My great grandfather was a drunk. He would come home from the pub and beat up my great grandmother until she plucked up the courage to leave him. My grandmother as a little girl witnessed this and vowed she would never drink alcohol. She made my grandfather sign a pledge that he would never drink before they married. There is an ugly side to alcohol.
Yet there is also a beautiful side. God invented fermentation. He made the plants that are needed for it. He gave us wine that gladdens the hearts (Psalm 104:15). Jesus was quite a wine maker Himself (John 2:1-11). We are certainly free to enjoy a drink without any guilt. Heaven is pictured with abundant wine (Luke 22:18; Amos 9:13-14).
So which is it? Good or bad? Friend or foe? That which sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly can also bite like a snake (Proverbs 23:29-35). Like all good things in creation – we can turn the taste of heaven into a taste of hell – thru our lack of self control. We can turn vino into venom. We need the wisdom of the Scriptures if we are going to live well in this area of our lives. We need the help of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:19-25).
In my sermon on Sunday morning I outlined three questions you can ask yourself before you pick up a drink.
1. Am I sure I can keep from drunkenness?
Drunkenness is a sin. It is the opposite of living a self-controlled life of godliness. Instead we are to live under the majestic influence of God: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:19)
2. Am I sure I can keep from addiction?
We heard of the great ministry of Overcomers Outreach in the Interview with John Connell. See www.overcomersoutreach.net
3. Will this help me glorify God?
Will it help or hinder my personal growth? Will I be ready to serve others (Proverbs 31:4-5)? Will it help me witness to others – and often it can (1Cor 9:22)? Will it lead a Christian brother or sister astray (Romans 14)?
My grandparents made a pledge never to drink alcohol having seen the horrors it can produce in sinful hands. The wonderful thing is they were given the strength to keep this pledge by God whom they came to know personally as they prepared to marry. They are now with Jesus and enjoying the pleasant surprise that good fellowship in the Kingdom of God is around a table with wine on it.
Grace and peace in Christ,