“Drinking Alcoholic Beverages”
- I believe that first and foremost we must study the word of God in the correct “Light” (understanding which comes from God).
- To do that, we must not take scripture out of context. We must also be careful not to twist it to prove a point we want to make.
- I am going to go against many church doctrines by making a bold but true general statement and say… “Drinking alcohol is not a sin.”
- I am going to prove that by a mere use of common sense and the truth that lies within God’s Word.
- However, drinking “wine or strong drink (alcoholic)” can be a sin depending on where you drink it, who drinks it, when you drink it, and how you drink it.
- For the children of God to make a statement “Drinking alcohol is a sin” is as ludicrous as saying “Wearing clothes is a sin.” It isn’t what you are drinking or wearing, but how you drink it and how you wear it.
I. God’s Command for Not Drinking
A) Given to the priests
- Leviticus 10:8…And the LORD spake unto Aaron (the priest), saying,
- First we note who God is speaking to… Aaron, who is the priest of the Israelites. The people of God are to do as the priest or pastor directs when lead of God to make a command of God.
B) The Command
- This a command of God given to the priest to give to the children of God.
- The Command is found in verse 9a) Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou (Aaron,the priest), nor thy sons with thee (your sons that are with you),
- Stopping here in our reading and making the statement “See, right there in God’s word it tells us “Do not drink wine or strong drink” and since God said that it means that we should not drink it,” would be foolish because you did not read the rest of what God said as to the “when” you drink it, or “where” you drink it.
- Now here is the “when” in verse 9b…when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation,
- There is no command of God given to God’s children in general that say that you are not to drink alcohol or wine at home or in public. NONE.
- What God’s command is here was “when you go into the tabernacle.”
- Why do you suppose that God doesn’t want alcoholic beverages in His house?
- God’s house is where we are to focus on God only! I personally disagree with cell phones, I-pads, I-pods, beepers, alcohol, revealing clothes, or anything that distracts your focus from the worship of God in His house.
- If God would allow the priests to have wine or alcohol in the church, it would distract attention and focus away from God. How? Because the priests would then be distracted by having to control the consumption of the alcohol, the spilling of the alcohol, and the amount of alcohol to purchase. Some people cannot consume alcohol without throwing up. Their bodies reject it. Now the priests would also have to worry if the people would have a mess to clean up.
C) The consequences (result of action)
- The consequences of drinking wine or alcohol in the tabernacle or church is found in the following of verse 9c…lest ye die:
- The word “lest” means…for fear that. In other words, you are not to do it for the fear that God will cause you to die. We are to fear all his commands in the same manner.
- In the Old Testament (before the cross), there was no grace when committing sins against God. It was “do it or die.”
- If you touch the Ark of the Covenant, you die.
- If your children are rebellious, they are stoned to death.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages in God’s house, you die.
D) Length of the Law
- Now look at Leviticus 10, verse 9d…it shall be a statute (Law) for ever throughout your generations:
- God told His children how long that this was to be a law amongst His children. How long? FOREVER! How long is forever
E) Why does God not allow alcohol in His house?
- Look at the “why?” in verse 10) And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;
- Because in the Tabernacle were Holy things and some unholy things. There were clean and unclean things in the tabernacle.
- The priests and his assistants were to help separate the unholy and the holy, the clean and the unclean.
- If their judgment of such were clouded, then they would do the wrong thing in God’s house causing their own death.
- If God does not allow alcohol in His Tabernacle where He dwells, then why should we allow alcohol in our temple (body) where He also dwells.
II. Who Can Drink Alcohol?
A) Those who exhibit control
- I believe that is the reason why Aaron was given the command for him and his sons “Do not to drink wine or strong drink.” The fact may be that they could not control their amount of intake or consumption.
- There are many people, even the children of God who cannot control themselves when it comes to drinking alcoholic beverages.
- Noah in Genesis 9:20…And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: 21) And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. Noah got drunk and removed all his clothes because he was drunk and not thinking about the time of day or that he would be awaken by his sons as per the usual and allowed his son to sin by looking on his nakedness.
- Lot in Genesis 19:30-38…The two daughters of Lot went with him into a cave and Lot allowed his daughters to get him drunk to help them to preserve his seed. Twisted thinking of the daughters led to Lot’s poor behavior causing incest.
- The Bible is full of stories and verses about the dangers of sinning while being intoxicated.
