Drinking and Smoking

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Jesus turned water into wine and even drank wine Himself (John 2:1-12; Matthew 26:27). Jesus the perfect son of God drank so can we drink wine, beer, whiskey, vodka, rum, and what not, as we like? Here are some things to consider:

 Romans 13:1-2 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” We are to obey the government. So first, do not drink if you are under the legal age. Do not smoke if you are under the legal age. Do not smoke things if they are illegal.

Romans 13:13-14 says, “Let us walk properly…not in…drunkenness…but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” We are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, we are to be like Him and not be alcoholics. Note, you don’t find a command here for complete abstinence from alcohol.

Galatians 5:19-21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 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 (see also 1 Cor. 6:9-11). Third, we need to cultivate the works of the Spirit like love, joy, peace, and patience, not the works of the flesh. However, that does not make having a drink wrong, though drunkenness is wrong.

Proverbs 31:4b-5 says, “It is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to drink strong wine, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.” Fourth, from this we can see that those who are in places of authority or at least who are rulers should not drink. This is so they do not mess everything up by being drunken and foolish. In the Bible priests (Leviticus 10:8-10), Nazarites (Numbers 6:3-4), and John the Baptizer (Luke 1:15) were not to drink. They were likely not permitted to drink for the same reason kings and rulers shouldn’t drink, so they won’t “drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of the afflicted.”

So we see examples of people who are commanded not to drink and yet Jesus drank alcohol (though as you’ll see in our next blog it was much different than today’s alcohol) and church overseers are not commanded to not drink but not to be drunkards (2 Timothy 3:3). As you decide whether or not it is right for you to drink (or smoke) you must consider several things:

  • Is it illegal (Romans 13:1-2)?
  • Are you addicted or could it lead to addiction?
  • Are you drinking/smoking for your own glory and fulfillment and not God’s?
  • Is it wine (or alcohol) that the New Testament people would have considered “barbarian” to drink because it is “strong drink” (If you don’t think Jesus would have drank it you shouldn’t drink it)?
  • Is it going to cause others to stumble (Romans 14:21)?
  • Are you in a place of leadership?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions you should consider never drinking.*

*Just so you know, I answered yes to at least the last one and plus I have covenanted with both the CM&A and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to not drink alcoholic beverages. Therefore, I will not consume any alcohol.