1 Chronicles 21 & 22
Should Christians Drink Alcohol?
To Drink or Not to Drink?
Verse 1, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
I’m frequently asked what the Bible says about drinking. I usually explain that the Bible does not condemn all drinking, but it does condemn drunkenness, specifically. And it gives us other passages to guide our decisions in this area. Here are 3 from Paul’s epistles:
“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify” (1 Cor. 10.23).
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Cor. 6.12).
“It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak” (Rom. 14.21).
Discerning God’s Will
So we need to ask ourselves several questions as we consider whether or not we should drink:
Is it edifying, not just to me, but to those around me? My children or others?
Could I be brought under its power, either temporarily or in the long term? Temporarily, will my behavior be influenced by it? Long term, could I become addicted to it?
Is it the loving thing to do? Are there others around me who struggle in this area and who could be wrongly influenced or tempted?
What about the unbelievers that God has placed in my life? Perhaps even strangers who are watching from a distance? One of the excuses unsaved people use to keep God at arm’s length is that believers are hypocrites. Is my freedom worth being a stumbling block to someone? That’s what Paul was referring to in Romans 14.21.
In many ways, it would be easier if Christianity was just a simple list of do’s and don’ts. Instead, He asks us to choose and to do whatever we do out of a desire to please Him (2 Cor. 5.9) and love others (Matt. 22.37-40).
You may have already made a firm commitment not to drink, as my husband and I have done for a variety of reasons. Each of us need to remember that other believers may view this issue differently and we must be careful not to impose our convictions on them. Where the Bible does not command either specifically or in principle, neither should we.
May God grant you His wisdom and His grace.
Today’s Other Readings:
Praying for Our Children
Chapter 22.12-13, “Only may the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the LORD your God. Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the LORD charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
This was the blessing that David wanted for his son Solomon. I was reminded of Paul’s prayers and how his primary focus was on praying for spiritual growth for those in his care, something to consider as we pray for our children.
A God of Compassion
Verses 38-39 But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity,
And did not destroy them.
Yes, many a time He turned His anger away,
And did not stir up all His wrath;
39 For He remembered that they were but flesh,
A breath that passes away and does not come again.
Oh the depth of His mercy and grace!
But … we cannot let that be an excuse to sin. Romans 6.1-2 says:
“’What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?’ Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
The Fruit of Repentance
Notice when Paul was saved by coming to faith in Jesus Christ, there was a complete and dramatic change. He went from persecuting believers and participating in arrests and murder to preaching Christ in the synagogues. A genuine conversion experience will bear fruit!
Matthew 3.8, “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.”
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