Let's talk about alcohol

Read Proverbs 9:1-10

Proverbs chapter 9

1 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars.

2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.

3 She has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city.

4 "Let all who are simple come in here!" she says to those who lack judgment.

5 "Come, eat my food   and drink the wine I have mixed.

6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.

7 "Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult;   whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.

8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you;   rebuke a wise man and he will love you.

9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,  and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

How many verses in Proverbs ch 9 speak of drinking / wine? 2

Take out a blank piece of paper.  Write your standard heading in top right corner.  Write the title of the lesson across the top line.  Write down each question (red) listed in both columns in one color and the answers in another color.  Skip lines between questions.

Let's talk about alcohol

Number your paper 1-6 and answer only yes or no to the following questions
1. Is it OK for Christians to drink alcohol as a beverage?

2. Can Christians have wine at dinner in a restaurant?

3. You're at a family reunion, any you're over 21, is it OK to have a beer with relatives?

4. You just lost your job you stop and get a 12 pack and drink till stupid drunk.  Is this OK?

5. You're a 21 year old and on a missions trip to China.  It's customary to drink or toast (moderately) after dinner.  Is this OK?

6. You just sunk the winning basket as a senior vs CHA.  You get in the back seat of a friend's car and they offer you a beer in the car as ya all drive off to get something to eat.  Is this OK?

 

Now let's score your answers:

If you have all 6 yes : You're in trouble, seek help immediately

If you have 5 yes : You have a problem, talk to TJ

If you have 4 yes: You know your boundaries, be careful

If you have 3 yes : Pop the last one open and turn on the tela bubbies

If you have 2 yes : You're in good shape

If all are no: My wife says you can marry our daughter

What two things must we do in living? verse 6

A person must do two things to live: 1. leave simple ways, 2. walk in understanding

Peter explained this in Acts 3:19.  ‘Refuse to do simple / evil things!  Turn to God!  If you do this, then God will forgive you.  He will give a new life to you.'

Is Drinking Alcohol a Sin?
Yes , No, Maybe  

Didn't Jesus Drink?
Look at: (Matt. 11:18-19 ). Does this mean that Jesus drank wine, meaning that if he did drink, then it's not a sin to drink because Jesus drank wine? For we know that Jesus did not commit sin while here on earth, therefore if he did drink wine, it is not a sin to do so, unless you cross the boundaries of gluttony or alcoholism.
Martin Luther :

What are the extremes?

From: “I Never touch alcohol… period! Not even NyQuil cold medicine (which is 40 proof).”
To: Dude… Jesus turned water into wine… let’s party!”

What else does the Bible teach about alcohol?

Proverbs 20:1 (NIV) “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.”

Ephesians 5:18 (NIV) “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

There is a clear message throughout the Bible that drinking to the point of drunkenness is a bad thing… that leads to negative consequences… no doubt about it — drunkenness is sin

What about Paul’s admonition to Timothy…?

1 Timothy 5:23 (NRSV) "No longer drink only water, but take a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.”

What was Jesus' first miracle?

John 2:10 (NIV) “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
miracle

Back to Martin Luther’s Story – It’s all about BALANCE

Legalism says, “It’s all bad! And I’m going to force this conviction on you.
Hedonism says, “Hey dude, if it feels good to you … go for it!”

What does balance say about alcohol?

BALANCE SAYS, “I understand the drunkenness is harmful and sin, but a glass of wine with dinner, or a cold beer on a 95 degree day is fine-so long as a person’s personal convictions aren’t compromised.

A guiding question: to ask yourself as you strive to navigate through life with this issue…

How do I balance my freedom in Christ with my witness for Christ?

For some, alcohol is off limits period… they have good reasons for this position and strong convictions about it! And, again, I understand, support and applaud that!

But the question still remains–”How do we–as Christians live together and love each other if we have a difference of opinion on this matter?” The above guiding question and the upcoming biblical principle (I’ll share it in a couple of paragraphs) will help you..

