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Biblical Truth About Alcohol, 12/1/14

Many believers are confused about what the bible teaches about the question of drinking alcohol.  But the scriptures are very clear on this matter.   The bible most clearly teaches that it is not sinful to drink wine but it does say that to drink too excess and become drunk is sinful.  First, to clarify these questions we need to establish that the wine that the bible speaks of is actually alcoholic wine.  There is a common religious deception and bondage that many believers are trapped in that says that the wine Jesus drank was not alcoholic wine but was rather a non-alcoholic grape juice.  This simply is not biblical.  Let's look at the scripture:

Ephesians 5:18
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

The above verse clearly establishes for us that drunkenness is not approved of by God.  It also is obviously talking about wine on which one can get drunk: alcoholic wine. Likewise this following verse shows the same thing:

Luke 1:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.

In the above verse the association of wine together with strong alcohol makes clear that the wine referred to is alcoholic.  And this is in reference to John being a Nazirite, a relatively rare calling in the Lord's economy, thus implying that non-Nazirites are blessed to drink alcohol in moderation, avoiding excess and drunkenness.

The Greek word in the original manuscript that is translated into the word "wine" in these scriptures is the word Oinos.  This is the same word that appears in the account of Jesus making the water into wine:

John 2:1-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
Water Turned to Wine
2 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”
4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And 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!”

Again, in this passage it is obvious that the kind of wine being referred to is alcoholic wine because the scripture very clearly speaks of the wedding guests typically getting drunk from it.  The idea, as some of these religious grape juice believers claim, that the master of the banquet praised grape juice over the real alcoholic wine they had already consumed at the wedding in Cana, is absolutely ridiculous and an obvious twisting of the Word of God.  So we see that Jesus made alcoholic wine out of water.  Clearly Jesus would not have made wine that God says is sinful to drink. 

We see that Jesus has an attitude of looking forward to drinking wine at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb  when his Kingdom is fully established on earth:

Matthew 26:29 New King James Version (NKJV)
29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

So Jesus obviously has no objection to a responsible us of wine that does not lead to drunkenness.

We know the Holy Spirit led Paul to counsel Timothy to use alcoholic wine for his health because again the word OINOS is used in this passage:

1 Timothy 5:23 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.

So the New Testament is abundantly clear the alcoholic wine is blessed of God if it is used responsibly and not unto drunkenness. 

So please do not let any hollow religious teaching that restricts your freedoms in Christ put you in bondage by telling you that drinking alcoholic wine is sinful.  It is a claim that simply does not hold up to biblical scrutiny.  The fact is that this kind of teaching comes from a religious spirit and should not be followed.  This is the kind of thing the apostle Paul was talking about when he said:

Colossians 2:20-23 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

So throw of the chains of religion and be free in Christ. Jesus went to the cross of you to be FREE, not burdened under a yoke of oppression.  If Jesus enjoys wine then you are definitely blessed to do so as well.  May God bless you and may you enjoy your freedom in Christ to partake of alcoholic wine in a godly way as long as it does not become an idol to you or source of intoxication.



Steve Pursell, 12/1/14




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