What The Bible Teaches

about Wine and Strong Drink

I.         Introduction

 

A.      The Bible has never been unclear about the important issues in life - the problem has always been that people play ignorant instead of taking the time to "search the Scriptures" (John 5:39) for the right answer about how to live, and what is right to do. This is true with what we are about to study.

B.       Wine, and strong drink have plagued mankind from the time of Adam and Eve’s fall in Genesis 3 up to today. It has affected even the best of people - see Genesis 9:20-22, where "Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father." So began the sad tale of alcohol's warped influence!

C.       This study will show that the correct use of wine and strong drink is not to be “in moderation” but only as a medicine - it is definitely not for social entertainment or pleasure -- "He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine  and oil shall not be rich" (Proverbs 21:17).

D.      From the very start of this study, let the Scriptures make it very clear that "Wine IS a mocker, and strong drink IS raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." (Proverbs 20:1). It is not an issue of whether wine can "become" a mocker when abused, but that its very nature IS mockery to the Christian life, and that it deceives all who think they can handle it!

E.       This study has been designed to present God's view of wine and alcoholic drink. You will need to fill-in the answers to the questions from the Scriptures presented. Every Scripture verse has been written out for you. Please study all the Scriptures presented, and then fill in the blanks.

 

II.       A Brief Outline of the Subjects this Study Will Cover

 

             The Different Kinds of Wine and Strong Drink

             The Results of Drinking

             What About Beer?

             Biblical Warnings About Liquor

             The Usual Reasons for Drinking

             The LIE About Drinking "in Moderation"

             Some Questions from Other Scriptures

             How to Overcome the Addiction, and Attraction to Liquor

 

These are not the ideas of someone living in an "ivory-tower," but someone who has worked with those who have hit "rock-bottom" both physically, and spiritually, and found the pathway back out has been laid-out perfectly by the Lord Jesus Christ as presented in the pages of God's perfect word, the Bible! Take this honest look at both yourself, and alcoholic drink in the mirror of God's word, and see if you can ever be the same again! What you will find is that real life is found in Jesus Christ, not in a bottle!

 

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Study Outline on Alcoholic Drinks

 

A.      The Different Kinds of Wine and Alcoholic Drinks

 

1.        Did you know that there are TWO types of "wine" in the Bible?

 

a.        _____ wine - squeezed from the grape - grape juice (Lk 5:37)  

"And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved." (Luke 5:37,38).

 

b.       _____ wine - fermented - alcoholic grape drink (Lk 5:39).

 

"No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better" (Luke 5:39).

 

The word “wine” in the Bible can refer to either fermented (alcoholic), or unfermented (pure) grape juice. The word 'wine' is a general term. It is the surrounding context of each verse that tells you which kind of wine God is talking about.

 

2.        There is also a drink referred to as “__________ drink” (Prov 20:1).

 

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

 

3.        Let’s look in detail at each of these three drinks:

 

a.        The Fruit of the Vine - called, “New Wine” - the juice of the grape.

 

1)       It is not found in the “vat” but in the “_________”. It is fresh from the grape - simple grace juice - with nothing added!

 

"… new wine is found in the cluster (of grapes)" (Isa 65:8)

 

2)       God’s people never drank alcoholic wine!

 

"Ye have not eaten bread (they ate Manna), neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God." (Deut 29:5,6)

 

"…thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape." (Deut 32:14).

 

3)       God’s blessings are found in “new” wine, not in drinking fermented drinks. We will study fermentation a little later on.

 

"Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." (Prov 3:9,10)

 

4)       Wine is compared to “blood” in the Bible, and God's people are supposed to only drink the “… ________ blood of the grape” (see Dt 32:14 above). There should never be anything added to the grape juice.

5)       New wine is a refreshing beverage, not an intoxicating drink!

 

"O LORD my God, thou art very great: thou … causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart." (Psalm 104:1,13-15). All of the above was "natural" and unleavened,

 

6)       Jesus drank “new” wine at His last supper. Jesus never drank alcoholic wine, or any strong drink!

