According to a study conducted by JAMA Psychiatry; “A new study shows that 32 million Americans, nearly one in seven adults, have struggled with a serious alcohol problem in the last year alone” (1). This goes to show how much of an impact alcohol is having on Americans today. Yet, Ephesians 5:18 says “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
We are to only be controlled by the Spirit of the Lord, not by any substances such as alcohol. The devil uses alcohol as the worldly substitute for a Spirit-filled life. We have greater influence than alcohol it’s the Holy Spirit. Alcohol is devil in liquid form. When you take it, you lose control. When you get filled with the Holy Spirit you find control over your emotions and life.
Alcohol doesn’t deliver what it promises, the following was sent by a member of Alcoholics Anonymous to columnist Ann Landers:
- People drink to escape problems but they multiply
- People drink for freedom but become slaves
- People drink to forget but get forever haunted
- People drink to feel heavenly but end being hellish
- People drink for strike up a conversation but have slurred speech
- People drink for confidence but become doubtful
- People drink for bravery but become afraid
- People drink for relaxation but begin shaking
- People drink for strength but become weak
- People drink for sleep but can’t rest
- People drink for friendship but become enemies
- People drink for sophistication but become obnoxious
- People drink for sociability but become argumentative
- People drink for joy but are miserable
- People drink for happiness but become unhappy
Proverbs 23:29-35 speaks clearly of the dangers of alcohol and those who abuse it. The destruction caused by alcohol brings sorrow, contention, foolishness, mutilation, mental anguish, poor health, and more.
If we are to break down verse 29 alone, we see sorrow, contention, complaints or babbling, mutilation, and mental anguish as symptoms of alcohol consumption.
Sorrow is seen through people getting lost after turning to alcohol. It is seen time and again that even born-again Christians become different. People become angry, rebellious, and violent, which often leads to divorce, abuse, and neglect of those near and dear.
Contention creeps into once happy and thriving relationships and families. Fighting, arguing, and violence bring a wedge into relationships, leading to the separation of families.
Complaining and babbling is something we are all guilty of at times; however, while intoxicated all inhibitions leave. This leaves a person to make foolish decisions that last forever.
The mutilation factor is associated with the huge death toll that is associated with alcohol abuse. Over 200,000 people are victims to alcohol related deaths each year. This includes car accidents, domestic accidents, homicides, etc. To put this number in perspective, the casualties of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were roughly 115,000 lives lost.
“Redness of the eyes” is associated with mental anguish. When one weeps or lacks sleep, their eyes are red. Sadly, people are drinking trying to find happiness and in the end it is the one thing they have the least of! While they might have fun while drinking and partying, the joy is temporary, and often forgotten.
Verse 32 speaks of the bite of a serpent. Alcohol is associated as a caused for 7 cancers, in addition to high blood pressure, depression, and dementia. Why do people vomit after lots of drinking? Their stomach has more sense than the brain to rid itself of this toxin, like it does with food poisoning.
Verse 33 is scary in that alcohol causes hallucinations and immorality. Hallucinations speak for themselves, but the immortality comes from the perverse uttering of one’s heart. These lead to lowered inhibitions and self control, often leading directly to sin.
Verse 35 speaks of insensibility of dulled senses and the addiction that seeks the next drink above sleep.
Regardless of personal convictions, the Bible is clear in its stance on alcohol. The Word condemns the drink itself in Proverbs 20:1. We are the children of God, and He wants his children to be free of the hold and oppression of alcohol. On the contrary, He desires us to be under the influence of the Spirit.
Wine is called a mocker in Proverbs 20:1, and it deceives those who drink of it. It promises happiness, friendship, joy, strength, confident, and free, but it actually causes one to be unhappy, lonely, miserable, weak, afraid, and slaves.
The Bible is also clear that mature Christians should avoid causing others to stumble by drinking (Romans 14:21). Many people in our church have been freed from this bondage. This addiction cost them a lot of money, time from family and even some went to jail for that. The last thing we need to do is to cause them stumble by drinking socially.The devil uses alcohol as the worldly substitute for a Spirit-filled life. While alcohol causes loss of control, the Holy Spirit offers self-control. Click To Tweet
Leaders ought to avoid drinking alcohol (Proverbs 31:4-7) and cannot be given to drunkenness (1 Timothy 3:3, 8 Titus 1:7). Those leaders who say, well we will drink in moderation.
First of all, it’s very hard to do with alcohol.
Secondly, what you do in moderation as a leader, people will do in excess. One beer might not send me to hell, but it could lead ten people there who saw me, and followed my example.