Paul helps us on this… first, read this verse…

Galatians 5:1 (NIV) “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Jesus set you free-Don’t let anyone enslave you with legalism/religious rules.”

Your freedom in Christ ends when your behavior begins to harm your relationships with God and/or other people.

The Galatians had received Christ as their Savior and Lord. There were forgiven and free in His grace–but then a group of religious people, called “Judaizers” came in and said, “Oh, it’s great that you’ve received Christ… BUT YOU’VE ALSO GOT TO KEEP ALL THESE RELIGIOUS RULES ON TOP OF THAT…” They started piling all this religious garbage on top of grace… and Paul said–”Don’t let people put that on you! Be free in Jesus!”

And THEN (remember this is all about BALANCE) twelve verses later Paul says…

Galatians 5:13 (NIV) You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love.

It’s all about LOVE! —Love for God and love for people.

What about 1 Corinthians 8:9 and drinking?

9 But you must be careful with this freedom of yours. Do not cause a brother or sister with a weaker conscience to stumble

(Huge! This is the crux, the key principle here) 10 You see, this is what can happen: Weak Christians who think it is wrong to eat this food (drink a beer) will see you eating in the temple of an idol (drinking a beer at Ruby Tuesday’s). You know there’s nothing wrong with it, but they will be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been dedicated to the idol (they may be tempted to violate their convictions and drink a beer too).

End of lesson.

 

More details of 1 Corinthians 8 below:

1 Corinthians 8 is the perfect passage for this subject… as we go through this passage we’ll replace the phrase “meat sacrificed to idols” with “drinking”…

BACKGROUND ON 1 Corinthians 8

You need to know a little bit about the situation in Corinth to really appreciate this passage. Many in the church at Corinth had come out of a pagan background–where they had regularly offered sacrifices (meat) to various idols. Now that they had trusted Jesus—they were divided on the issue–there was a group who was FREE!!!! They understood that idols are just rock… or wood… and that God is the ONLY God! But there was a group who still struggled with this issue… NOW–you could buy meat that had been sacrificed to an idol for CHEAP!!! So there was plenty of incentive to do it—some Christians in Corinth would buy/eat this meat with no problem… but others were very offended by that! The ones who were “FREE”… thought they were “superior” to those who’s consciences were still convicted over it… and they had a bit of an arrogant attitude toward them… So–with that in mind, let’s read Paul’s words here…

1 Corinthians 8 (NLT) “Now let’s talk about food that has been sacrificed to idols (drinking alcohol). You (who feel free in this ares) think that everyone should agree with your perfect knowledge. While knowledge may make us feel important, it is love that really builds up the church. 2 Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. 3 But the person who loves God is the one God knows and cares for. 4 So now, what about it? Should we eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols (drink a beer/have a glass of wine with dinner)? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God and no other. 5 According to some people, there are many so-called gods and many lords, both in heaven and on earth. 6 But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life. 7 However, not all Christians realize this (I.e. there different views here! And BOTH of you are Christians–equally loved and accepted in God’s sight). Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real (their experience has shaped them–they’ve seen alcohol ruin lives!), so when they eat food that has been offered to idols (have a glass of wine), they think of it as the worship of real gods (as a bad thing), and their weak consciences are violated. 8 It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t miss out on anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do. 9 But you must be careful with this freedom of yours. Do not cause a brother or sister with a weaker conscience to stumble (Huge! This is the crux, the key principle here) 10 You see, this is what can happen: Weak Christians who think it is wrong to eat this food (drink a beer) will see you eating in the temple of an idol (drinking a beer at Ruby Tuesday’s). You know there’s nothing wrong with it, but they will be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been dedicated to the idol (they may be tempted to violate their convictions and drink a beer too). 11 So because of your superior knowledge (haughty/insensitive attitude), a weak Christian, for whom Christ died, will be destroyed. 12 And you are sinning against Christ when you sin against other Christians by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong (Again, Huge! a key point). 13 If what I eat is going to make another Christian sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live–for I don’t want to make another Christian stumble.” I.e. if drinking a beer or a glass of wine is going to be a stumbling block to a my brother or sister in Christ… I’ll never touch it again… period.