 

"But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom" (Mt 26:29).

 

b.       Fermented Wine - called “Old Wine” - what we call 'Liquor'

 

1)       Old wine is made by man. It is not natural. Let’s look at how fermented wine is made, and what makes it “old”:

 

a)       It must be allowed to “decay” or spoil (the natural starches in the juice are allowed to break-down into sugars and alcohol).

b)       The temperature, and sugar content must be regulated. If the decaying process is not carefully controlled, then it will sour, and be bitter, and therefore not enjoyable.

c)       Yeast (“leaven” in the Bible) is added to enhance the decaying process. This is referred to as “mingling” wine with additional ingredients. Mingled wine may have sugars and other seasonings added during the fermentation process to enhance the flavour for those "special meals."

 

"Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:  She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table." (Prov 9:2)

 

"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine." (Prov 23:29,30)

 

d)       When kept under pressure, the resulting carbon dioxide from the fermentation is retained in the liquid until opened, producing a “pop” and resulting in all the carbonated bubbles, as well as the “head” on beers.

 

2)       Old wine in the Bible is only used as a drug, not a refreshing beverage:

 

"Drink no longer water, but USE a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." (1 Tim 5:23) Emphasis mine.

 

"But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him." (Luke 10:33,34).

 

3)       It is referred to as an “intoxicating” beverage because it has the power to render someone senseless, or with less sense. Notice Paul tells Timothy to “____ a little wine”, not drink a little wine. Use it like you would a modern medicine. Old wine cleanses cuts and bruises, and can be used to purify water under extreme circumstances. People kept it around for “using”, not drinking. You would NEVER take glass-fulls of medicines, yet people do with alcohol, and they do it to their hurt!

4)       Fermented wine is only the beginning of a path that leads to stronger liquor! Alcoholic drink is never satisfying!

 

"Yea also, because he transgresseth (sins) by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death (that is what he looks like and smells like after his "night out"), and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people" (Hab 2:5)

 

5)       Old wine is only permitted to be drunk (which is the past tense for of the word "drink") in the following situations:

 

a)       When about to _____ - in order to not worry, and be able to ignore pains and past haunting memories.

 

"It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." (Prov 31:4-7)

 

b)       As medicine, alcoholic wine can be used as:

 

i)                     A psychological drug (Prov 31:6,7) to calm the overburdened mind - like using a sleeping tablet.

ii)                   A physical drug (1Tim 5:23; Lk 10:34) to ease pains, and clean out wounds.

 

"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." (1Tim 5:23)

 

"But a certain Samaritan… bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him." (Luke 10:33,34).

 

"And they gave him (Jesus on the cross) to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not." (Mk 15:23). Jesus was NOT going to allow anything to be used to numb the pains He was experiencing!

 

6)       The love of old wine is wrong (Prov 21:17), and is therefore a fleshly lust that “______ against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11) - it keeps the person from ever conquering sin and self, and being able to be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18).

 

"He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich." (Pr 21:17)

 

"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul" (1 Peter 2:11)

 

"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18)

 

c.        Strong Drink

 

1)       Strong drink (like whisky and rum) is harder drink than alcoholic wines and beers. These drinks have been referred to as “spirits” due to all the “extra” alcohol that is added to them for a greater “punch.”.

2)       Hard liquor is a picture of God’s wrath and judgment on a nation  - IT IS NOT AS A BLESSING!

 

"For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them." (Ps 75:8)

 

"And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." (Mt 26:39).

 

"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb" (Rev 14:9,10).

 

 

B.       The Results of Drinking

 

1.        If you drink New Wine - It refreshes, and makes a person’s heart and health good (Ps 104:15, "And wine that maketh glad the heart of man"). Grape juice is good for digestion, variation (variety is the spice of life), supply of vitamins, natural sugar and extra energy intake.

