Bible Studies In The Christian Library


A group of teens crawl into the car together after a full night of partying at the prom. They run off the road and kill most involved, scarring for life the rest. Whose fault is it?

A young lady is raped and savagely beaten by some young men. Their families are shocked! These young men were not supposed to be that kind of boys. Whose fault is it?

A father comes home angry from the neighborhood pub, beats his wife and decides to "punish" a crying child. The child ends up dead. Whose fault is it?

An innocent couple make the "mistake" of being on the same road with a man using his automobile as a deadly weapon. They both die and leave a grieving family. Whose fault is it?

What is the common denominator in all these instances? Alcohol is the common factor. While we know that people are responsible for their own actions, we also know that alcoholic beverages causes people to think things they normally would not, end up in places where they normally would not go, and do things that they would normally never do. Beverage alcohol is responsible for thousands of broken lives, deaths and untold suffering. 



A. Some Old Testament passages.

Proverbs 20:1- "Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise."

Proverbs 23:29-35 "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30 Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine. 31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; 32 At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. 34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: 35 ""They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?""

Habakkuk 2:15- ""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 nakedness!"

B. Several New Testament passages deal with alcohol and drunkenness.

Romans 13:13- "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy."

1 Corinthians 6:10- "nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God."

Galatians 5:21- "envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Ephesians 5:19- "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,"

1 Peter 4:3- "For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles; when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries."

A. Not knowing the difference between the two different kinds of wines causes some confusion over the subject.
1. Some will say, "Doesn't the Bible say that alcoholic beverages in moderation is permitted."

2. There can be little doubt that the word wine is used positively in a number of passages.

3. Jesus did turn water into wine (John 2:1ff)

4. These passages also speak approvingly of wine. See Numbers 18:12; Genesis 27:28; Isaiah 55:1.

5. The confusion comes from not understand what the Bible means when it speaks of wine.

B. The Bible refers to wine as an alcoholic beverage.
1. We have already referred to many passages where wine is spoken of as being alcoholic.

2. This is easily seen in such passages as Proverbs 23:29-35 where it describes this wine as, "biting like a serpent" and causing hallucinations and character changes.

C. But the Bible also refers to non-alcoholic wine, or simply the fruit of the vine.

Isaiah 16:10- "Gladness is taken away, And joy from the plentiful field; In the vineyards there will be no singing, Nor will there be shouting; No treaders will tread out wine in the presses; I have made their shouting cease."

Isaiah 65:8- "Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all."

Leviticus 10:9- ""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 shall be a statute forever throughout your generations,"

D. When we understand this difference we can make sense of what happened in John chapter 2 with Jesus turning water into wine.

1. How could our Lord turn water into that substance which the Old Law clearly said was wrong? See passages above.

2. Jesus was sinless, therefore he could not have drank alcoholic beverages, nor encouraged others to do so. One estimate gives the amount that Jesus made as 120 gallons. The context would also strongly suggest that all the wedding guests would have been drunk had it been of an alcoholic nature. But Jesus is spoken of as being sinless. See Hebrews 4:15.

3. With these points in minds it becomes obvious that Jesus turned water into non-alcoholic wine. 

CONCLUSION: The Bible clearly condemns the drinking of alcoholic beverages. In the next lesson we will talking about some other principles (aside from the condemnation of Scripture) that would prohibit a Christian from drinking alcoholic beverages. As Thomas Eaves said, "Alcoholic beverage has many defenders but no defense."

Copyright 1999 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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