TTATT-3 - The Truth About Alcohol
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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TRUTH
The wise Solomon said, “Wine is a mocker and strong drink is a brawler
and whoever is lead astray by it is not wise,” Proverbs 20:1.
Welcome to our truth series. In this lesson specifically we're dealing
with God's truth on the subject of alcohol. How many of us know someone
in our immediate family that has an alcohol problem? How many of us may
know friends or family whose marriages have been broken up because of
alcohol or whose lives are in shambles because somebody had an
alcohol-related problem? This is a subject that we need God's truth about
in our lives and in our word.
Let's realize that alcohol is an important subject mainly because it is a
biblical subject. Whatever God says on the subject we need to listen and
be prepared to accept. The Scripture says, ‘we’ve got to prove all things,
hold fast that which is good,’ Thessalonians 5:21.
When we study what God says about alcohol, we go to the Scripture
as our source; our lives need to be changed because of that. We need to
think about this important topic because it is a moral and ethical topic.
Moral, means it causes one to be right or wrong; ethically means it may
cause us to make choices when one’s under the influence that we naturally
might not do without alcohol. This being a moral, right or wrong, subject we
desperately need to see what God has to say on this. We need to study
this biblical subject because there is a lot of confusion over alcohol. Even
among Christians, there's a lot of confusion, yet, “God is not the author of
We need to realize this is a topic that we desperately need to hear
about, because it's relevant topic due to the danger of alcohol. Did you
know that three out of every ten homes are affected by alcohol? Did you
know that multitudes of marriages break up every year because of alcohol?
Domestic violence cases are induced many times by alcohol or drugs? It
affects the home greatly. There are estimated to be over 100 million
Americans who have an alcohol-related problem. A survey done by the
Gallup poll said that 64% of our population says they have drunk or still do
drink alcohol. What does God say for the child of God concerning alcohol?
Scriptures clearly teach that a Christian should not drink or use
alcohol, and should abstain from those things. There are biblical reasons
as to why such is the case. First, the Scripture teaches that alcohol has the
ability to distort one's perception of what's right and wrong or what's real
and what's not real. In Isaiah 28:7 the Scripture says, “They also have
erred through wine, and through intoxicating drink or out of the way; the
priest and the profit have erred through intoxicating drink, they are
swallowed up by wine, they are out of the way through intoxicating drink;
they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” They err in that they don't
know what is really what they're seeing. Their judgments are not as clear
as they ought to be.
In Proverbs 23:33, the Bible says of one under the influence, “Your
eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things.” Why
is alcohol something I should stay away from? It causes me to err in vision,
stumble in judgment, and I may see or perceive things that really aren't that
way. If I am to be sober, Mark 13:35-38, I’m to be watchful; I’m to be ready.
Alcohol only deters my ability to do that. Surely a Christian should abstain
from anything that's going to do that.
Secondly, a Christian should abstain from alcohol because it has the
ability to weaken one's moral of alertness or awareness. In Genesis 9,
Noah has come off of the ark, he builds a vineyard, from that vineyard he
makes wine, he drinks of that, and as result the Bible says he that becomes
drunk. What happened to Noah? The Bible says, “Someone uncovered his
nakedness and there was a curse placed upon Canaan and his family
because of that.” Would Noah have allowed that to happen, had he not
been drunk and unable to respond? No he wouldn't have.
In Genesis chapter 19:32, the Bible talks about Lot and his two
daughters. The daughters want to have husbands and children. There are
no men in that area to have relations with, so they concoct this plan. They
say let's get our father drunk and, in essence, let's have relations with him.
He wouldn't have done that had he not been drunk, but they got him drunk
and they went through with that plan. Why did they have to get him drunk to
do that? They knew that that sin and ungodliness would not have been
tolerated by Lot had he not been under the influence.
Alcohol has the ability to affect one's moral awareness and to keep
us from really being the kind of people God wants us to be. In Isaiah
5:11-12, the Bible says, “Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that
they may follow intoxicating drink, who continued until night, till wine
inflames them! The harp and the strings, the tambourine and the flute, and
wine are in their feasts, but they do not regard the work of the Lord, nor
consider the operation of His hands.” These people are under the
influence. They're not thinking about God and His things.
Why else should a Christian abstain from alcohol? We alluded to this
a little bit, but alcohol, it impairs my ability to make good decisions. Now do
you remember two priests by the names of Nadab and Abihu? Two men
who offered a strange fire to God and as a result of that ungodly sacrifice
and their strange fire, God consumed them with fire. What led them to
make that bad decision? In Leviticus 10:9, the Bible says, “Do not drink
wine or intoxicating drink, you nor your sons with you, when you go into the
tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It should be a statute forever
throughout your generations that you may distinguish between holy and
unholy, between unclean and clean, that you may teach the children of
Israel all the statutes which the Lord spoke to them by the hand of Moses.”
What's God here doing? He’s saying Nadab and Abihu, they made a bad
decision, likely affected by alcohol. God says, don't drink wine, and
continue in verse 10, “That you may teach the children.” Leviticus 10:11,
“teach the children of Israel all the statutes.” Alcohol affected their ability to
make good decisions. God said I don’t want you using that anymore.
