What Does the Bible Really Say About Alcohol?


In the Bible “wine” is a generic term and it can denote either fresh juice or a fermented beverage; the context must determine which.

Proverbs 20:1

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

Proverbs 23:19-21; 30-35

Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.

1 Peter 5:8

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 Thessalonians 5:22

22 Abstain from every form of evil.

Professor R. Laird Harris:

All the wine [of Bible times] was light wine, i.e., not fortified with extra alcohol. Concentrated alcohol was only known in the Middle Ages when the Arabs invented distillation (“alcohol” is an Arabic word) so what is now called liquor or strong drink (i.e., whiskey, gin, etc.) and the twenty per cent fortified wines were unknown in Bible times. Beer was brewed by various methods, but its alcoholic content was light. The strength of natural wines is limited by two factors. The percentage of alcohol will be half of the percentage of the sugar in the juice. And if the alcoholic content is much above 10 or 11 percent, the yeast cells are killed and fermentation ceases. Probably ancient wines were 7-10 per cent . . . . To avoid the sin of drunkenness, mingling of wine with water was practiced. This dilution was specified by the Rabbis in NT times for the wine customary at Passover (1980, 376).

If both grape juice and wine are available, grape juice, one would think, would be the wiser choice. It would avoid the appearance of evil, perhaps be less offensive (an occasion of stumbling), and not be an avenue to temptation in some (who might have a weakness for strong drink).

It might be mentioned also that in some regions where grape juice is not readily accessible, wine could be used, but boiled first, so as to destroy any alcoholic content.

In the final analysis, this issue is not one that should be pressed as a matter of doctrine and fellowship.

1 Timothy 5:23 Paul instructed Timothy:

23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)

  • Timothy had a stomach ache from the water in Asia Minor (it was known to be dangerous to drink the water there in that time).
  • Timothy was reluctant to drink wine with his water? Why would he be reluctant to? It would be a good assumption to assume that He knew it was wrong to drink it, and he was afraid of harming his christian influence if he was seen drinking fermented wine.

Finally, the fact that the ruler of the feast could still distinguish the quality of the latter beverage from the former, suggests that his senses were not dull as a result of previous guzzling! [Note: For further study see “John 2:1ff – The Wine that Jesus Made”.]

Not given to much wine:

1 Timothy 3:8

[ Qualifications for Deacons ] Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.

Drug addiction, use drugs but not addicted be acceptable

Romans 14:21

It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.

Thus “wine,” because it was a common beverage, may be a specific illustration for moderation in general — without any allusion as to whether or not it involved fermentation.

Can’t go to something where drinking will be the primary activity, like a cocktail party: 

1 Peter 4:3

For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.

Ephesians 5:18

Isaiah 65:8

Thus says the Lord:

“As the new wine is found in the cluster,

    and they say, ‘Do not destroy it,

    for there is a blessing in it,’

so I will do for my servants’ sake,

    and not destroy them all.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

Warnings against excess can’t be used as approval. Not approval for practicing anger before sundown, jaja

1 Peter 4:3-4 (riot in moderation?)

Galatians 5:21

envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Does God Exist – Six Reasons to Believe That God Is Real

  • The universe must have a cause
  • Design demands a designer
  • Life demands a supernatural life-giver
  • Moral law demands a moral lawgiver
  • Free will exists
  • Human reasoning

Socrates once stated that “We should follow the argument wherever it leads.” When we look at the most profound question of life “Does God exist?” we should certainly follow his advice. When we do, we’ll find evidences that show us God is real. Let’s look at six proofs that show God exists.

The universe must have a cause

The most fundamental law of science is the Law of Cause and Effect and it says that “For every material effect we see, there is a cause that came before it, or was simultaneous to it, and that is greater than it.” The universe is a material effect, so what caused the universe? If you don’t believe in a Creator, then you have to suggest something like a singularity. That’s what is popular today. That there was some type of singularity that exploded in something called the Big Bang. But then when you try to get down to the bottom of “What’s a singularity?”, well, what we hear from the scientific community that suggests to us– the cosmologists–they say, “Well, a singularity was something that popped into existence from literally nothing.” In fact, Lawrence Krauss wrote a book titled “A Universe From Nothing” and in that book, he said that “[This] singularity that exploded popped into existence from nothing.” Do you know that if there ever were a time when there was nothing, that’s exactly what we would have now? The idea that something popped into existence from nothing is simply not a scientific idea. You see, they’re suggesting that that singularity is somehow natural but it behaves supernaturally. They say that that singularity wouldn’t have followed the laws of nature. Well then, so what are we left with? We’re left with the fact that the universe had a beginning and it was not a natural cause. It was something above nature. It was something supernature. It was something supernatural. And so, when we see the material effect of the universe, we can know that there was a supernatural Creator that caused the universe.

Design demands a designer

It is a truism that everybody recognizes that this universe looks designed. In fact, when we see the various different aspects of nature and we see birds and squirrels and trees and we see all of the things that they do so well, many times we as humans we try to copy and mimic that design. But often we don’t do nearly as well as the design that we see in nature. We look at the design of the human body and the human hand and the arm and the leg and the brain and we see that those are some of the most advanced technologically savvy pieces of equipment ever put together and we try to mimic them and copy them and we can’t do it as well. Why? Because this universe exhibits design, from the starry sky at night to the fingertips on your hand. The design is overwhelming. It’s everywhere. Where does the design originate? What you and I both know is that when you see things that function and they’re complex, that design comes from an intelligent designer. Big explosions just simply don’t bring about order. They don’t cause things that are functional and complex to come into existence. The design we see in the universe demands a supernatural, intelligent designer.

