Luke 5:27-39

Luke 5:27-39

And so if...you think that somehow you're so bad that God can't forgive you...get that thought out of your mind because Jesus came...so that you could understand His love for you. He brings you a marriage proposal, ...to be part of Him into eternity.Jesus will always take care of what it is that is hurting us. Always. Even if sometimes He allows us to suffer in the flesh physically with some things, it’s not the flesh that truly hurts us. This flesh is going to fall away some day…

One day, Jesus is going to end this life. He’s going to take us away from this flesh. What really hurts us is that Spirit that is going to be taken away when we do not take the time to be right with God. I hope one day I’m going to wake up, and my back is no longer going to be hurting because I’m not going to be in this body. This body of decay will be changed. We’re told, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, it will be changed, and I will be standing in the presence of the One Who loves me far more than I deserve…

In fact, Jesus came with a marriage proposal to men. He came to ask you and I to marry Him, to be part of Him into eternity. The problem is, during this particular time in history, men who should have been looking for His coming, men who should have known what He was there for, had turned to religion. They had taken God’s Word and all that God’s Word was meant to teach them, and they turned it into “religion.” And so Jesus tells them, you don’t tear a new piece of cloth and put it on an old garment. It doesn’t match. He’s come as a new garment. He’s come as new wine, and you don’t pour new wine into an old wineskin…

Jesus said, I’m the new wine. I’m the new patch. I don’t fit with what you do. I’m not going to fit on your old garment. I’m not going to be able to fit into your old wineskin because I’m going to expand, and your skin will be busted. Jesus doesn’t want us participating in “religion.” In fact, He brings us this new concept of stepping away from religion and marrying Him. That’s why He brings up the concept of the Bridegroom. He’s come with a new offer. A proposal. Don’t be married to the institution. How about marrying Me? Don’t be caught up in the trap that religion brings, but be caught up in Me.

If you’re here today because you think it is the thing to do, to go to church; because you thing you’re going to feel good because you’ve gone to church, you’re trapped in religion. But if you’re here today because you love Jesus Christ, and you love the body of Christ, and you enjoy fellowshipping with each other, and you’re simply waiting for that day for the Groom to come and take us home, to say that the house is ready, and I’m ready for you, come home, [then] you’re here for the right reason. You are part of the new cloth that’s going to go on the new garment. You are part of the new wine that’s going into the new skin…

And so if you’re here today, and you’ve done something horrendous in your life, and you think that somehow you’re so bad that God can’t forgive you, you are so bad that God does not want to forgive you, get that thought out of your mind because Jesus came to invite you to a party. He came so that you could understand His love for you. He brings you a marriage proposal. At [that] point there is no church, there is no bride yet because no one has formally accepted…

But you have to understand that you’ve got to do it on His terms, not on the terms of religion. Not on the terms of the church. He came to free us from the terms of the church. He came to free us from the trap that says that religion is what’s going to get us by. You know what? If you have to act any way to impress others so that they think you are a good person, you are trapped in religion. If you come through these doors, you’re here to meet Jesus. And guess what? Jesus will receive you regardless of what you’re wearing, what you smell like, what you look like, regardless of what you’ve done in your past, and regardless of what you might do in your future. He does care, though, that we come to understanding that we have these problems and that we’re willing to deal with them in Him. That we’re willing to repent of them, because He did come to bring us to repentance. To bring us to that place of understanding that, yes, I have problems. I have a past, but guess what? That’s where it is. In the past. And I understand my issues of sin from the past, and I’ve repented of them, and I’ve asked to be forgiven for them, and I know that Jesus has forgiven me. So I don’t have to come here today and act good before you, because I’m not so good. But sometimes I do good things. Sometimes people just like being around me, but it’s not because I’m dressed up. It’s not because I’m wearing some nice smelling cologne. Sometimes people like being around me, I think, because Jesus hangs around me. Because I’ve been to the Doctor. I’m part of a new garment. I’m new wine…

Jesus doesn’t beat us. He doesn’t kick us. He doesn’t ridicule us. And I think, sometimes, we feel like if we’ve not been hit, kicked, and ridiculed, we can’t truly be forgiven. He didn’t come to do that… And we begin to believe that we need to change and do things that look religious, so that somehow we can be forgiven, and accepted in society…

We’re not about religion. Jesus is not about religion. Jesus is about a love relationship that starts with a marriage proposal, and He asks each and every one of us, “Will you marry Me? Will you come into eternity with Me? Will you allow Me to be part of who you are and you a part of Who I am for all eternity?” That’s what it’s about. And then the changes that need to happen, happen naturally, not because you make them happen.

Dave Elkins

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Luke 5:1-11