2.        If you drink Old Wine and Strong Drink:

 

a.        It numbs the brain making the person “think” that things are great. It is Satan’s counterfeit of new wine, and of the joy of the Lord that comes from enjoying natural foods.

b.       It impairs your ability to make right decisions:

 

"It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted." (Prov 31:4,5).

 

c.        Liquor and immoral sex always go hand in hand (Gen 9:20-24; Hab 2:15,16; Lam 4:21). It enhances the domination of the flesh!

 

"And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him." (Gen 9:20-24)

 

Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered (nakedness): the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing (vomiting) shall be on thy glory." (Hab 2:15,16)

 

"Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup (of God's wrath) also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked." (Lamentations 4:21)

 

d.       Liquor and _________ go hand-in-hand.

 

"Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people… For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein." (Hab 2:5,17)

 

Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! (Isaiah 5:11)


 

e.        Watch how the Lord in Proverbs 23:29-35, describes the life of someone who spends their time enjoying a few drinks:

 

1)       They have troubles (woe), and ___________, and arguments (contentions)

 

"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions?"

 

2)       They don't make sense when they talk (they babble).

 

"Who hath babbling? …"

 

3)       They have wounds from fights that they don't remember.

 

"Who hath wounds without cause? …"

 

4)       They look terrible - not healthy and robust!

 

"Who hath redness of eyes? …" They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

 

5)       Alcoholic drinks have a hypnotic affect When you stare at it for a while, it moves in the cup drawing you into its attraction.

 

"Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright."

 

6)       Ultimately, the drinker finds themselves in all sorts of trouble (Pr 23:32-35):

 

a)       Bitten with addiction to its poison! Its effect is disastrous, not beneficial!

 

"At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

 

b)       Lustful, and remorseful for all the things you end up doing and saying when you drink!

 

"Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things."

 

c)       Physically sick: dizzy and unable to stand or walk straight.

 

"Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast."

 

d)       Emotionally sick: blaming everything and everyone around you instead of blaming yourself! You will wish it was all a bad dream (Pr 23:35)!

 

"They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake?"

 

e)       Addicted - dependant upon it, and not able to escape its hold on you (Pr 23:35)!!

 

"I will seek it yet again."

 

f.         Liquor and self-centeredness go hand-in-hand. Drinking has the habit of becoming more important than even the welfare of your own children (Joel 3:3) - people will end up selling almost anything in order to get a drink!

 

"And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink." (Joel 3:3)

 

g.       Liquor and religion go hand-in-hand (Isaiah 28:7,8; Deut 32:31-38) - almost all the world’s religions use either drugs or alcoholic drink to enhance their “spirituality” in the worship of their god.

 

"But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean." (Isaiah 28:7,8)

 

"For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.    For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.  And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,  Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings (to false gods)? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection." (Deut 32:31-38)

 

h.       Drinking in moderation is possible, but rarely maintained, and always ends in disaster! Just as with anything, it IS possible to do something, and it not hurt you (1Cor 6:12). But that is not the way to tell if you should do it or not! We have to do what is RIGHT by God's standards, and not what we can get away with!

 

"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient:… I will not be brought under the power of any." (1 Corinthians 6:12)

 

i.         Drinking liquor drives you away from your _______ and family (Hab 2:5) because it never can satisfy the emptiness of the heart!

 

"Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home… and (he) is as death, and cannot be satisfied…" (Habakkuk 2:5)

 

j.         Drinking liquor is usually pushed upon people (Hab 2:15). People don’t normally go after the drink unless it is greatly advertised and pressured upon them (see any conversation at a pub between someone who is drinking and someone who is just sitting at the bar).

 

"Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken…" (Hab 2:15)

 

C.       What about Beer?

 

1.        Beer is made using basically the same process as that of wine, except, instead of using grapes, barley grain is used.

2.        The purpose of drinking beer is the same as that of wine - to help a person “relax, and unwind.” A normal Christian does not need a beer or a glass of wine to help them end a day, anymore than a child does. An adult who looks to ANY drink for help at the end of the day (to calm, and relax) is only looking for a cheep substitute to prayer and fellowship with God. They are carnal, and backslidden, and need to repent!

