Drinking, Alcohol and Believers
Proverbs 20:21 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
Proverbs 23:20-21 Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, 21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Proverbs 23:29-35 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? 30 Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. 31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! 32 In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. 34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. 35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?”
Proverbs 31:4-7 “It is not for kings, O Lemuel— not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, 5 lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. 6 Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish; 7 let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
Questionable things: In deciding about whether or not to participate in any behavior that is doubtful, the following principles make a good checklist to follow.
- Excess. Is the activity or habit necessary, or is it merely an extra that is not really important? Is it perhaps only an encumbrance that we should willingly give up (Heb. 12:1)?
- Expediency. “All things are lawful for me,” Paul says, “but not all things are profitable,” or expedient (1 Cor. 6:12). Is what I want to do helpful and useful, or only desirable?
- Emulation. “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6). If we are doing what Christ would do, our action not only is permissible but good and right.
- Example. Are we setting the right example for others, especially for weaker brothers and sisters? If we emulate Christ, others will be able to emulate us, to follow our example (1 Tim. 4:12).
- Evangelism. Is my testimony going to be helped or hindered? Will unbelievers be drawn to Christ or turned away from Him by what I am doing? Will it help me conduct myself “with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity” (Col. 4:5)?
- Edification. Will I be built up and matured in Christ; will I become spiritually stronger? “All things are lawful, but not all things edify” (1 Cor. 10:23).
- Exaltation. Will the Lord be lifted up and glorified in what I do? God’s glory and exaltation should be the supreme purpose behind everything we do. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
Eph. 5:18 – Be not drunk with wine.
The whole matter of wine (alcohol) and Christians is in the context of Godly/Spirit filled living!
1. Bible always condemns drunkenness.
Drunkenness is associated with tragedy – Whenever the Bible talks about drunkenness it shows that it is the manifestation of depravity. Every illustration of drunkenness in the Bible meets with disaster:
· Noah became drunk and in his nakedness acted shamelessly (Gen. 9:21);
· Nabal became drunk and at a crucial time God took his life (1 Sam. 25:36-37);
· Elah became drunk and he was murdered by Zimri (1 Kings 16:9-10);
· Ben-hadad and all of his allied kings became drunk, and all were slaughtered except Ben-hadad who escaped (1 Kings 20:16-21);
· Belshazzar became drunk and had his kingdom ripped right out from under him (Dan. 5); the
· Corinthians became drunk at the Lord’s table and the Lord made some of them sick and some He executed (1 Cor. 11:21-34). Drunkenness in the Bibles is always associated with terrible things – unrestrained living, immorality, dissolute behavior, and reckless, wild behavior.
2. Drunkenness disqualifies a man from spiritual service.
1 Timothy 3:2-3,8 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 8 Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.
Titus 1:7 Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.
In fact, the standard is so high for leaders that they must abstain.
In fact, Paul goes so far as to note two aspects about an elder:
1. 1 Tim. 3:2 – Nephalion – temperate or “unaffected by, not using”
2. 1 Tim. 3:3 – Paroinon – not drunken or “not beside wine, staying near”
3. Titus 1:7 – Paroinon – not drunken or “not beside wine, staying near”
Nepho VB – abstain from wine
Classical – abstinence
Emphasis is on alertness.
3. Drunkenness is not a part of a citizen of heaven while on earth.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the
1 Peter 4:3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
So facts = drunkenness is a disqualifying sin and a damning lifestyle.
This sermon will conclude tomorrow September 8th as we look at “Is Alcoholism a Disease”.
For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit discoverthebook.org.