Why are we singing this particular song?
For some background, many times when I’m thinking through the upcoming services and planning out the songs, I will speak to fellow band members and see what’s been on their minds recently. Are there songs that are sticking out to them during their times of worship that would be good for us to sing corporately? This is the case for this particular song.
Going deeper though, as many of you know we’ve been going through a new series in 2019 called, “Getting Down To Work”. In this series, we’ve been challenged to see our entire lives (including our work) as glorifying to God. We don’t only have “God time” for 2 hours on Sundays or 15 minutes during our devotions, and then the remaining 164 hours are inherrently “non-Christian”. All of our time is redeemable and we weren’t saved by good works, but rather for good works. Our work matters to God.
As I listened to this song, I noticed a central theme throughout that I felt fit well with the theme for this sermon series. “Surrender”. As a Christian, and as a worker, we need to ultimately surrender all of our lives to God. Part 2 of the “Getting Down To Work” series included the reading of Romans 12:1, “[…] present your bodies as a living sacrifice […]”. We are supposed to surrender ourselves to God’s will. I felt that this song did a wonderful job of expressing this theme, and would compliment the series well.
Now let’s read the lyrics:
In the crushing, In the pressing
You are making new wine
In the soil, I now surrender
You are breaking new ground
So I yield to You and to Your careful hand
When I trust You I don't need to understand
Make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me'
Cause where there is new wine
There is new power
There is new freedom
And the kingdom is here
I lay down my old flames
To carry Your new fire today
What scripture(s) directly connect with these lyrics?
What you might immediately be thinking after reading these lyrics, “Whoa! We’re singing about wine? In church? There has to be some command somewhere that prohibits this? Right? It’s like oil and water. Church and wine just do not mix.” Haha! Well there is an awful lot that we can unpack in this. What does the Bible say about “new wine”? Is there meaning in that combination of words?
We see “new wine” referenced throughout the Old Testament, and there seems to be a general theme when it is used. However, I want to focus on what Jesus said about it in one of his first parables in the New Testament. I think that’s the more important reference for this song.
The new covenant.
Luke 5:37, “[…] no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, it will spill, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine should be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine, wants new, because he says, ‘The old is better.’”
What exactly does this mean? Jesus was using this parable to illustrate how there needed to be a new structure (His church, His believers) to hold his new teaching (salvation through Christ). The old ways (Judaism) couldn’t integrate with the new teaching. We will always want to cling to the old. It’s more familiar, it’s more comfortable. But Jesus had something better.
How does all of this connect?
If we take “new wine” to equal the Christian faith, then the song gains some clarity. Let’s look at this, phrase by phrase.
- When we sing, “In the pressing, in the crushing, you are making new wine”.
Matthew 16:24, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself [pressing], take up his cross [crushing], and follow Me [new wine].”
- When we sing, “Make me Your vessel. Make me an offering. Make me whatever You want me to be.”
2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation [new wineskin]; old things [old wine] have passed away, and look, new things [new wine] have come.”
We are a new creation in Christ. We are a “new wineskin” to hold His “new wine”.
- When we sing, “'Cause where there is new wine. There is new power. There is new freedom.”
Luke 4:18, “He [God] has sent Me [Jesus] to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed […]”
- When we sing, "And the kingdom is here. I lay down my old flames. To carry Your new fire today.”
Acts 2:2-4, “Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit […]”
This “new fire” is a reference to the Holy Spirit. We put down our old passions and we carry the “Holy Spirit” today.
- When we sing, “Jesus bring new wine out of me.”
Galatians 5:22-25, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. […] Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.”
May our lives emit the grace and compassion of our Lord Jesus to all of those around us.
“Wow, that was a lot to take in!” I know. My hope is that this article will connect all the dots, that it will remind you of these verses as you sing this song, and may it help to bring clarity and meaning to somewhat confusing phrases like, “Jesus bring new wine out of me”.
Take a moment now to listen to “New Wine”.