Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Alcohol and Wine in the Bible

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

In our world and culture today, we see that the consumption of alcohol is idolized. Even among so called Christians alcohol is being consumed at  parties and weddings. Many people consume alcohol regularly and it becomes an addiction that ruins their lives. We know for a fact that the consumption of alcohol by a pregnant mother is the cause of  Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or FASD  - a disability that greatly hinders the abilities of a child causing a perfectly innocent child to live with the consequences of the unwise and unnecessary choice to drink - that choice made by the mother. We see many deaths on the highway due to drunkenness, and it also contributes to poverty, broken homes, violence within families and on the streets. We would all agree that alcohol is a very dangerous substance. I believe the Bible teaches abstinence from all use of alcohol and drunkenness except that a small amounts of wine can be used for medicinal purposes and wine can also be used at the Communion service where we remember the Lord Jesus's sacrifice on the cross.
Let's look into Scripture and see what we find.

First we will look at a few verses that show where the use of wine is appropriate.
Secondly we will look at verses that show us the use of alcohol is not appropriate for a Christian.

The Use of Wine at the Lord's Supper we normally call "Communion".
It is also commonly refered to as "the cup" in the Bible - 1 Corinthians 11: 25-26 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

Matthew 26 : 27-29 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 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.

The Use of Wine for Medicinal Purposes:
1 Timothy 5: 23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
The Good Samaritan uses wine as he dresses the wounds of the man who fell among thieves.
 Luke 10: 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
They offered Jesus wine to numb his pain on the cross - he refused to accept it  Mark 15:23  And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

The Bible has strong warnings about drinking and becoming drunk. Drinking leads to addictions, and also to immoral behaviors.
The Lord wants us to be filled with His Spirit and not become filled with any alternatives - not alcohol and not drugs illegal or other. God is our source of strength and he is our refuge in times of trouble.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Drinking Alcohol  is an unrighteous behavior

Drunkenness is a Sin against God - you may have heard people say that alcoholism is a disease - it is not a disease because you cannot get it from a germ or a virus. It is definitely a sin.
 1 Corinthians 6: 9 says the unrighteous shall not enter the kingdom God  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Then it goes on to list what unrighteous behaviors will prevent entrance into the kingdom  in verses 9-10  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
If any who are reading this knows of someone who  is living in the sin of alcohol, and you may be getting discouraged at this point - I want you to know that there is hope and through faith in the Lord Jesus there is freedom and salvation. 1 Peter 4: 1-4 gives this kind of hope. It says -  Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 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. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.
Repent of this sin and turn to the Lord for forgiveness and healing.

Drunkenness leads to immoral behavior:
In Genesis 19 is the story of Lot. It is really a very sad story. The two daughters of Lot were afraid they each would never have a husband and be able tohave children and  extend the family line. So together they decide to get their father Lot drunk and so in his drunken state he impregnates both of his daughters.  You will notice that it says that father Lot being drunk " he did not know when she lay down or when she arose" .  Alcohol brings Lot do do such wickedness that he would not do if he were sober.  You can read the story here:
 Genesis 19: 31- 35 Now the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
34 It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, “Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.” 35 Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.


  1. I / we do not use alcohol at all.
    I worked (over a year) among alcoholics. I saw how dangerous alcohol can be.

    1. @Varpunen
      Thanks for your comment - I too have seen the damage that alcohol does. I especially feel sad for the children who are the innocent victims of alcohol abuse.