INTRO: When Jesus came into this world, He came into a religious world deeply entrenched in forms, ceremonies and traditions. He came into a religious world in which the law of Moses had been the law of religious life for centuries. Little wonder, then, that the "religionists" of His day were found opposing Him at every turn. Every day was a day of careful scrutiny by those who quickly became His enemies. He was questioned about what He did and what He said ... often, not by those really wanting to know the truth. So, Jesus was faced with the challenge of helping sincere people to appreciate the old and accept the new. Much of what He said was toward that objective.
I. TWO WORD PICTURES
A. The background?
1. there had already been questions about His forgiving sins, fasting
2. and there would quickly be questions about the sabbath
B. Sewing new cloth on an old garment - Mk 2:21
1. the old garment had a tear, or a hole, in it
2. solution? sew a patch of new cloth on it
3. but as the new cloth shrank, the old cloth would tear ... be made worse
C. Putting new wine in old skins - Mk 2:22
1. old skins had become stretched and had in them residue of bacteria
2. new wine would, over time, begin to ferment quickly with the presence of the bacteria - fermentation would cause gases which would increase pressure
3. finally, the old, stiff skins would burst
D. The truth Jesus sought to impart?
1. the Old Covenant and the New Covenant could not be mixed!
2. trying to do so would ultimately ruin both of the them
3. how did Jesus approach the Old Covenant? Mt 5:17 - notice that He came to "fulfil" ... an important difference between fulfilling and destroying
II. THE STRUGGLE IN THE EARLY CHURCH?
A. Very early there were those who sought to attach the Old to the New
1. I have a strong suspicion that this is a very natural human tendency
2. "I've been a Jew all of my life. Would it hurt if I kept the sabbath?"
3.it is just not easy to release our hold on years of upbringing & tradition
B. This problem is clearly noted in the letter to the Galatian church
1. Gal 4:9,10 - Gentile Christians "patching on" Jewish festivals
2. Gal 5:1,2 - "patching on" circumcision as a required religious ordinance
3. there were those teachers who did not understand that the Old and the New could not be mixed! and there must have been those people for whom this "mixing" was appealing
C. And consider the emphasis of the book of Hebrews
1. Heb 1:1-4 - affirming that Jesus is God's spokesman - Himself Deity
2. Heb 8:4-7 - affirming a better covenant, better promises than Mosaic
3. this entire letter addresses the comparison between the Old and the New and shows why the New is so much better - why, unless there was a problem with "patching on"?
III.HOW CAN THIS APPLY EVEN NOW?
A. The desire for instrumental music based on old covenant usage
1. instrumental music was part of temple observances
2. so, some insist that instrumental music must be acceptable because it was used in the Old Testament
3. however, this is just another "patch on" attempt as those of 1st century and has no more validity than binding holy days or circumcision - ruins the new!
B. Innovations from the denominational world
1. role of women, special clothing for preachers, titles for preachers
2. justification? modernizing - appealing to a broader audience
3. but such "patching on" violates the clear message and intent of scripture
CLOSE: Jesus permitted no "patching on" to the new covenant. It was tried and, in some respects, continues to be tried. Every time it is tried and accepted it results in something other than the church Jesus came to build!
Cecil A. Hutson
03 September 2006
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)