Is This For Us?

1 Corinthians 10:31-33 So whether you eat or or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumblewhether Jews, Greeks or the church of God — even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many so that they may be saved.

This maybe a touchy subject for some. But I am with those who view that drinking and being a believer in the Lord  do not mix . For me personally because  I  grew up with this in my family and know first hand the damage it causes.

I. Wine had various levels of fermentation or alcohol content.
A. New wine, in many instances fresh grape juice.

Deuteronomy 11:14; 12:17; 14:23
B. Fermented grape juice.
C. A hard liquor.

Numbers 28:7

My intention is to speak of  intoxicating wine. There is no confusion about fresh grape juice.

II. There are many positive references to wine in the Bible, including:

A. Genesis 14:18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High
B. Psalm 104:15 …wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart
C. Proverbs 31:6 Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish. (Offered to Jesus at Calvary)
D. Luke 10:34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.
E. I Timothy 5:23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

III. There are many negative references to wine in the Bible, including:
A. Genesis 9:21 When [Noah] drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.

B. Genesis 19:32 [Lot’s two daughters said,] “Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father.” The resulting offspring of this incest began the Moabite and Ammonite nations, traditional enemies of Israel.
C. Leviticus 10:9 [Instructions to Aaron and his sons the priests] You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the Tent of Meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.
D. Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.
E. Proverbs 31:4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel — not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer.

IV. Jesus turned water into wine.
John 2:1-10

The account does not show either Jesus or His disciples drinking the wine.

V. Intoxicating wine may not have been used at the Last Supper.
Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18

All three accounts use the expression “fruit of the vine”. Nothing can be conclusively proven here as to the alcoholic content of the beverage used.

VI. Requirements are established for elders and deacons.
A. Concerning I Timothy 3:3

KJV: “not given to wine”
NASB: “not addicted to wine”
RSV: “no drunkard”
NIV: “not given to much wine”

B. Concerning deacons — I Timothy 3:8
KJV: “not given to much wine”

NASB: “not addicted to much wine”
RSV: “not addicted to much wine”
NIV: “not indulging in much wine”

VII. Choose the “beneficial” and the “constructive” over the “permissible”.
A. The biblical premise:

1. 1 Corinthians 6:12 “Everything is permissible for me” — but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me” — but I will not be mastered by anything.

2. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 “Everything is permissible” — but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible” — but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.

B. “Permissible” in the realm of food.

I Timothy 4:4-5 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

C. “Beneficial” and “constructive” in the realm of food
Romans 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble

D. “Permissible” concerning the drinking of wine I Timothy 5:23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
E. “Beneficial” and “constructive” concerning the drinking of wine

Romans 14:21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall

VIII. Statistics condemn alcohol abuse.
A. In 1987, one of every four Americans said that drinking had been a problem in their homes. Four of every ten Americans (41%) report having suffered physical, psychological, or social pain as a result of someone else’s drinking (Prevention Express magazine, September 1991).

B. In ten years, 59,000 Americans died in Vietnam. In ten years, 235,000 Americans died on U.S. roads from accidents involving drunk drivers (Dave Roever video)

C. There are 25,000 murders and suicides a year in the U.S. that are influenced by alcohol. One half of all people arrested have a drinking problem (Encyclopedia Americana).

D. Among native Americans, most tribes consider alcohol and other drug problems to be their most important health issue
E. State trooper George Dahl in Bethel, Alaska, says, “There is no serious crime without alcohol.”

F. In Alaska in 1987, 58% of all traffic fatalities were alcohol related.

G. Alaska’s child sexual abuse rate is six times the national average. 78.9% of perpetrators of sexual abuse and 63.3% of the perpetrators of incest were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the offense.
H. Among the health problems increased by alcoholism are liver damage, some heart diseases, stomach ulcers and gastritis, malnutrition, cancer of the mouth, esophagus or stomach, brain damage, and damage to a developing child in the womb. The lives of alcoholics are typically shortened by 10 to 12 years.

SUMMARY:
1. There are positive references to wine in the Scriptures
2. There are negative references to wine in the Scriptures.
3. We must discern between that which is merely permissible and that which is beneficial and constructive
4. Let us not selfishly seek our own good, but the good of the many

WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS NOT DRINK ALCOHOL?
1. Say “NO” because you may justify social drinking as permissible, but it is most assuredly not beneficial, not constructive — not to ourselves, not to our families, not to society.