- I believe that if you want to be a great witness and testimony for God and carry with you the power and wisdom of God, you will be like John the Baptist in Luke 1:15…For he (John the Baptist) shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
- God commanded several men to not be allowed the choice to drink wine or strong drink. So, for them to drink would be a sin. For others, it was not a sin so long as you control the intake or consumption of alcoholic drinks.
B) The key is to be under control
- I Thessalonians 4:4 (KJV) That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
- Paul tells the church at Thessolonica that they need to know how to keep their bodies under control in such a way that will bring honor to God and themselves and also set them apart as being holy as they are supposed to be.
- How are you supposed to know? You are to let the Holy Spirit be your conscience and guide in all that you say, do, and think.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages can lead to bad decisions, bad judgment, bad behavior, and in turn will give you and God a bad testimony.
- I Corinthians 9:27 (KJV) But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: (Brining your body mind and spirit under control) lest (for fear that) that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. If we do not practice what we preach or say to others then we destroy our testimony and our words are of no value to the person we are talking to.
- The word “castaway” in this verse means “disqualified.” If a person fails to meet the standards or qualifications for a job, event, or position, they become disqualified.
- The word “subjection” means to be under the control of.
- So in essence, Paul is saying here in this verse that “If I cannot keep my body under control then I am not qualified to be speaking to others about their inabilities to control themselves.”
- The word “control” is not found in the KJV bible anywhere. That is because the word control in the “Old English” language was “subjection.”
- When you look up the word “subjection” in the bible, you will find it 14 times. In every 14 verses it means control.
- Every Law that God has commanded us to obey is to be done with our bodies in control.
- The judgment of God is given to us depending on the way we control our mind, our bodies and our behavior.
- If you cannot control the amount of alcohol you drink, or cannot control your behavior when you drink alcohol, or control how you think, then it is a sin for you to drink alcoholic beverages.
- Look at our text verse of Ephesians 5:18…And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
- “…wherein is excess” means to “over do,” or out of control.
III. But Be Filled with the Spirit
A) What Spirit?
- Ephesians 5:18…And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
- In our world today you will notice that some people have chosen to opt out for the word “spirit” when referring to alcoholic beverages. EXAMPLE: Some people have created what is called a “Wine and Spirits Fair.” Or they have titled their liquor store “Jack’s Wine and Spirits.”
- This verse is not talking about being filled with alcohol. It is talking about being filled with the “Spirit of God” which is referred to as The Holy Spirit.
- When Paul is telling the church at Ephesus to be not focus on drinking alcoholic beverages, but rather be focused on being filled with the Spirit of God.
- How do we fill ourselves with the Spirit of God?
- Isn’t it amazing as you read God’s word, God gives us the answer …
- 19) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, Speak to yourself and sing to yourself Godly songs and verses from the bible that create within us a pleasant attitude and behavior that brings honor to His name. Alcohol will mess that up.
- … singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; When you sing songs and repeat His words often, it will not take long for it to become 2nd nature which then becomes the abundance of your heart.
- 20) Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; The Spirit of God within us will bring out a desire for us to be thankful people in every aspect of life. Many times alcohol makes people angry and out of control with their emotions. God’s word or songs played or sung by His people never create an unrighteous anger or upset.
- 21) Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. When you are filled with the spirit of God, you will also be willing to submit (surrender) to your Lord’s commandments, your wife’s commandments, your Husband’s commandments, and your government’s commandments because you will fear what God will do to you if you do not do it.
- Our joy, our peace, our exhilaration, our communion with God, our fellowship, and our power does not come as the world’s way from getting drunk, but from being filled with the Spirit.
- Our life should be consumed with pleasing God not ourselves and others.
- Alcohol really has no business being a part of our life. It is not necessary, nor useful for us to drink or possess alcohol.
- The Bible tells us not to offend others (Job 34:31, Matthew 5:29, Matthew 13:41, Matthew 18:6, I Corinthians 8:13, James 2:10.)
- If drinking alcohol offends those around you, then it is sin. The Spirit of God does not guide us to offend others.
- Do you know why people hide their beer or alcohol when a pastor comes to visit? Two reasons. 1) Because they feel guilty for having it. 2) They do not wish to offend the pastor.
- What do you think? Is drinking alcohol a sin to you or not. You are to decide that for yourself.
- James 4:17 (KJV) …Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. What is the Spirit of God telling you?