Matthew 9:17 (NIV)
17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
The Gospel is the Good News of Grace [undeserved, unearned and unmerited favor from God].It is through the “finished work” of Jesus Christ on the cross [substitutionary atonement]. This is in stark contrast to the Law that had been the “works” system the nation of Israel had lived under. This New Covenant was what Jesus had come into the world to provide and it was a relationship based on faith in a Person and not adherence to a set of laws and regulations. Jesus had come to fulfill the requirements of the Law and he began a new relationship with God that he called the “New Wine”.
The Leadership at NWCC desires to have a community of believers that no longer strive through their own works system and efforts to find their relationship with God. Jesus said;
John 6:29 (NIV)
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
We are saved by Faith alone in Jesus alone and it is Grace alone. To live for God is to believe in His Son and be directed by His Spirit. This is the “New Wine” of the New Covenant that we are to “rest” in through belief in Jesus Hebrews 4.
Another church leader explained it this way;
At the marriage in Cana, where Jesus was present, the old wine ran out. The old wine was made with human effort, over a period of many years - but it could not meet the need. This is a parable of life under the law - the old covenant. The old wine runs out; and the Lord has to wait until it runs out before He can give us the new wine. God is trying to teach us: "You cannot have victory in your own strength." As long as you are under the law, you will be ruled by sin.
The chief work that God seeks to do in each of His children is to break down the strength of self totally. Jesus waited for the old wine to run out, at Cana, before He did His miracle. He is waiting now for our strength to come to an end. All our failures and defeats are meant by God to bring us to the end, for He can manifest His power perfectly only in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).
Jesus did not come to “fix” the old religious system of Judaism with its rules and traditions but to “finish” it. His purpose was to fulfill the law and start something new, though it had been prophesied for centuries. The “new” cannot fit with the “old” patterns of thought. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came to earth to offer people forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God. The gospel did not fit into the old rigid legalistic system of religion. The gospel offered grace; Judaism offered law and rule keeping. The law reveals the nature and will of God; likewise Jesus reveals the nature and will of God.
Hebrews 1:2 (NIV)
but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
Jesus gave his life to bring forgiveness of sin and to save people. The gospel is like new wine and is illustrated in Jesus’ life and work of the cross. Like old wineskins, the Pharisees and even the whole religious system of the time had become too rigid to accept Jesus who could not be contained in their traditions and rules.
Putting the rituals of the "Old Law" into Christianity would be similar to putting new wine into old skins. The new wine represents Christianity, and the old skins, the Law of Moses with its system of works and religion.
This is the heart of New Wine, and we must change our thinking from the old wineskin of working only outside of us [behavior modification] to effect change to the new, fresh wineskin of inner work [transformation] by the Holy Spirit.
It is by grace we are saved and not our works so we only boast in what Jesus has done for us in his perfect sacrifice. This is the “New Wine” of the Gospel.