The Bible says it’s okay to drink alcohol, but not to get drunk: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery” (Eph. 5:18 NIV).
The consumption of fermented drink was common in the culture of the Bible. It’s first mentioned in Genesis 9, where it says that after the flood, Noah took up farming and planted a vineyard. In verse 21, it says that “he drank some of its wine, he became drunk” (Gen. 9:21 NIV). Wine was also used in the biblical culture for medicinal purposes, where it was used for digestion problems (1 Tim. 5:23) and was poured on wounds (Luke 10:34). Archeological discoveries have indicated that beer was also fermented and consumed early on in the history of the Bible, and that the terms “strong drink” or “fermented drink” are a reference to beer. Fermented drink was also used as an offering in the temple rites under the Mosaic Law (Num. 28:7).
Over-consumption of alcohol, on the other hand, causes many problems—automobile accidents, addiction, broken homes, and violence including homicide, suicide, and sexual assault, just to name a few. Over-consumption lowers a person’s inhibitions (their ability to judge right from wrong), leading to ungodly and risky behaviors. Any loving parent would warn their children about potentially hazardous behaviors. Our Heavenly Father is the very picture of love, and that’s why scripture states that the age we live in “is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19b NIV). The “evil one” is another title for Satan, who’s on a mission to cause as much trouble as he can. Because of that, scripture also tells Christians to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8 KJV).
Enjoying the occasional drink is not a sin, but godly wisdom should always be used so that we remain clear-minded and alert, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor 2:11 KJV).
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