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New Wine In Old Wineskins covers Luke chapter 5 to see how to order our lives...painting Jesus in our every act and word. 

New Wine In Old Wineskins (Painting Jesus)

Harmony Of The Gospels Series 10, Luke 5 (Mt 4:18-23, 9:1-13, Mk 1:16-20, 35-45, 2:1-17)

For more information about Jesus see these books on the History of Jesus Christ

When we read Luke 5, we see wonderful miracles performed by Jesus. Some have been famous throughout the ages, retold by generation after generation for almost 2,000 years. I've heard about these miracles my entire life. That's why I'm not going to teach on the miracles. When we study the Bible, we want to get out of it how to order our lives. That's not in the miracles, it's in following Jesus, emulating what he did. 85% of the people in the US, when asked if they are Christian, say, "yes." Yet only 15% claim to have beliefs consistent with Christianity; creation, virgin birth, deity of Christ, resurrection, etc. What are we to conclude? Most people in the US believe there is no difference in lifestyle between Christians and non-Christians. Who are we? The label 'Christian' has become meaningless in our culture, no matter how valid and valuable that label is to us Christians. I'm more in favor of the phrase "follower of Jesus", because every follower of Jesus is a Christian but, sadly, not every "Christian" is a follower of Jesus. For more detailed application of this parable to our modern lives, see these best-selling books on New Wine In Old Wineskins.  We're called to follow Jesus in every aspect of our lives. To, sort of, make our lives into a painting of Jesus. That's why the title 'Painting Jesus'. A friend did a painting of Jesus where He is happy, smiling. Most paintings show a solemn, sad Jesus. I think He's more like my friend's painting. In fact, I'll bet that's why a lot of the religious leaders hated Him. He was just having too much fun. Paul wrote, (II Co 3:18) "..we…are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory." How are we being transformed? The Holy Spirit is painting Jesus in us. I used to think that a sign of Spiritual maturity was tithing (giving 10%) of my income to God. But, I found out that's not in the Bible. The Bible says to be mature is to be like Jesus (Eph 4:13) "and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." Some of you may believe it takes a professional minister to interpret the things of God in the Bible, and that you don't dare challenge their opinions. That's not where we live at   I want you to be a mature follower of Jesus who can challenge me every time I make a mistake (I'll give you lots of opportunities).

Without you checking us out and letting us know when we differ, we can't grow and mature together. Our goal is to apply God's word to our lives, not just learn about Him. We must paint Christ into our lives and let go of some of our pre-conceived notions of life as a follower of Jesus. Our passage teaches us…We must let go of old religion and traditions to mature into the new life of Christ.

1. The Canvas Of Unworthiness: Lk 5:8 "Go away from me Lord; I am a sinful man." One of the first challenges we have as followers of Jesus is continuing to think ourselves as unworthy. Some of us, as I have, begin to think of ourselves as just having made the right decisions. We begin to appear self-righteous and arrogant. This eliminates the very canvas for the Holy Spirit to paint Jesus into us. It's not by works that we're saved, it's by God's grace. Do you know what a painting without a canvas is? Graffiti! When Marsha and I visited my brother in Hanover, Ge. He took us on a 3-4 hour walking tour of his neighborhood. All of the buildings were 5-stories high, 100-200 years old and absolutely beautiful. Most of them had really cool gargoyles or other designs on them, like faces looking down on the street. We were so impressed, we took over a hundred pictures. One of the saddest things, though, was that, on most buildings, as high as you could reach up the walls, was graffiti. Meaningless junk painted there by countless people who had no care as to the beauty they were ruining. In the US, graffiti is considered vandalism and punishable by law. People have to go to great effort to repaint or scrub the affected areas. When we begin to feel we're worthy of God, it's just like spray-painting graffiti on His beautiful work of art.

Simon knew he was unworthy, that's what qualified him. He had a canvas for God to paint on. If we're painting Jesus in our lives, we must let go of ourselves and embrace Him. Ga 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Once we get ourselves out of the formula, we can have a clean canvas.

2. The Background Of Prayer: Lk 5:16 "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." My mother was a painter.  The first thing painted on every canvas was the background. She would sketch the outline of the subject on her canvas, and then paint the background wherever the subject wasn't. It's the background that brings out the beauty of the subject. If the canvas had been left unpainted except for the subject, that subject would have looked faded and washed out.  That's the way Jesus looks in our lives without the background of prayer. He's unclear and washed out. The background of prayer brings out the beauty of Christ in us. I'm not talking about the kind of superficial prayer you'd have at a public meeting or for a meal, but the one-on-one time we have between ourselves and the living God. Jesus went to lonely places. That's what paints the background, where only God is our audience. (Mt 6:6) "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Continued at New Wine In Old Wineskins-2

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