3.        Even though the alcoholic content of beer is low, that is not a reason to drink it - most people who do drink beer, drink a lot of it - not just a sip or two. At the end of the evening, the beer drinker is full of alcohol, and is usually unfit to drive - and is unfit to be a Christian!

 

D.      Biblical Warnings about Liquor:

 

1.        Beware how drink becomes like a “god” to people. They live for it!

 

Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! (Isa 5:11)

 

2.       Drink is made out to be a proof of your manhood and strength.

 

Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink. (Isa 5:22)

 

3.       Drink is not to be a social event in your home or anywhere.

 

Woe (trouble) unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! (Hab 2:15)

 

4.        God says that wine and drink will make a mockery out of you. In other words, the person who drinks, is dumb, dumb, DUMB!

 

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." (Prov 20:1)

 

5.        Drink is not a disease, but an act of the will against God - a sin!

 

 

E.       The Usual Reasons for Drinking - why people drink intoxicating liquors:

 

1.        To forget troubles and heartaches - Sometimes God wants you to have your troubles, to get you to see you are only "reaping what you ______" (Galatians 6:7,8). To try to remove God’s payback for your sin is to ignore God, and to reap more troubles. Then there are the times when you are called upon to suffer for being in the right (Philippians 1:29). Who would run to a bottle to "cope" with God's blessing (Mt 5:11,12)?

 

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." (Galatians 6:7,8)

 

"For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake." (Philippians 1:29)

 

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." (Mt 5:11)

 

For a Christian to try and use anything other than Christ to cope with problems, is like a married man running to a harlot to help him cope with his life's problems! It is just as wicked in God's eyes!

 

2.        Because they don’t have anywhere else to turn

 

a.        All humans are sinners by nature - we sin naturally. The core of our being is sinful in God's eyes. We are not pure, and holy.

b.       Our sinfulness is the source of our emptiness, and lustful desires for wrong things.

c.        The desire for Drink, is just one of many many sins that can take over a person's life.

d.       So many have been presented with religion as the answer to their sins, and sorrows, only to find it too is empty. So they turn to drink. But only Christ will satisfy when we turn to Him for the real help we need (Isa 53:4-6).

 

"Surely he (Jesus) hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:4-6)

 

3.        Because they would rather take the risk with drink, than with drugs - they shouldn’t take either risk, when there is a sure help with Christ (John 10:10)!

 

"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

 

4.        Because of pressure - friends and family are too important to you if THEY can pressure you into doing what God condemns (Mt 10:37)! What if they talk you into stealing, or lying - it is all the same - you have no excuse, no matter how much pressure you feel!

 

"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:37)

 

F.       The Lie about Drinking in “Moderation

 

1.        Nobody can “handle” fermented liquor in moderation unless the following conditions can be met:

 

a.        You have to first give a person a drink, which violates Hab 2:15. Read it and see that it is wicked to give a friend a drink!

 

Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink. (Isa 5:22)

 

b.       The person has to first drink “to excess” to find out where their limit is - this then violates the first rule of “drink” because you have to get yourself “drunk” to know when enough is enough!

c.        The person then has to keep drinking in order to develop and maintain their tolerance of drink, so that they can handle more and more without getting drunk.

 

All of this is just a balancing-act that God never intended the Christian to get into. The Christian stays clear of things that can hinder their ability to serve their Lord!

 

Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1Thes 5:22)

 

2.        Moderation is anybody’s guess because a person does not usually know when they have exceeded their own personal limit of drink until someone else sees it, or they kill someone on the highway!

3.       Alcoholic drink affects a person's alertness, and yet the apostle Peter says in 1Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"

4.        God expects a Christian to stop drinking completely at salvation:

 

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived:Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

 

And such WERE some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:9-11)

 

5.        None of the listed people are “Christian” in their actions at all! The thing to ask yourself as you re-read the list is: Can I do ANY of those things, IN ANY AMOUNT and it be right with God? (Read this question again and again until you get the meaning!)