2. Say “NO” to avoid the ever-present potential of offending or stumbling others. That would be a sin. If I were to choose to be a social drinker and my example led others to do the same, with harmful consequences, then my drinking would have become an occasion of offense and stumbling to them. That alone is reason enough for me to choose continual abstinence from intoxicating drinks.
3. Say “NO” because alcohol is a serious social and public health problem. As the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:13f),

christians should determine not to be part of the problem, but rather part of the solution by choosing the safe path of abstinence from alcohol.

 

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5 thoughts on “Is This For Us?

  1. Margaret says:

    Liz,

    I think the conclusion in God’s word is contained in 1 Corinthians 6:12 — “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”

    God’s word does not condemn all strong drink — only those who allow strong drink to master them….. Those people who allow liquor to master them and who use it to hide from their problems have a weakness in this area….. They do need to abstain because they do not have the strength to quit after one drink….. So, they harm themselves and others around them.

    But, it is wrong to condemn those who have the common sense to stop after the first drink….. A person who knows how to control himself should not drink in front of a known alcoholic, because it might be too great of a temptation.

    We have all sorts of things in this world that we have to learn to use with control…. Examples are food, sex, money, work….. Each of these has a purpose that is good when used wisely and within the parameters God has laid out…. But, the over use or wrong use of any of these is sinful, harmful to ourselves, and harmful to those around us.

    Our main intent should be to glorify God whether we drink or abstain…. In verses like Exodus 29:40, a fermented wine was used in the morning offering, so what God calls good is good when used according to His word.

    I think if a person chooses to abstain, that is good — or if a person has an occasional drink, that is fine…. We need to humbly keep in mind Colossians 2:16 — “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.”

    If we live in a manner that glorifies God, that is all that matters.

    Margaret

  2. Liz says:

    thanks Margaret for your input.. As I said this subject has many different takes on it.

    The fermented wine in that day was basically grape juice. Nothing like what we have today.

    But any case I have learned we can agree to disagree and we have our own convictions.

    Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
    ~ Ephesians 5:18

  3. Margaret says:

    Liz,

    Right on!…. Ephesians 5:18 get to the point…. We are definitely not to get drunk, because that will certainly lead to immoral excesses…. And, when we allow God to fill our lives, we can live in the freedom of His love and salvation in Christ Jesus….. We need to be God-pleasing in all aspects of our living.

    Margaret

  4. Tishrei says:

    Hi Liz,

    I read this the other day and have thought about your post. I do really understand what you’re saying. The only thing that I would say that I am not so sure I would agree is that wine is not for the Christian. Jesus turned water into wine — He would not have done such a thing if it was a problem. The scripture goes on to say that He did not do that until after people were feeling pretty good after drinking the less quality wine. I’m not saying they were drunk but it was alcohol. As to the wine being different then, it had less alcohol than our wine of today does. Also, you have to keep in mind that they had no way to keep grape juice preserved. There was no refrigeration. If you leave out grape juice, it starts to grow yucky stuff in it (I know, I’ve done that by accident). The only way to preserve the fruit of the vine is to ferment it so it does not go bad.

    If you look at when passover is, it is apparent that it is long after the harvest and without any means to preserve grape juice, they had no choice but ferment it (alcohol).

    Just logistically, they had no choice. Today we do. We can run to the market and pick up a bottle of grape juice and keep it our fridge so it doesn’t go bad. Jesus drank wine and so did everybody else back then.

    If it is a problem for someone today, they should abstain. If someone does not have a problem, then there is nothing in any way sinful about drinking wine. Jesus drank wine. Getting drunk is a whole other issue and I agree with you on that one.

  5. Liz says:

    Thanks both of you for your insight. Yes back in Jesus day theirs was not as strong as what we have today. You had to drink alot of it to effect you.

    I myself am just against it period. I want to have self control and am called to. And the way I look at it is if you are thirsty just have juice. For any other reason to drink other then for taste in my book is just not right. You have to admit there is some effect that is desired to even have one in the first place. Maybe I am so against it because I grew up with it and I hate it actually.

    Yes some people can say no after one, but for those who can`t it does effect those around you. Even if you can`t see it or do not WANT to see . After say three drinks you are not in control any more and that is a fact.

    anyway I just thought I would put this topic up to see other christians views on it. So thanks.

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