Is Drinking Alcohol A Sin?
By Jeramiah A. Giehl
Introduction: Throughout history, there have been many debates on whether Christians should drink any alcohol or not, and if so, how much? Many people use fuzzy logic and say the Bible isn’t clear on this topic that the decision is up to each person. There are many arguments for and against the use of alcohol; even Jesus first recorded miracle was that of making water into wine. One common argument is that wine was drunk in the Bible times. Another argument is as long as you don’t get drunk it’s okay; didn’t Paul tell Timothy to drink? Was it wine they drunk at the lords supper? It is important to have a balance and not to cause others to stumble.
Thesis: As in many controversies in the Church I believe that each individual should make up their own mind as their conscious and scripture dictates.
I. One of the greatest miracles involved the replication of water into wine.
1. According to the book of John “Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the water pots with water… Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast… When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine… the master of the feast called… he said to him, ‘Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!’ This beginning of signs Jesus did… and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him,” (2:1-11).
2. This was the first miracle Jesus did
A. It was to manifest His glory
B. Because of this event the disciples believed who He was
II. Many argue that wine was used in biblical times so it’s okay to drink wine today.
1. Here are some controversial scriptures referring to wine;
A. “The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners,” (Mathew 11:19).
B. “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18).
C. “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities,” (1 Timothy 5:23).
D. “Give… wine unto those that be of heavy hearts,”(Prov. 31:6).
2. These are just a few of the references that specifically talk about wine.
A. Jesus used parables about wine and never rebuked anyone for it
B. However he did rebuke the rich man for being rich, (Matt. 9:17).
3. Some argue that the Wine that was used may have been non-alcoholic.
A. However to this is to infer into the text
B. Wine was as common back then as water and soda are today.
III. Is it okay to drink a little wine since Paul told Timothy to drink wine?
1. Paul told Timothy, “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine,”
A. Yes Paul did tell Timothy to drink Oinos translated wine
B. This word oinos means the juice from a grape in many forms;
1. Concentrated grape juice
2. Preserved grape juice
3. Grape juice from dried grape powder
4. Crushed grapes
5. Diluted grape juice or,
6. Fermented wine.
C. Wine has been proven to be good for your heart and can prevent heart attacks.
1. This is believed to be due to the flavanoids in the wine
2. Scripture collaborates this argument, Psalms 104:15 says, “And wine that makes glad the heart of man, Oil to make his face shine, And bread which strengthens man’s heart.”
D. Whereas wine maybe be good for the heart in moderation in excess it does damage
1. When asked about the effects of alcohol in liver diseases Dr. Woods had this to say, “In the United States, alcohol is a major cause of liver disease.”
E. Drinking has its positive and negative effects.
1. Weigh these facts when deciding to consume wine
2. At all cost avoid the appearance of evil.
IV. Did the disciples and Jesus drink wine during the Lord’s Supper?
1. No biblical writer uses the word oinos in regard to the Lord’s Supper.
2. The biblical writers were very specific in their wording.
A. Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:25, and Luke 22:18 all specifically state that they drunk the “fruit of the vine,”
B. Or the pure, new and unchanged juice that comes directly out of a freshly squeezed grape.
C. Jesus said, “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.” (Matthew 26:29)
V. It is a sin to be a drunkard.
1. Proverbs says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise,” (20:1).
2. Paul had this to say to Timothy about the requirements church leadership, “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine,” (1 Timothy 3:8).
3. Paul even admonished Timothy about the elderly women in his church saying, “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine,” (Titus 2:3).
4. Note in both cases it says not given to much wine.
VI. Kings and Priest in the Old Covenant were not supposed to drink wine
1. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords and our great High priest as such He is our example. (Revelation 19:6; Hebrews 4:14-16).
2. The old covenant which the word of God says Jesus fulfilled says that Kings are not to touch wine and that Priests are not to touch wine, (Proverbs 31:4; Leviticus 10:6)
3. This same principle carries over to the new covenant Church. All Christians are called to be kings and priests with Jesus. (Revelation 1:6; 1 Peter 2:5,9).
4. As such we should not violates God’s temple and drink wine
VII. Some say that drinking alcohol is a cultural thing
1. In Europe I saw pastor and deacons drinking wine and beer
A. In Europe it as common to drink water as you would wine
2. However in the U.S. wine is the cause of many deaths.
A. More kids die by accident than any other cause of death among
B. Over half of those deaths are by drunk driving.
C. One drink of alcohol permanently kills off an irreplaceable piece of brain.
D. All alcohols kill.
1. Methyl blinds you as you die.
2. But ethyl is the only one that kills you slow so you don’t notice how you die.
Conclusion: As we have seen biblically drinking wine in moderation maybe acceptable in some cultures. Whereas all things may be feasible not all things are beneficial, (1 Corinthians 6:12). Paul told the Corinthians this, “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble,” (1 Corinthians 8:13). If it causes your brother to stumble or to struggle then we must avoid being a stumbling block at all cost. Your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost would you defile it with alcoholic beverages that impair your judgment and health. There are repercussions for drinking in excesses and getting drunk. There is a balance, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God,” (1 Corinthians 10:31). I would like to end this with the question does it bring glory to Christ or does it nail him to the cross?
AmericanHeart.org. 4 April 2003. Alcohol, Wine and Cardiovascular Disease. 6 April 2003 <http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4422>.
CBMC.org. Beers and Health. 6 April 2003 <http://www.cbmc.org/ukpages/beerhealth/page1.htm>.
Wood, Dr. 22 February 2000 “Ask the Doctor – Liver Disease.” 7 April 2003 <http://www.liveworld.com/transcripts/HoustonChronicle/2-22-2000-1.html>
Share this Post