Drinking ruins our Christian testimony. Max Lucado said, “One thing for sure, I have never heard anyone say, ‘A beer makes me feel more Christlike . . . Fact of the matter is this: People don’t associate beer with Christian behavior.”
It’s time to stop being sipping saints.
It’s time to stop being slipping saints.
It’s time to stop being sleeping saints.
It’s time to be sanctified saints.
What about the wine that Jesus made at the marriage feast? Was it alcoholic?
The Greek word used here is “oinos,” a variation of the Hebrew word “yayin.” This word can refer to grape juice in any stage, either fermented, or unfermented. Regardless of your opinion of casual drinking, I’m sure most of you will agree that drunkenness is definitely a sin. In light of this, would Jesus contribute to drunkenness? At the time Jesus had arrived at the feast, the guests had “well drunk” of whatever they were drinking (verse 10). Jesus knew the warnings of Habakkuk 2:15, “Woe to him who gives his neighbor intoxicating drink.”. Note: If it is a sin to put alcohol to our neighbor’s lips, would it not also be a sin to put it to our own? With this in mind, we can be sure that the beverage Jesus made was a refreshing, nonalcoholic grape drink. To do otherwise would have been totally incompatible with His nature. (2)
The Bible says alcoholic drink is evil. It is not just the amount one drinks that makes drinking a sin. God condemns the drink itself.
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1 KJVGod does not lead us into evil; He delivers us from it. Jesus didn't teach us to practice evil in moderation. Click To Tweet
God does not lead us into evil; He delivers us from it. He does not teach us to practice evil in moderation. Jesus did not make, use, approve, commend, or tell us to use intoxicating wine. God made man to have fellowship with Him. Alcohol goes directly to the brain, the communication center of the body. It interferes with God’s purpose for mankind.
Few examples of what alcohol did to people in the Bible:
Noah became drunk; the result was immorality and family trouble.Genesis 9:20-26
Lot was so drunk he did not know what he was doing; this led to immoralityGenesis 19:30-38
God commanded priests not to drink so that they could tell the difference between the holy and the unholy.Leviticus 10:9-11
The Nazarites were told to eat or drink nothing from the grape vine.Numbers 6:3
A drunken son was stubborn and rebellious.Deuteronomy 21:20
God gave no grape juice to Israel nor did they have intoxicating drink in the wilderness.Deuteronomy 29:5-6
Intoxicating wine is like the poison of serpents, the cruel venom of asps.Deuteronomy 32:33
Samson was to be a Nazarite for life. His mother was told not to drink wine or strong drink.Judges 13:4, 7, 14
Accused, Hannah said she drank no wine.1 Samuel 1:14-15
Nabal died after a drunken spree.1 Samuel 25:32-38
By getting Uriah drunk, David hoped to cover his sin.2 Samuel 11:13
Amnon was drunk when he was killed.2 Samuel 13:28-29
The king was drinking himself into drunkenness when he was assassinated1 Kings 16:8-10
Ben-Hadad and 32 other kings were drinking when they were attacked and defeated by the Israelites.1 Kings 20:12-21
The king gave each one all the drink he wanted. The king was intoxicated when he commanded the queen to come.Esther 1:5-12
Alcoholic drink is called the wine of violence.Proverbs 4:17
Kings, Princes, and others who rule and judge must not drink alcohol. Alcohol perverts good judgment.Proverb 31:4-5
Strong drink could be given to those about to perish or those in pain. Better anesthetics are available today.Proverbs 31:6-7
Woe to those who get up early to drink and stay up late at night to get drunk.Isaiah 5:11-12
The Rechabites drank no grape juice or intoxicating wine and were blessed.Jeremiah 35:2-14
A drinking servant is unprepared for his Lord’s return.Matthew 24:48-51
Do not walk in drunkenness or immorality.Romans 13:13
Do not do anything that will hurt your testimony as a believer.Romans 14:21
Acts of the sinful nature, such as drunkenness, will prohibit a person from inheriting the kingdom of God.Galatians 5:21
Christians are to be alert and self-controlled, belonging to the day. Drunkards belong to the night and darkness.1 Thessalonians 5:6-7
The past life of drunkenness and carousing has no place in the Christian’s life.1 Peter 4:3-4
What do you think about Christians drinking alcohol?
(1) Main, Douglas. “30 Percent of Americans Have Had an Alcohol-Use Disorder.” Newsweek, 1 Apr. 2016, www.newsweek.com/30-percent-americans-have-had-alcohol-use-disorder-339085.
(2) Jennings, Roger. Alcohol and God, members.tripod.com/bro_roger/id58.html.