 

a.        Neither fornicators - Fornication is sex before marriage. If we are allowed to drink in moderation, then according to this, it is ok when we commit fornication in moderation! NO! Fornication is wrong from the start!

b.       Nor idolaters - Idolatry is completely wrong. A person cannot be a Christian and still have just a few idols!

 

"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry." (1Cor 10:14)

 

c.        Nor adulterers - Adultery is sex with another partner besides your spouse and is completely wrong - No Christian is right with God if they even commit adultery ONCE (Heb 13:4)! They must repent, confess, and FORSAKE the sin - not just "reduce" it!

 

"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." (Hebrews 13:4)

 

d.       Nor effeminate - Being effeminate is when a man acts like a female, and is beginning down the road to homosexuality. God says that it is wrong for a man to stop being masculine, and says acting like a woman even in moderation is wicked!

e.        Nor abusers of themselves with mankind - This is homosexuality, and is not condoned in the slightest! It is an abomination to God!

 

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." (Lev 20:13)

 

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence (punishment) of their error which was meet (fitting)." (Rom 1:26,27)

 

f.         Nor thieves - Thievery is wicked, and wrong even in the slightest amount for a Christian! You cannot separate petty theft from big-time stealing. Stealing is wrong in all amounts!

 

"Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." (Eph 4:28)

 

g.       Nor covetous - Covetousness is wrong, and is not OK for the Christian just as long as that Christian doesn’t let it take control of their life - it is just completely wrong (Ex 20:17)!

h.       Nor drunkards - Most people when they come to this verse read all the above descriptions correctly, but when they get to the word “drunkards” here they only imagine that God does not want a Christian to get “plastered” drunk, and that it is OK if they drink a little. Sorry! Just as with ALL the other words, God has no tolerance for the Christian even dabbling in any of this sin! God considers a person who drinks even “in moderation” the same as a person who gets drunk. To "take" just one item from a store brands you as a "thief." To kill just one person brands you as a murderer! To drink just ONE alcoholic drink identifies you in God's eyes (maybe not in people's eyes), but in GOD's eyes as a DRUNK!

i.         Nor revilers - A reviler is a bad tempered man or woman, and God says that the Christian is NOT to lose their temper at all!

j.         Nor extortioners - Extortion is the illegal gain of money. A Christian is never to obtain money illegally, even if it is in “moderation!”

 

None of the above people “shall inherit the kingdom of God.” And so the Bible continues, “And such WERE some of you: but ye are washed (cleansed from the sins), but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1Cor 6:11).

 

Notice that the Christians in Corinth had at some time in the past been sinful in one or more of the above areas, butthat NOW, because of Jesus Christ saving them, they are different - they surely WERE that way, but are NOW washed, sanctified, and justified by Christ - and they were not supposed to try and “cut back” on adultery, idolatry, thievery, homosexuality, or drunkenness. They were supposed to stop all of it completely, and live for Jesus Christ - the One who saved them "______ their sins" (Mt 1:21), not saved them to be able to remain IN their sins.

 

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."

 

G.       Questions from Other Scriptures - Here are presented some verses that people quote to prove drinking in moderation for a Christian is permissible:

 

"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit"  Ephesians 5:18

 

1.        Ephesians 5:18  The question is, whether the “excess” is in being drunken (which is usually thought), or in the wine itself (see Pr 20:1)?

 

a.        Look at 1 Peter 4:4. Is it ok if a Christian does just a "little" rioting, as long as it is in moderation? NO! The riot itself is excessive, just like wine itself is excessive!

 

"Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you" (1 Peter 4:4)

 

b.       The Christian has been converted at salvation from sin's power to the power in the life of Jesus Christ, and therefore, the person's desires have been converted - they have been changed from seeking satisfaction in wine, money, rebellion (riot) and pleasures, to seeking the things of God, and especially the Holy Spirit!

c.        Most "Christians" only dabble in yielding to the Holy Spirit because they want to continue to "dabble" in yielding to the desire for wine and beer and strong drink! God help us to get either on one side or the other. Jesus said in Rev 3:16,17, "thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."