We understand this today, if you’re operating big machinery, on the
side it will have a sign that says do not use alcohol in operating this. It
impairs one's decision-making ability. If as a Christian, I'm going to be held
accountable for my decisions, for my actions and choices, why would I
want to put anything in my body that I may not be able to distinguish good
and evil, holy and unholy, right and wrong? As a Christian, I need to be
sure that I stay away from things like unto that.
Alcohol is something that a Christian should abstain from because it
can and does cause physical sickness. Whether it is cirrhosis of the liver,
whether it is some type of heart problem or stomach problem, the use of
alcohol is known to cause physical problems. In Proverbs 23:20, there's a
man who under the influence had problems with alcohol, “Do not mix with
winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the drunkard and the
glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.”
Proverbs 23:29, “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?” Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness
of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of
A Christian should stay away from alcohol because it's hurtful and
harmful to the body. Medical science has proven it; it's not something that a
Christian ought to partake in. Alcohol has the ability to take away one's
intelligence. It is not something that will help me to be sharper it's not
something that would help me to draw closer to God. It's actually
something that would help me to be less ready to take on the world and all
the challenges that are out there. In Hosea 4:11, the Bible says, “Harlotry,
wine, and new wine enslave the heart.” They make me their master. They
take away my ability to make good decisions and use my intellect for the
things that God wants me to use them for.
Alcohol, in the Bible, is defined as the great destroyer of mankind. It
has done nothing but bring problems to mankind and all those who use it
had a host of problems that go along with that. Habakkuk 2:5 says, “Indeed
because he transgresses or sins by wine he is a proud man he does not
stay at home because he enlarges his desire is hell and he is like death
and cannot be satisfied he gathers to himself all nations and heaps up for
himself all people.” Sin is what separates us from God. In Isaiah 59:1-2, the
Bible says, “Because he transgresses by wine.” Bringing wine or alcohol in
my body greatly increases my risk; lowers my moral awareness, and has
the ability to cause me to sin when I'm under its influence. If I realize the
damning effects of sin and that alcohol can contribute to that I wouldn’t
want have anything to do with it.
In the Bible, men are actually condemned for giving other men
alcohol to drink. Not only is it wrong for me to drink it, it's wrong for me to
give it to others and contribute to their drunkenness. In Habakkuk 2:15, the
Scripture says, “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him
to your bottle even to make him drunk that you may look on his
wickedness.” Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor. Not only is it
wrong to drink it is wrong to contribute to and give it to others so that they
can become drunk and their lower their moral awareness, just as in this
context, might be turned the wrong way.
Drunkenness is something we must avoid because it might cause
one to be unprepared for the Lord's return. In Luke 12:45 and Luke 21:34,
there's the idea of the Lord coming back and some weren’t ready, some
were drunk, some weren’t sober and alert they were rather drunk when he
came they weren’t ready for it. What if the Lord came while you were under
the influence? If Jesus came would you want him to see you holding a
beer? The Lord returned in you were drunk or tipsy, is that something you
would want to be happening at the Lord's coming? Would you really be
ready and watchful at his coming if one is drunk?
The Bible clearly teaches Christians not to walk in drunkenness.
Romans 13:13 “Do not walk in drunkenness; do not be of the night, the
writer will say, “for those things are of evil, not of God.” What about a
drunken lifestyle? It’s not for Christian, not somebody who's trying to follow
Christ, the drunken lifestyle, the drunkard that's not what's pleasing to
Does the Bible teach that a Christian ought to be sober? It clearly
does. 1 Peter 5:8 is a passage talking about spiritual sobriety, so that I
could fight the devil the Scripture says, “Be sober, be vigilant for your
adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may
devour.” Now that Greek word for sober literally means complete and total
abstinence from any kind of inebriant or anything that would make me
drunk. In that context that the writer’s talking about spiritual sobriety, but if
wine and alcohol have the ability to affect my decision-making and my
moral choices; can I be spiritually sober and physically a little tipsy? The
two just don't go hand-in-hand, so the sober spiritually requires me to be
sober physically as well, because the two are naturally entwined together.
Be sober, that's God's command.
If someone asks where the passage in the Bible that says do not be
drunk is, it’s right here, God says in Ephesians 5:18, “Do not be drunken
with wine, where it is dissipation, rather be filled with the spirit.” Where’s the
Bible say it's wrong to be drunk? Right here, clearly, plainly God says, “Do
not be drunken with wine, where it is dissipation.” The idea of dissipation is
that we’re just kind of moving away from God, from his commands, from his
teaching we’re dissipating. That's the idea and so the Scriptures clearly
teach drunkenness: that's not something that God desires of his people.