It’s all about BALANCE and LOVE!

To have a glass of wine or a beer is not sin-but to become drunk is sin… and to have that glass of wine in a setting where it could potentially offend someone or be a stumbling block to them-is sin. That’s what the Bible teaches.

My personal Convictions…

I don’t drink alcohol. Oh, I think I may have toasted at a few weddings with some champagne, but you know what I mean. I don’t have alcohol in my house and I don’t order it when I’m out. Why? Because it would be a hindrance to my ministry and a potential stumbling block to the faith of lots of people I’m striving to help grow in Christ. So, I just don’t touch it.

Now, hypothetically, if Kelly (my wife) and I decided to have a nice, candle light dinner together at our home and have a glass of wine with dinner… would that be sin? No. But, if the wrong person from our church came to our house that day and opened our fridge and saw a bottle of wine in there… whoa…. that could wreck their world! And it could ignite a wild fire of damaging gossip that would be a mess! (by the way, the gossip would be more sinful than the bottle of wine in my fridge… )

I have fantastic brothers and sisters in Jesus-who if I went over to their home for dinner, would very possibly break out a bottle of wine and have a glass with dinner… I wouldn’t think a thing of it and neither would they. At the same time, I know that if I went out to dinner with these bro/sis in public place and there was the slightest chance that having a glass of wine with would be a stumbling block to anyone-it wouldn’t even be an issue… they’d just have diet coke or water or whatever.

Why would they do that? Because they’re hypocrites? No… Because they’re ashamed to have a glass of wine in public? No… BECAUSE they know that people have all kinds of ideas about this topic and they don’t want there to be any chance of their actions being a hindrance/stumbling block to someone’s faith in Jesus. BOTTOM LINE: They care more about being a good witness and the faith of other people than they do about EXERCISING THEIR FREEDOM in Christ.

The greatest example of someone laying aside their FREEDOM/RIGHTS for the sake of others, is our Savior Jesus. Did He have to leave heaven and go to the cross for you and me? NO-he had every right and all the freedom in the world to stay in Heaven. But He loved us and me so much that he chose to lay aside His freedom-and to come die on the cross for us.

And that’s the example God calls us to follow. You have the freedom in Christ to have a drink… but if that drink is-IN ANY WAY going to be a hindrance to your relationship with God/others-or if there’s any possibility of it being a stumbling block to another person-It is sin for you IF YOU DO NOT LAY THAT ASIDE and say, “I care more about my relationship with Jesus and about being a blessing to the faith of others than I do about any of my rights or freedoms.”

That’s the BOTTOM LINE: love God with all of your heart… and love people with all of your heart-and allow that love-to guide and determine your behavior and the choices that you make.

Pastor Brad is the pastor of Connections and Discipleship at First Church in Altoona, PA. He is always excited to connect with new friends so pleas feel free to contact him any time! You can do so through the websites below.

 

Photo Credits:

Glasses  : http://mysite.verizon.net/bizqhs4d/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/chapange.jpg

Reunion: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2066/1964195325_026721a7a3.jpg

 

 

 

OBJECTIVES: Students will be able to:

1.Describe the significance of abstaining from alcohol in a teenager's Christian walk

2. Explain the difference between the Wisdom and Knowledge

3. describe the

4. chart on a map the

5. define the terms

6. Explain the significance of

Knowledge: Recall of data.

Comprehension: Understand the meaning, translation, interpolation, and interpretation of instructions and problems. State a problem in one's own words.

Application:
Use a concept in a new situation or unprompted use of an abstraction. Applies what was learned in the classroom into novel situations in the workplace.

Analysis:
Separates material or concepts into component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood. Distinguishes between facts and inferences. 

Synthesis:
Builds a structure or pattern from diverse elements. Put parts together to form a whole, with emphasis on creating a new meaning or structure.

Evaluation:
Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials.