Radical Christianity Part IV | Luke 5:33-39

YouTube video sermon

Have joy in the gospel!

Introduction

Luke 5:33-39 ESV And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” (34) And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? (35) The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” (36) He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. (37) And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. (38) But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. (39) And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.'”

  • Once again, we read of the religious leaders being shocked and appalled at how Jesus went about His business.
    • Religion is a serious matter! How dare you go around with joy! Feasting and singing… shouldn’t you be fasting and mourning?!
    • This “Joy” that you are encouraging and teaching and leading is ungodly, unholy, and disrespectful to God!
    • You see the religious leaders actually thought that Jesus and His Disciples had Ungodly Joy.
    • But we know better, their joy wasn’t ungodly, it was irreverent, it wasn’t disrespectful, it was full, and complete, and from the wellsprings of heaven themselves!
  • SHOW TITLE SLIDE
  • Radical Christianity is not a Christianity where we sit respectfully in the pews, wearing our Sunday best, and being as quite as possible out of respect and reverence for the presence of the Lord.
    • No, Radical Christianity is a Christianity that is overwhelmed with Joy unspeakable! There is a time for reverence, and there is a time for joy, there is a time for fasting, and there is a time for feasting. And that’s what we are going to talk about today.

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  • Before I get started this morning, I want to tell you a recent story of Radical joy.
  • A few weeks ago a dear friend of mine and pastor in this community passed away, his name is Pastor Bruce Dahllem. He was a passionate man of God and encouraged me many times since I moved here.
    • But ever since I have known him he was a dying man.
    • He had some very serious illnesses that wreaked havoc on his body.
    • I have known him for just under 5 years, the whole time he had to eat through a feeding tube, and sometimes would be bed ridden for months.
    • And a couple months ago we got the news that he was placed in hospice.
      • Amanda and I went to visit him, and guys… I was so blessed by his joy.
    • I asked him if he was afraid, he said “heavens no”
    • I said can I pray for you? He said “Only if you don’t pray God heals me”
    • And it wasn’t that He was tired of suffering, it was that he was so excited to see Jesus.
    • He then asked Amanda to lead some worship.
    • Outside his room and down the hall there was a baby grand piano…
      • Now Bruce was bed ridden and had two broken ribs, but he insisted we take him… so through some pain and suffering he rolled into his wheelchair and we made our way to the piano.
    • Y’all, when Amanda started singing… this man who could barely breath out words was IGNITED in praise and worship.
    • His hands where in the air, he was singing at the top of his lungs, he had a huge smile.
    • We only planed on singing two songs… but he kept requesting more.
      • In that hospice, for that time, there was no sense of mourning, or sadness, or sorrow… it was joy on top of joy on top of joy.
    • How shocked the employees and other patients must have been, in a place of death, to hear such life coming from that piano room.
      • I don’t know how I am going to die, but if I get to see it coming like Bruce did then I hope I follow in his example and go out with that kind of joy.
      • That I would leave this world with the same kind of joy that I will be entering the next with.
    • That brings me to point one…

Point One – We should Have Joy in the Gospel

Luke 5:34 ESV And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?

  • The gospel is what kind of news?
    • It’s good news! It’s GOOD news! The word Gospel literally means Good News!
    • Yet there are so many Christians who are crippled by the weight of their sins, they live life as if they were not redeemed, as if they were not saved, as if they were not changed.
      • I want to tell you something church… if you have been born again then you are not a sinner! If you have been redeemed by Christ, you are not a sinner, you are a saint!
      • Stop using words to describe you that God doesn’t use to describe you.
      • The Bible never calls Christian’s sinners, it calls us saints! We are a new creation, redeemed in Christ.
        • Do we sometimes sin, sure, but that doesn’t define me, my Jesus defines me.
      • And if I have been cured by the curse of sin then that is a reason to rejoice.
      • There are so many Christians who walk around with this rain cloud over their heads… this raincloud of their past selves that God doesn’t even recognize as existent any more!
      • In Hebrews 8:12 it says that God doesn’t even remember our sins!

Hebrews 8:12 ESV For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

  • Now if God doesn’t remember our sins, if He forgets them once they have been washed in the blood of Christ, then what are we doing remembering them?
  • I know there are people here who have done some things in the past that they can’t seem to get over it… people who dwell on their past mistakes… Radical Christianity says that those mistakes are covered by the blood of Jesus and are remembered no more!
  • I have some neighbors who I love to death, they are God fearing Christians… but they have one irrational thing they do.
  • These two people, an older couple, are petrified by the sun.
  • They go on walks on hot summer days in winter coats, thick gardening gloves, long pants, big boots, sunglasses and giant sun hats.
    • They are so scared of skin cancer that it literally effects their life.
  • Y’all we should not be so afraid of sin that it effects our lives, because that is not who we are anymore. It is for freedom’s sake that we are free!

Galatians 5:1 ESV For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

  • There are two ways in which sin can enslave, one is by leading us down a path of destruction… when we sin we are chasing after death, not life, when we sin we are at least for a moment turning away from Christ and turning toward our own desires…
    • But there is another way in which sin can enslave, by limiting our freedom, by keeping us in constant fear of it’s bondage.
      • The Bible says that we are supposed to fear one thing and one thing alone, and that is God almighty.
      • We are not supposed to fear the devil, we are not supposed to fear man, and we are not supposed to fear sin.
        • Yet there are people who are so petrified of sin that they just lie in a bed crippled… they force out prayer after prayer, that they may or may not believe… they avoid any kind of joy or pleasure, they… like the Pharisees of Jesus time… live a life of fasting and morning…
        • “Oh woah is me, the wretched of wretched sinners, I don’t even deserve to be in the presence of God”
          • No, you don’t deserve to be in the presence of God, yet non the less He invites us into His presence, and that is a reason for rejoicing!

Hebrews 4:16 ESV Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

  • You see what happens is that the devil convinces us to wallow and mourn in our sin, and in doing so we don’t drawn near to the throne of God with confidence, thus we don’t receive the mercy and grace we desperately need!
  • Let me put it this way… if you used to have terrible cancer, and you were supposed to die from this cancer… and then one day God heals you, completely, no more cancer, no chance of relapse, complete healing… how are you going to live your life?
    • Your not going to lay and bed with a “woah is me” attitude, afraid of going out and being around carcinogens… no! You are going to rejoice and go live your life to the fullest!
      • Now you are not going to do something stupid like pick up smoking… because you remember what it was like to live under the yoke of cancer and you don’t want that again…
      • But you are not going to live like you still have cancer, if anything you are going to live life even more fully now that you have been set free!
    • You see, the religious leaders were not completely wrong… they understood the severity of sin.
      • And sin is no laughing matter folks.
      • Sin is not something to rejoice in or find joy in…
      • They understood this, and they responded to sin with piety, with fasting, with mourning, with prayer.
      • They understood the level and depth of condemnation their sin deserved, and even more so the sins of the world.
      • AND THEY WERE CORRECT.
      • But what they failed to realize is that Christ Jesus the Messiah had come and that in Christ there is no condemnation!

John 8:34-36 ESV Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.

  • See, the religious leaders knew this, and lived as if it were true… but praise God Jesus did not stop there…

(35) The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. (36) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

  • Jesus put it this way… no one fasts during a wedding feast, there will be time for fasting latter, but right now these people have found the groom and the wedding feast is on! It’s a time for celebration! It’s a time for joy! These people have been set free and they are going to live like it!

Luke 5:34 ESV And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?

  • I will close this point with one final statement: The only time you should remember your sin is so you can testify and rejoice that God has set you free from that sin. That’s it…
    • If you ever feel condemned about sins that Jesus died for, that condemnation is not from Christ, but from an enemy of Christ.
      • I am not talking about current sins in your life, if you have sin in your life, and we all do, then please repent from that, seek healing and help from Jesus and grow more Christ like by being done with that sin…
      • But the past, that’s done with, there is no condemnation in Christ…

Romans 8:1 ESV There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

  • If the devil keeps brining up your past, you just go ahead and remind him of his future… amen?!

Point Two – We Fast in our Present Suffering looking Forward to our Greater Reward.

  • Now that brings us to point two this morning… that is, we do sometimes fast and pray, as the Pharisees where rebuking Jesus’ disciples for not doing.
    • Ok, this is not an anti-fasting message, it is an anti-condemnation message…

Luke 5:35 ESV The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”

  • So point two this morning: We fast in our present suffering looking forward to our greater reward.
  • Matthew Henry has this to say about Luke 5:35, it was so well said I just want to read the quote to you:
    • When Christ shall leave them with their hearts full of sorrow, their hands full of work, and the world full of enmity and rage against them, then shall they fast, they shall not be so well fed as they are now. We both hunger and thirst and are naked. Then they shall keep many more religious fasts than they do now, for Providence will call them to it; they will then serve the Lord with fastings.

1 Corinthians 4:11-13 ESV (11) To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, (12) and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; (13) when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.

