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Summary: This is a message that deals with the lifeless attitude that keeps trying to creep into the churches across this nation and the change that God want to make in those churches.

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Scripture: Matthew 9:17

Title: “Religion With A Kick!”

Introduction: Jesus came into this world to institute CHANGES! The forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist, and Jesus Himself began their preaching ministries with the message of “REPENTANCE.”

Evidently the Scribes and Pharisees were critical of Jesus, His disciples, and their ministry. In response, Jesus told the parable of the wine and the wineskins to describe our identity in the process of making us into the people God wants us to be. (Key)

As Christians we all face the questions of who and what God wants us to be in this world.

There were a number of issues that caused the scribes and Pharisees to criticize Jesus. * First of all, He healed the paralyzed man who was lowered into His presence on a stretcher by forgiving his sins.

* Second, he was willing to eat a meal with Matthew the tax collector and other guests who were tax collectors. * Third, Jesus’ disciples did not fast by the rules of the scribes and the Pharisees and were thought to fail in terms of religious duty. They couldn’t figure out what kind of religion Jesus was teaching.

* Further, they didn’t understand what His followers were to become. In answer, Jesus told the parable of the wine and the wineskins.

To understand the parable, we must understand the process of fermenting wine in the skins of goats. * After the flesh and bones were removed from the inside of the goat the skin was tanned over fires of acacia wood. * Then the openings were sewn shut, the neck of the goat was used for the spout, and unfermented grape juice was poured in. * Afterwards the neck was sewn shut and the fermentation process began.

* Only a new wineskin would have the capacity to stretch through process of fermentation and not break until the process was finished.

* If new wine was put in an old wineskin, both the wine and the skin would be lost.

* Therefore, the making of the wine required new wine in new skins for successful change to take place.

As the custom of Jesus was He gave this parable of the “Wineskins” in response to the rejection of the Jews toward His teachings.

Jesus had not come into the world to repair the broken down religion of the day. He showed no concern for preserving or conserving their traditions or practices in external religion.

Instead He was concerned about making people new from the inside out.

This is what fermentation does, it changes the contents inside, but it must have a container that will permit this to happen or the whole process will be wasted.

I. OLD WINESKINS. (Bottles) (KJV)

a. The “Old Wineskins” were representative of the teachings of the Old Testament. (The teachings of Moses in particular)

b. The MAIN objective of the Old Testament was to present man with what God required man to do to be PLEASING in His sight!

c. The Old Testament was God’s “School Teacher” giving INSTRUCTIONS on how to get to the “New!” “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24)

d. The Old Testament had been STRETCHED to its greatest CAPICITY!

e. The TIME had come for SOMETHING NEW!

f. In the first sermon Jesus preached He made this statement, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” (Mt. 5:17) (Not to be thrown away, but to remind us of how we got to where we are!)

g. The “Old Wineskins” could never hold “New Wine”, they could be used to contain water, or other things that wouldn’t put a DEMAND on their ability to EXPAND! (Life-less religion!)

II. THE NEW WINE (The Gospel)

a. For definition sake, the “new wine” is the Gospel of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. (The New Wine produces SOMETHING BETTER!)

b. The Gospel has a dynamic life changing power that is like the fermenting of grape juice in a wineskin. (DivineDynamite) * If the wineskin is not elastic, flexible, and adjustable, it will not endure the change.

c. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. (It changes things from the INSIDE OUT!) * It alone has the ability to make us a new creation.

d. The Apostle Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16)

e. The Gospel message of Jesus Christ gives us the power to STRETCH (Change) to the POINT of becoming what God designed us to be!

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