1 Timothy 5:23, Paul says to Timothy, “No longer drink only water,
but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and for your frequent
infirmities.” Now in Paul and Timothy's day and age they knew that alcohol,
a little wine might settle the stomach, they knew that. Here's the point:
Timothy wanted to be such a good example, 1 Timothy 4:12, “Be an
example to the believers.” He wanted to be such a good example that
although he and Paul both knew this in their day and age Paul, as an
apostle, had to write and command him use a little wine. This is okay
medically for you to use it. Not to get drunk, that’s not what we’re talking
about. He’s not talking about overdosing, that’s not the idea. One might
take a little cough syrup that’d be the idea of settling one’s stomach. Paul
had actually command Timothy to do that even though he knew it. Why?
Timothy went so far as to abstain from it even when it might’ve been helpful
medically for him to use that. Do you see the extent Timothy took that? The
Bible does teach a Christian ought to be sober.
What does the Bible then say about social drinking? Drunkenness is
wrong, but is it okay for a Christian to go out occasionally, socially in a
restaurant and have a beer or a margarita? What’s Bible teach about that?
Again we want to let God's truth be the answer. Here's what we know, in
the Bible social drinking is not authorized by God. A lot of people will ask
where the passage is in the Bible where God says it's wrong. The Christian
does not say show me where it's wrong, the Christian says show me where
it's right. You cannot find that in the Bible. This is what God says,
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus
Christ.” If whatever I do in word or deed action or speech is to be
authorized by Christ, where is the authority for that in the Bible? 1
Corinthians 4:6 says we’re not to go beyond what's written. Can you stay
within the pages of God's holy word and authorize social drinking? Where
is that passage at?
Social drinking has the ability to ruin my Christian influence. People
who study the Bible, Christians who live by the Word of God are aware of
these passages, are aware of the evil of alcohol and if I go involved in
something like that socially and people say that, that has the ability to affect
my way to reach people, my Christian influence. The Bible says in Matthew
5:16 “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works
and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.”
Now you take this for an instance or for an illustration, let's say that
you're driving down the road; you pass a bar and I'm coming out the door.
Would you turn and say, ‘There went Ben, what a great Christian influence
he’s being.” I doubt that would be what you say. You'd have a lot of
questions wouldn’t you? 1 Peter 2:21, the Bible says we're to follow in the
footsteps of Jesus. Can you follow Jesus to the bar? Can you follow the
footsteps of Jesus and socially drink?
Some will say at the wedding in Cana in John 2, Jesus created
120-160 gallons of wine to people who had already drunk well. If He did
you better close your Bible, go home, and throw your Christianity away. In
Habakkuk two verse fifteen, the Scripture says, “Do not give wine to your
neighbor, making him drunk.” If Jesus is perfect, and He is (Hebrews 4:15);
and if the Bible says one is not to contribute to somebody else's
drunkenness, and in John 2 they had already drunk well, either Jesus
violated the law or he didn’t make alcoholic wine. If you study the word
wine in the New Testament and Old, it’s dependent on the context. The
Greek word oinos can mean grapes that have been freshly squeezed or it
can mean alcoholic. Let's not assume that it’s referring to alcoholic wine.
The master at the house said it best, “You’ve saved the best for last.” You
saved the freshest for last is the idea. Are we going to say Jesus got
people drunk? Not and be in accordance with the law of God.
Thirdly a person shouldn’t drink socially because they should abstain
from every appearance of evil. Is drunkenness and alcohol associated with
evil? You bet it is. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from
every form of evil.” A Christian shouldn’t drink socially because it's
associated with worldliness (James 4:4). Drinking might be a stumbling
block to a new Christian, because it's spiritually dangerous. How can you
be involved in things like that and really say that we’re putting the kingdom
of God first in our lives? What does the Bible teach? Like with sexual lust
the Bible teaches abstinence is best, in 1 Peter 2:11, the Scripture says, “I
beg you as sojourners and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lust which war
against the soul.” Is alcohol fleshly lust? You bet it is. It makes one feel
good in his flesh, it makes one feel good in their mind. It is a fleshly lust and
what does the Bible say? Here's God's word, “Abstain from fleshly lust
which war against the soul.”
On behalf of our nation, on behalf of Lord's Church, and on behalf of
families everywhere, we plead with you; accept God's truth as it relates to
God does not want Christians to be drunk, He wants them to be alert,
to be sober, to be ready, to fight the good fight of faith; to run the race, and
God doesn't want people running the race stumbling and drunk. That’s not
the way God wants it. God wants us to run with endurance the race is set
before us looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
Let's let God's word be the final say about alcohol and completely
abstain from this evil, ungodly lust.
Study Questions for: “Truth Series: Alcohol”
1. In Proverbs 20:1, what does it say about a person who’s lead astray by
wine or strong drink?
2. According to 1 Thessalonians 5:21, what should we hold fast to?
3. According to Isaiah 28:7, what does drinking lead to?
4. What do people under the influence experience according to Proverbs
5. Why should we be sober and ready according to Mark 13:35?
6. What happens to Noah because of his weakened moral awareness in
7. According to Genesis 19:32, to get Lot to go along with his daughters’
sinful plan, what had to happen?
8. In Leviticus 10:9, what are they told to do?
9. What does Hosea 4:11 say about wine?
10. What does 1 Peter 5:8 command us to be?