The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages

NOTE: This sermon was preached in multiple parts.  There are several audio files below to accompany the same outline.

Part 1

Part 2

Date written: July 5th, 2002

SUBJECT: Alcoholism

TITLE: The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages

PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will look at the Christian and Alcoholic beverages. To understand this relationship we must first understand 1) What the word “wine” means in the Bible. 2) That the Bible forbids the recreational consumption of alcohol. 3) That the recreational consumption of alcohol destroys both the body and the mind. 4) That it unnecessarily consumes financial resources. 4) Finally that it sets a poor example for others.

OBJECTIVE: Each hearer should be able to explain why it is a sin to recreationally drink alcoholic beverages.

AIM: To strongly impress upon the mind of each individual that it is a sin to engage in the recreational drinking of alcoholic beverages.


1. Read: Ephesians 5:17-20

2. About the Text:

1) The Christians of the early first century were called out of various evil practices.

2) One of these practices out of which they were called was the practice of drunkenness through alcohol.

3) In this passage Paul is exhorting the brethren at Ephesus not to be drunken with wine/alcohol.

4) Within this drinking alcohol lies excess.

5) In contrast they are to be filled with the Spirit.

6) Singing and giving thanks to God.

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.


I.   Preliminary Considerations — What does “wine” mean when used in Bible times?

1. Sometimes the word “wine” refers to intoxicating beverages.

i. Leviticus 10:8, 9 “And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:”

ii. Isaiah 5:11 “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!”

2. Sometimes the word “wine” refers to grape juice.

i. Matthew 9:17 “Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.”

ii. Proverbs 3:9, 10 “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”

iii. 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.”

iv. Jer.48:33 “And joy and gladness is taken from the plentiful field, and from the land of Moab; and I have caused wine to fail from the winepresses: none shall tread with shouting; their shouting shall be no shouting.”

3. It is a general description of the drink that results from squeezing grapes.

i. In its “new” state, it is non-intoxicating.

ii. In its aged state it is intoxicating.

iii. But the word “wine” can refer to either state.

II.  The Bible Clearly Forbids Recreational Drinking

1. Old Testament condemnation.

i. Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

ii. Proverbs 23:29-35 “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.”

iii. Micah 2:11 “If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.”

iv. Habakkuk 2:15 “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!”

2. New Testament condemnation.

i. Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”

ii. 1 Peter 4:3 “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:”

3. What about Jesus?

i. Many people cite Jesus as an example of one who made and drank an alcoholic beverage.

ii. Given the Old Testament condemnation of this, do we really believe this to be true?

1) The one who drinks it is “not wise.” Proverbs 20:1

2) The one who prophesies to drink it is said to be a false prophet. Micah 2:11

3) The one who gives it to his neighbor is said to be under a “Woe.” Habakkuk 2:15, Isaiah 5:11

iii. Notice the text of John 2:9, 10 “When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.”

1) The governor was able to discern between the two. Is this characteristic of those who have “well drunk” of an alcoholic beverage?

2) Notice that also they were drinking freely. Would Jesus really give an alcoholic beverage to those who were drinking freely to induce a state of drunknness?

3) These very facts indicate that in fact, this was not alcohol, but very good tasting grape juice.

III. Recreational drinking destroys both the body and the mind.

1. Drinking alcohol has been scientifically proven to destroy both the body and the mind.

2. Read through first section of material and information.

3. The body is the temple of the Lord and we are to nurture it, not destroy it. 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

4. We are to constantly bring our minds into subjection. How can we do this when under the willful influence of recreational alcohol?

5. 1 Corinthians 10:4, 5 “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

6. How can we bring every thought into captivity when we are purposefully loosing our inhibitions through the recreational consumption of alcohol?

IV.  Recreational drinking sets a poor example and has a destructive influence.

1. Romans 14:21 “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.”

2. Does the recreational drinking of alcoholic beverages cause others to stumble? There should be no doubt in our mind regarding that issue.

3. Read from handouts about influence.


1. Based upon both the scriptures and facts that have been set before us today. How can we conclude that the recreational consumption of alcohol is anything less than sinful and repugnant to God?

i. The Bible forbids it.

ii. It destroys the body and mind.

iii. It sets a poor example and has a destructive influence.

2. Invitation

i. If you are a Christian but have fallen away

1) Perhaps you have come under the influence of alcohol at sometime.

2) Perhaps it is some other sin.

3) Sin is repugnant to God whatever the sin may be.

4) Would you repent this evening?

ii. If you are not a Christian this morning . . .

1) You need to bring yourself into a right relationship with God.

2) One of the things that one must do before becoming a Christian is repent.

3) Recreational drinking of alcohol is one of those things of which you MUST repent.

4) Heed the plan that it has for man’s salvation today!

i) Hear the word; Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing . . .”

ii) Believe with all your heart; Hebrews 11:6 “For without faith it is impossible . . . .”

iii) Repent of your sins (Acts 17:30).

iv) Confess Jesus as the Son of God (Matt.16:16).

v) Be baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15,16).