 

"A bishop then must be … not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous"  1Timothy 3:2,3

 

2.        1 Timothy 3:3  The question here is whether “given” can only mean “intoxicated” or “addicted” to something. Look at verse 2 where “given to hospitality” is not intended to mean “intoxicated” with it, but open, and welcoming it to happen in your daily life. The Christian is commanded NOT to welcome drink into their life, nor to be open to drinking AT ALL! In other words, don't even desire it!

 

"Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre"  1 Timothy 3:8

 

1 Timothy 3:8  “...not given to much wine” is referring to home use where you CAN use old wine in medicinal uses, but the Christian is to be careful not to get used to having it in everything you eat and drink. People can abuse a drug that was meant to aid medicinally, and end up getting addicted to it - like modern kids “sniffing glue!” Glue is good to have around your home - but make sure that you don’t find yourself buying loads of it to sustain someone’s “habit!”

3.        “habit!” The wine here is like the wine of Romans 14:21, ("It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink  wine , nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak"), where the Deacon must be above question, and careful not to allow in his home what would cause others to stumble, including even grape juice. Remember, the same kind of "bottles" that held intoxicating wine, also would at other times hold fresh, grape juice. The problem would be for the new believer to discern whether "deacon so and so" was drinking alcohol, or new wine (the bottles weren't probably labelled).

 

"For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre" Tit 1:7

 

4.        Titus 1:7  Again, it is the same thing as 1Timothy 3:3, but especially notice the words “not given to filthy lucre” - if we can drink to moderation, then, as long as we are moderate about it, we can partake of filthy lucre (money obtained wrongfully, just for the love of it)! The Bible is its own interpreter. The words "not given to" means "not desiring it."

 

"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things"

Titus 2:3

 

5.        Titus 2:3  not given to much wine.” See 1 Timothy 3:8 above. The problem here is whether a person is allowed to drink as long as "much" is not consumed. No. The command is that the older women of the passage were to resist the constant pressure of the day to turn to wine, and to teach the younger women GOOD things, not how to drink!

 

"And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine." Acts 2:12,13

 

6.        Acts 2:12,13drunk with new wine” - Those who doubted the supernatural nature of the events of Pentecost came up with some illogical conclusions about why it was happening:

 

a.        Some said this was “crazy” (saying this event had no meaning).

b.       Others thought they were drunk with “________ wine,” which is only a derogatory statement. Nobody can get drunk on NEW wine because grape juice does not have any intoxication. It is like saying they were drunk because of drinking buttermilk - being unable to handle anything more than milk. The world just brands things that they don't understand as crazy, or immature. That’s how they treat most of history, and the Bible.

 

"For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you"  1Peter 4:3,4

 

7.        1 Peter 4:3  excess of wine” - This implies that as long as you don’t get caught up in drinking wine “to excess” (where you get drunk), then you are all right with God. According to Ephesians 5:18, the excess is IN the fermented wine to begin with - it is built into wine. The thing that Peter points out in this verse is that these Christians were no longer caught-up in the excess of wine - they had been saved, and their thirst for liquor had been converted to a thirst for God and His Holy Spirit! For further proof, look at verse 4, where the excess is found in the “rioting” - it is NOT good for a person to riot, as long as it was in moderation, and not in excess - that would be silly!

 

John 2:1-11

"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.  And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.  His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.  Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him."

 

8.        John 2:1-11the water that was made wine” - This is usually where everyone refers to when they want to justify their desire to drink alcoholic wine, never imagining for one moment that the wine these people were drinking might actually be just fresh grape juice!

