Concerning Intoxicants Part 2

VII. Faulty use of Scripture to advance required abstinence should remind us of the warnings against Pharisaism. MAT 16:12. A. Pharisaism tends to magnify lesser things to the disregard of important things. MAT 23:23-24. B. Pharisaism stresses outward shows of righteousness to the disregard of inward purity. MAT 23:25-28. C. Pharisaism is unwilling to conform to God's standard of righteousness and therefore substitutes artificial standards. MAR 7:1-9. 1. These man-made traditions are worthless forms of worship. v. 7. 2. These man-made traditions negate Biblical influence. v. 13. D. Pharisaism believes that things from without the body, like diet or drink, are true measures of morality and spirituality. COL 2:20-23 ct/w ROM 14:17.

VIII. Over against the extreme of required abstinence is the extreme of excessive and abusive use of alcohol. Beware the extremes, as we tend to react to one excess by recoiling to the opposite. Like a pendulum, our profitable motions are not at the static points but in between. A. Drunkenness is sin and constitutes grounds for church exclusion. 1CO 5:11; 6:10; GAL 5:21. 1. drunk: That has drunk intoxicating liquor to an extent which affects steady self- control; intoxicated, inebriated; overcome by alcoholic liquor. 2. intoxication: The action of poisoning; administration of poison; killing by poison; the state of being poisoned; an instance of this. Obs. exc. Med. 2. The action of rendering stupid, insensible or disordered in intellect, with a drug or alcoholic liquor; making drunk or inebriated; the condition of being so stupefied. B. Drunkenness is characterized by or associated with: 1. babbling speech. 1SAM 1:12-16; PRO 23:29; ACT 2:4-15. 2. involuntary and/or immoral nakedness. GEN 9:20-24; 19:30-36; LAM 4:21; HAB 2:15. 3. staggering and falling. JOB 12:25; PSA 107:27; JER 25:27. 4. loss of judgment and godly inhibitions. PRO 23:33; 31:4-5; ISA 28:7. 5. foolish conduct. PRO 20:1; 23:29, 33; PSA 69:12. 6. vomiting and loss of feeling. PRO 23:34-35; ISA 19:14; JER 23:9. 7. excessive and frequent consumption. PRO 23:30; ISA 5:11; EPH 5:18. 8. addiction. PRO 23:35. C. Drunkenness is not necessarily beyond consciousness. 1. Many drunk drivers are conscious when arrested. 2. Something to ponder: if you have drunk enough to be arrested for a DWI/DUI but you don’t drive, does not getting behind the wheel make you not drunk? D. Drunkenness tends to personal poverty. PRO 21:17; 23:21. 1. It can tend to personal poverty when one cannot hold a job because of alcoholism, being fired for drunkenness, loss of faculty or ambition for work, etc. 2. It can tend to personal poverty by pregnancy or injury. 3. It certainly tends to personal poverty when one’s drunkenness causes civil or criminal liability, legal expenses, loss of driving privileges, loss of job, jail time, etc. E. Contrary to the state of drunkenness which is characterized by yielding control of faculties to the intoxicating effects of alcohol, Christians should be in control of their senses. 1CO 9:27; 1PE 1:13. F. Christians should be characterized by sobriety and temperance. 1CO 9:25; 1TH 5:6-8. 1. temperate: Of persons, their conduct, practices, etc.: Keeping due measure, self- restrained, moderate... b. Moderate and self-controlled as regards the indulgence of appetites or desires; abstemious, sober; continent; in late use spec. moderate or abstemious in the use of alcoholic drinks. 2. Remember that temperance applies to food and drink. PRO 23:20-21. G. Christians also need to avoid undue or compromising identification with the unfettered lifestyle. PSA 1:1; PRO 23:20; GAL 5:21; 1PE 4:3-4; 1CO 15:33. 1. riotous: Of persons: Given to wantonness, revelry, or dissolute life; prodigal, extravagant. 2. revelling: Riotous or disorderly merry-making or festivity; a revel. 3. Wild festivals, “raves” or “clubbing” should be avoided. 4. Do not be deceived by the world’s definition of “the good life.” 1PE 3:10-11. 5. There is hope for the repentant reveler. LUK 15:13, 18-20. H. Alcoholic drinks are sometimes mixed. But there are some things that alcohol does not mix well with: 1. chastity. Never underestimate the power of alcohol to corrupt your purity. 2. driving. 3. guns and other dangers. 4. reputation. Drunk men’s words are sober men’s thoughts. 5. judgment. ISA 5:22-23. 6. worship. LEV 10:9 c/w 1CO 11:21-22.

IX. Another concern with alcohol is its addictive properties. A. In its advanced abuse, it follows the known addictive cycle of exhilaration, depression, regret, repetition. B. But we are to not be given over to anything that gains mastery over us other than the will of God and genuine love for one another. PSA 119:112; ROM 12:13; 1CO 16:15. C. We are called to freedom, not bondage. GAL 5:1. D. There is no substitute for God’s saving power and pleasure. PSA 16:8-11. X. The sins and warnings of alcohol may be roughly paralleled with other intoxicants under the clause “and such like” (GAL 5:21). A. This could include illegal drugs (which add an element of criminality). B. This could include legalized drugs like marijuana. C. This could include prescription medications that become addictions or are improperly used for “recreational” purposes.

XI. Christians have liberty in areas where God has not spoken. ROM 4:15. A. But Christian liberty must not be abused. GAL 5:13; 1PE 2:16. B. Scripture allows for the moderate use of alcohol, but condemns drunkenness and warns about its deceitful characteristics. C. Christian liberty should: 1. not provide temptation. If a person can't control his drinking, he should avoid it. ROM 13:14. 2. not bring someone under the mastery of alcohol. 1CO 6:12. 3. not cause arrogance. 1CO 8:1. 4. appreciated but not flaunted. ROM 14:22. 5. be used confidently. ROM 14:23. 6. consider the welfare of others. ROM 14:13, 21; 1CO 13:5. 7. not be worried about offending stubborn Pharisees. LUK 7:31-35. 8. acknowledge that abstinence is allowed. JER 35. 9. allow moderate drinking or abstinence while condemning drunkenness, addictions, perverse judgment, violations of conscience, psycho-crutches and heresies.

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