  • You see, the bridegroom left… He died, rose again, and ascended into heaven. He now lives inside of us… and the world hates us for it.
    • First they hated Him, now they hate us.
    • And it is in that hate, it is in the desperate and persecution that we fast and that we mourn.
      • Not because Jesus is not with us, but because Jesus is not with them.
      • Let me say that again.
      • We do not fast and mourn because Jesus is not with us, but because Jesus is not with them.
    • You see, before Jesus came, the religious leaders and people would fast and mourn because they were waiting for their Messiah, they were waiting for their Savior.
      • They knew the weight of their sins and the sins of the world and they pleaded with God… OH GOD PLEASE SEND US A SAVIOR!
      • But the Savior is here, so we do not fast like they fasted, we do not mourn like they mourn.
        • We fast not because of the weight of our own sins, those sins are no more, and so we rejoice.
        • But we fast because there are people who are perishing… there are people who don’t know Jesus, there are people trying to stop us from spreading the love of Jesus, there are enemies of Christ all around who have made themselves our enemies…
        • We fast because we want to see them saved.
        • We mourn because there are people dying and going to the lake of fire for eternity.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV (16) Rejoice always, (17) pray without ceasing, (18) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

  • Rejoice always… that means that we have an overwhelming amount of joy and it overflows… that we demonstrate and share our joy always.
  • Give thanks in all things… this is another joyful statement…
  • But in between these two statements is “pray without ceasing”.
    • Fasting and praying go hand in hand… why do we pray and fast? Because God is not willing for any to perish but all to come to repentance… and the enemy is working hard to stop people from coming to repentance.
  • But, hear me church, the way that we pray and fast ought to be with thanksgiving and rejoicing.
    • Yes there will be times of impassioned cries and pleas to the Lord… but it is not from condemnation or sorrow of our sins… but out of mercy and love for those who don’t know Jesus. And in that since we can both mourn and rejoice at that same time, something the religious leaders of Jesus’ time did not understand.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 ESV (8) We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; (9) persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

  • We are afflicted in every way, so we mourn and fast…
    • But we rejoiced that we are not and never will be crushed, amen?!
  • We are perplexed by the wickedness of man, and so we pray and fast…
    • But we will never be driven to despair in Christ, so we rejoice, amen?!
  • We are persecuted by the world Christ came to save, so we mourn and fast for them…
    • But we can always rejoice that we will never be forsaken or abandoned, amen?
  • We are struck down, so we pray for strength and mourn for the lost…
    • But we are indestructible in Christ, and thus we rejoice always and give thanks in all things, amen?!

Point Three – We Must Not Live Under the Old Covenant

Luke 5:36-39 ESV He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. (37) And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. (38) But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. (39) And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.'”

  • There is a funny trait of fabric, when washed it tends to shrink… right?! I have a whole closet full of t-shirts that fit exactly ONE time then shrunk to the size of a belly shirt.
    • So what Jesus is saying is that if you take a piece of new clothe, a patch made of unshrunk fabric, and put it on clothing that has already shrank, then when you wash it the patch will shrink and rip off.
  • He then talks about wine skins… you see when wine ferments it releases a lot of gases. So if you have an old and brittle wineskin, which is basically a leather bag that holds whine, then that bag will break under the pressure of the gas build up.
    • But a new wineskin is elastic and stretchy, so it can stretch as the wine ferments.
  • Basically all Jesus is saying is “YOU DON’T MIX THE OLD WITH THE NEW!”
  • You see there was an old way of doing religion… there is the
    • “Woah is me I am a sinner and I don’t even dare to be in the presence of a holy and perfect God, I pray and fast that by some miracle I may find myself worthy to be considered even, just may, just a little bit righteous”…
    • Then there is the new way, that God so Loved the World that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life”.
  • There was an old covenant of death that was completely deserved.
  • There is a new covenant of life that is completely undeserved… WE CAN NOT, WE MUST NOT MIX THESE TWO.
    • And don’t get me wrong, the old covenant is not worthless, it pointed to and directed humanity toward the coming Messiah. It testifies of Christ and shows us our need for a savior.
    • No, the Old Covenant is not worthless, but it is obsolete…

Hebrews 8:10-13 ESV For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (11) And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. (12) For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” (13) In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

