Alcohol

The only alcoholic beverage mentioned in the Bible is wine and beer, no hard stuff. Wine and beer have been given as blessings from God for our enjoyment, refreshment, happiness, and even health. In the Old Testament, wines are included lists of produce. Wine was praised by the psalmists. The first miracle recorded in the New Testament is Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding.

The positive aspects are offset by the reality of the dangers too much alcohol. Too many skins of wine can loosen morals, destroy health, impair judgment, cause tempers to flair, tear apart families, lead to heartache and hangovers of regret. Excessive booze can destroy relationships and cause disharmony in the church. Drunkenness is not a sickness or a disease as many like to call it today but, is as the Bible says, one of the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:21).

The warnings in the Bible about the use of alcohol applies to other mind-altering drugs. The word of God tells us that it is far better to be filled with the Spirit than to be intoxicated.

  1. Terms used in the Bible
    1. Beer and wine -- 1 Sam. 1:15; Prov. 31:4, 6
    2. Fermented drink -- Num. 6:3; Jdg. 13:4, 7
    3. Mixed wine -- Prov. 9:2; Prov. 23:30
    4. Old wine and new wine -- Amos 9:13; Lk. 5:37-39
  2. Various uses for alcohol
    1. In family meals -- Gen. 27:25
    2. In public feasts -- Esther 1:7-8, 10;Dan. 5:1-4
    3. At weddings -- Jn. 2:3
    4. As an offering to God -- Ex. 29:38, 40; Lev. 23:12-13
    5. As a tithe -- Deut. 12:17; Neh. 13:5
    6. In bartering -- 2 Chr. 2:10
    7. As a commodity for commerce -- Eze. 27:18
    8. As medicine -- Lk. 10:34; 1 Tim. 5:23
    9. As a drug for pain -- Prov. 31:6; Mk. 15:23
    10. As a means to become drunk -- Gen. 9:20-21
  3. Positive aspects of alcohol
    1. A blessing from God -- Joel 2:19
    2. Can help one celebrate -- Jn. 2:1-11
    3. Can give enjoyment -- Ps. 104:15; Zech. 9:17
    4. Can aid in happiness -- Eccl. 10:19
    5. Can help to refresh someone -- 2 Sam. 16:2
    6. Can help one's health -- 1 Tim. 5:23
  4. Dangers of using alcohol
    1. Loosens morals -- Gen. 9:21-22
    2. Inflames an individual -- Isa. 5:11-12
    3. Destroys health -- 1 Sam. 25:36-37
    4. Impairs judgment -- Prov. 31:4-5; Isa. 28:7
    5. Raises tempers -- Prov. 20:1
    6. Leads to poverty -- Prov. 23:21
    7. Leads to sorrow -- Prov. 23:29-30
    8. Creates disunity in the church -- 1 Cor. 11:18-21
  5. Drunkenness forbidden -- Isa. 5:11--12:22; Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor.5:11; 6:9-10; Eph. 5:18
  6. Symbolic uses of alcohol
    1. Symbolizes the blood of Jesus -- Mt. 26:27-29
    2. Symbolizes the gospel of salvation -- Isa. 55:1
    3. Symbolizes the judgment of God -- Ps. 7.5:8; Jer. 25:15-16; Rev. 14:10
    4. Symbolizes the sins of the Antichrist -- Rev. 17:2; 18:3