL OLD THINGS MUST PASS AWAY AND ALL THINGS MUST BE MADE NEW. This means that the true repentant/convert must divest himself of EVERYTHING HE EVER WAS AND EVERYTHING HE EVER WAS TAUGHT IN CHURCH. In chapter six verses 14-7:1 he tells us why all things of the past must be destroyed and all things must be made new by the Lord. More religion-as-usual following repentance will not suffice. This process is commonly called “getting saved.” The only thing new following “the salvation experience” is that one spends more time in church where he is lied to repeatedly concerning a wide variety of subjects. See the Introduction to this website for examples of Satan’s lies that are put forth as “Bible truth.” Following getting saved, Satan fills the churchite with a warm, assuring feeling to back up what his false prophet has told him. An example is in order.
Some time ago I watched a documentary concerning a particular “Christian” denomination in which several elderly men were interviewed. This denomination requires all young men to serve as missionaries for a couple of years. One of the men stated that there came a point in during his mission work that he grew disenchanted and wanted to drop out of that church. Then one day as he was witnessing to a group the Lord suddenly filled him with joy and assured him that he was on the right spiritual track. “The lord” who spoke to him and gave him a warm fuzzy was Satan. Believing that he was hearing God’s voice, the man never had another doubt that he was doing the Lord’s work. I once witnessed to a couple from that same church who had come to my door. I showed them in the Scriptures where were GOD SAID THAT THEY WERE TOTALLY WRONG. Not surprisingly, they left “knowing” that they were right and that God was wrong. I get the same reaction 99% of the time when I show people what God says in His Holy Bible. I trust that some (hopefully all) of you are obeying God’s command to “Study to show yourself approved by Him” (2 Tim. 2:15). Satan can give one all manner of “proofs” that one is doing God’s will. I know, for I have been so led by him in the past. As he did with Eve, he makes that which is forbidden a must-have or must-do: “And when the woman saw that the tree was GOOD FOR FOOD and that it was PLEASANT TO THE EYES, and that the tree was DESIRABLE TO MAKE ONE WISE, she took of its fruit and gave some of it to her husband who was with her” (Gen. 3:6). Satan has not changed. He makes evil look good and ungodly appear to be godly. Indeed, he has “deceived the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). L.J.