Life demands a supernatural life-giver

In the material world, we have come to understand that there is a law of biology called the Law of Biogenesis. The Law of Biogenesis simply says this: That in this material, the natural world, life comes from previously existing life of its own kind. Now when we look at how people used to think about life, they said, “No, life can arise spontaneously from non-living chemicals.” And yet every single biological experiment has shown us that that simply is biologically impossible. Life doesn’t arise from non-living chemicals. From where did life arise? Where did life originate if it doesn’t arise from non-living chemicals? The idea that there’s no God suggests to us that there had to be some singularity without a cause that exploded and that explosion brought about design, which we’ve never ever seen happen. And then, ultimately somewhere the non-living chemicals gave rise to life, but that’s biologically impossible. Life demands a supernatural Creator.

Moral law demands a moral lawgiver

If some things are objectively morally right and other things are objectively morally wrong, then there must be a God. If we evolved from primordial slime over multiplied millions of years, at what point did objective moral values arise? We don’t look at a dog and say that that dog objectively morally violated some rule when he steals a bone from another dog. We don’t say, “Hey! He violated an objective moral value!” We just don’t say that. We do say that humans can perpetrate things that are objectively morally wrong; that humans can be involved in things that are morally right. If that’s true, there must be a God.

Free will exists

The atheistic idea that there is no God is founded on the idea of materialism– the idea that this material world is all that there is, all that there was, and all that there ever will be. Because of that, atheism has to suggest that you as a person don’t really have free will, that there is no being inside of your body or brain that is supermatter. That really what’s going on in your brain is just electrons bouncing around and you’re the product of those bounces and you don’t really make decisions on your own. It’s just the physical laws and properties going on in your brain. If you are watching this video of your own volition, then the fact of the matter is there has to be a God that can account for that free will that you as a person have. There has to be a God if there is free will.

Human reasoning

We reason on a regular basis. We understand abstract ideas. If we were products of blind chance–random processes over multiplied millions of years– reasoning and the laws of reasoning simply would have no explanation. And yet we’ve reasoned together on a regular basis. From where does reason arise? It’s got no naturalistic, atheistic explanation. Antony Flew, the atheist who wrote “Theology and Falsification” the most popular atheistic paper for the last hundred years, the last century. In 2006, he co-wrote a book titled “There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Became a Believer.” He stated that his rule of life had always been to follow the evidence where it leads. And he said he followed that evidence and it led him to the conclusion that there is a supernatural intelligent God. Let’s let the evidence lead us to that same conclusion.

Men, Lead Your Families by Melvin Otey

  • Genesis 18 
  • Genesis 19
  • Genesis 26

Men Lead their homes

  • Education – teach the wife who can share in teaching kids
  • By example ( for kids and the wife)
  • Environment – secure. Comfortable. Safe. Open. Special. As a team. 

A husband should be able to say, Listen that’s not OK you don’t see me speaking like that

Servant leadership

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, ESV)

The man needs to make sure that every day in his house the word of God is read. To keep bad spiritual influences out. To pray every day. Sing

Jesus Grew Mentally and We Should Too by Melvin Otey

  • Jesus Increased in Wisdom
    • Several Hebrew words are used in the Old Testament
      • Expertise in living
        • Understanding
        • Knowledge
        • Discernment
        • Judgement
        • Wisdom
      • The Mental Skill of Sound Judgement
  • The New Testament Uses the word “Wisdom”
    • the skill in managing life and how to navigate them
  • The Value of Wisdom – Proverbs 8:10
  • Wisdom is better than money
    • How much effort do we put into acquiring Wisdom compared to how much effort we put in to acquiring money
  • Wisdom is better than Weapons of War – Ecc 7:19
  • Wisdom is a defense – Ecc 7:12
  • The Source of Wisdom is God
    • God blessed Solomon with Wisdom
    • Wisdom on earth is not like the wisdom of God – James 3:17 
  • Wisdom Will Give You Life
  • Seeking Wisdom Proverbs 2:1-5
  • Wisdom is not a simple understanding of facts
    • Understanding what is going on in the world we live in and understand what the will of the Lord is as we navigate life – Ephesians 5:15-17
  • How Can I Develop Wisdom?
    • Prayer
      • God Blessed Solomon with wisdom
      • He wants us to ask for wisdom – James 1:5
    • The Book of Proverbs Should Be Read Continually
      • If you are interested in increasing in wisdom, Proverbs is your best friend
      • The book is written to help us grow and increase in wisdom
      • Spend every morning with a chapter from the book of Proverbs
    • Focus on the people the Bible tells us are wise
      • JosephGenesis 41, Acts 7
      • MosesActs 7
      • Joshua – Duet 34
      • David1 Samuel 18
      • JesusMatt 13
      • We need to understand earthly things so we can apply the wisdom that is from above to these earthly circumstances
      • Ask yourself what did they do and why did that do it?
      • Spend time with people who are wiser and more experienced than we are – Prov 13:20
      • Well Advised People Make Better Decisions
        • The Bible tells the older women are to teach the younger women
          • if younger women spend time with older women that experience can be transferred
      • Learn From Mistakes
        • Learning From Our Mistakes
        • Learn From the Mistakes of Others – 1 Corinthians 10:11
          • Remember Lots Wife – Luke 17
          • The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
      • Wisdom Comes from Experience/Practice – Job 12:12
      • “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” — Albert Einstein
      • Wisdom does not come from school
      • Try Different Approaches – Ecc 11:6
      • People don’t become experts overnight. People become experts at God’s business by prayer, intense study of God’s word, and paying attention to what other people have done before, good and bad and learning from their mistakes
      • Jesus Increased in Wisdom by Working at It