  • I am a tech guy, I love technology… and you know what bothers me, when people use obsolete technology.
    • I don’t understand why people still use DVD’s. Those become obsolete in 2004, 14 years ago BluRay came out!
    • People have 4k tv’s to play DVD’s that can’t even play in 1080p!
  • Please do not give me a cd to use on my computer, I have not had a CD drive in my computer for 5 years at least. Give me a flash drive.
  • You know what REALLY bothers me?
    • When I am doing business with a very well established company and they ask me to FAX them something… WHAT?! FAX? I DON’T EVEN HAVE A LANDLINE LET ALONE A FAX MACHINE.
    • The fax machine was invented in 1843, y’all… that’s nearly 20 years before the Pony Express existed!
      • So why don’t I send you a letter by giving it to a man on a horse, because that is more recent technology than a fax machine!
      • IT’S obsolete! I have a magical machine that can send you any document instantly! It’s called a computer, with internet, and email… in fact a carry one of these magical machines with these magical functions in my pocket!
    • See I got pet peeves about obsolete technology… Jesus has pet peeves about obsolete covenants.
      • The Old Covenant says “You’re a sinner for breaking the Law of God and there is not a whole lot you can do about it so you better spend your days fasting, mourning, and praying for mercy”.
      • The New Covenant says “You are washed by the blood of the cross, you are redeemed, you are a saint, you are a part of a royal priesthood, you are more than a conqueror… the law of God is now written on your heart, it is no longer something that condemns, it is now something that encourages!
    • So, if you are leaving under the New Covenant, Jesus says, then don’t you dare go back to the Old! Don’t mix the two.
      • You can’t mix legalism with Grace church.
      • Now don’t get me wrong, you can’t mix sin and righteousness either…
      • But the way we approach sin is completely different, we now approach it as a people who have conquered it… so when it rears it’s ugly head it is not something we need to freak out about, it something we can simply look and at say, by the blood of Christ I don’t have to do that anymore, I am free from that bondage!
    • So I have to be careful, as a pastor and a leader of a church… I have to be careful about how I talk about sin, because I don’t want to be a church that sins, but I also don’t want to be a church that is enslaved to sin in that all we do is talk about how bad sin is. Instead I want to be a church that talks about how good God is to free us from sin, amen?!

Conclusion

In conclusion I want to talk about verse 39 from our text today…

Luke 5:39 ESV And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.'”

  • That “no one” is actually directed at the Pharisees… Jesus is saying “You are so stuck on the old ways that you don’t even desire the new ways”.
  • We all have a choice when it comes to trying the new wine, the new and fresh ways of serving God.
  • We can be predictable religious types or we can be radical like Jesus Himself, associating with the wrong people, praying for the wrong miracles, refusing to conform to the heavy, joyless attitudes of the legalists. We can be radical saints filled with the Spirit of this radical Lord.
  • In this Series we talked about the Wrong Healing
    • The Old Way said that only certain people deserved to be healed. Jesus brought something new, He healed without discrimination. Loving the unlovable, touching the unlovable, and healing all who came to Him.
      • If we are going to be radical Christians, we have to choose the new way and never go back to the old way of thinking.
    • We Talked About Jesus having Wrong Theology
      • He said that he had the authority to heal sins… but only God can heal sins. The old way was to offer sacrifices of blood to God for the forgiveness of sins… the new way is for God to offer His own blood as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.
      • If Jesus is God then He can and will forgive sins, and we carry Him and that forgiveness around with us as representatives of His grace.
        • If we are going to be radical Christians, we have to choose the new way and never go back to the old way of thinking.
      • We talked about how Jesus Kept the Wrong Company
        • The old way was that the Jews would never even share a table with the gentiles, else they risk losing any form of righteousness they may have tried to scrape together. The new way is that righteousness is not ours to lose in the first place, it is given by God to those who believe in Him and that we ought to do all we can to bring others to that righteousness, even going so far as to dine with the worst of the worst that some might be saved.
          • If we are going to be radical Christians, we have to choose the new way and never go back to the old way of thinking.
        • Finally we talked about Jesus and His Disciples having a Wrong Attitude
          • The old way was that we ought to be ashamed of our sin, ashamed of who we are, and we ought to mourn our own wickedness.
          • The new way is that Christ has made us free from the bondage of sin, including condemnation, and that we ought to have unspeakable Joy in the revelation of the Gospel, the good news, that Christ died for us, rose for us, lives in us, and has made us new.
            • CS Lewis said that he was dragged kicking and screaming into the kingdom of God. They Joy Christians had seemed fake, it seemed forced, it seemed unnatural, it seemed unbelievable. He likened it to being pushed into a freezing cold stream, clinching his muscle to prepare for the chilling blast, only to hit the water to find it wonderful and refreshing.
          • Lets have that kind of Joy church!
            • I know that I often preach sermons that rebuke sin and encourage repentance, I never do so to rob you of your joy! I do so that we can realize sin that still remains in us, so we can repent, be free, and rejoice all the more! Amen?!

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