 

a.        Can you imagine Jesus showing up three days into a drunken binge, and offering them MORE liquor? Go on, think about it!!!

b.       Jesus would be violating His own rules if He gave His neighbour alcoholic “drink” (Hab 2:15).

c.        Jesus made extra special tasting pure grape juice that was enjoyed by all the members of the wedding party because they still had their discerning senses even though they had been drinking “wine” for three whole days! These people were not drunk with fermented alcoholic liquor, but were enjoying refreshing grape juice!

d.       Jesus never drank wine that was mixed with anything else (Mk 15:23), but was only fresh from the vine (Mark 14:25)!

 

"And they gave him (Jesus on the cross) to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not." (Mark 15:23)

 

"Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God." (Mark 14:25)

 

H.      How To Overcome the Addiction, and Attraction to Liquor - The following list is a basic outline of things a person has to do to win over the addiction of alcohol - for a more thorough study, contact Pastor Craig.

 

1.        Accept the fact that no one is born an alcoholic, but rather we are all born sinners, and therefore sin - some by drinking, and others by thieving, etc. Without the salvation that Christ purchased on His cross, there is no victory available over drink or any other sin in your life!

2.        Get saved (Mt 1:21; 11:28,29). You cannot win over addiction without the victorious power of Christ in your life! This cannot be over-emphasized: an alcoholic must not seek to become sober, or become a better husband, or anything but a defeated sinner who surrenders to the saving power of Jesus Christ (Rom 10:13)! You must come to the living SAVIOUR, and only then will you find rest in your SOUL!

 

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matt 1:21)

 

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Matt 11:28,29)

 

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13)

 

3.        Surrender your entire life over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Mt 7:24-27) - Let HIM be the authority that tells you how to live your life - no longer live for your own appetites! Don’t be a slave to your habits - instead, be a prisoner of Jesus Christ from now on (Eph 4:1)!

 

"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." (Matthew(Mt 7:24-27)

 

4.        Repent of drink as a wicked and evil sin against both God, and the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is your body (1 Cor 3:17; 6:19,20). This means more than being sorry - it means forsaking the sin of drink, and replacing it with the Holy Spirit of God (Prov 28:13)!

 

"If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." (1 Cor 3:17)

 

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Cor 6:19,20)

 

5.        Replace the drink with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18).

 

"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18)

 

a.        Fast and pray through the struggles of depression, anxiety, and nervousness that got you dependant upon drink in the first place!

b.       Seek God's Holy Spirit to fill each of those holes in your life that you used to try and fill with alcoholic drink!

c.        Progressively saturate your life with God's word in study, and with God's work, as you yield to right living!

d.       Remember, sin (even drink) "shall not have _________ over you."

 

"Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:14)

 

6.        Become accountable to a mature Christian who will help you through the times you used to rely on the liquor for. This is a must. You at least need a godly, Bible-preaching pastor to whom you can rely upon for straight biblical counsel, and rebuke when needed. You also need friends that will be there for you when you struggle and want to give in.

7.        Get busy serving the Lord in your life - quit having so much time to spend drinking, and get out dealing with people about Christ! You will find that you have a load of money to use for tithing and a load of time to spend getting the gospel out to the lost!

 

III.     Brief Summary of Conclusions

 

A.      There are two kinds of wine - new (fresh squeezed) and old (alcoholic).

B.       God forbids and warns against the distribution of old wine, unless it is only for medicinal purposes.

C.       Jesus never drank old wine - He always drank it new, fresh from the grape.

D.      Drinking wine and strong drink “in moderation” is impossible for a Christian, just like committing adultery in moderation is impossible!

E.       Drinking beer is the same as drinking wine in God’s eyes.

F.       The Christian who seeks to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit MUST abstain (stay totally away) from intoxicating “spirits”.

G.       There is a CURE for addition to alcohol - becoming a slave to nothing and nobody outside of Jesus Christ through His perfect word!

H.      Therefore, the only way out of addition to alcohol is found in repentance, and surrender to Christ on a daily basis, seeking to be filled with the Spirit as you study, and live by the perfect words of the living God - the Bible!

 

Craig Ledbetter is Pastor of the Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland. He can be contacted at the address bellow:  

29 Westcourt Heights, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
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