What does the bible say about alcohol?

Asked by Linda

what does the Bible say about alcohol?


In summary, the Bible speaks of alcohol as a good gift from God to be enjoyed, but that we are not to get drunk, especially if you are a leader.

Firstly, wine is a good gift from God to be enjoyed:
Psalm 104:15 (God has given us) wine that gladdens the heart of man.

The Bible acknowledges alcohol’s role to gladden the heart, and a way to temporarily minimize the pain of life:
Proverbs 31:6 “Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress;”


Nothing that God has given us is to be rejected or condemned:
1 Timothy 4:4   “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.”

That Jesus changed water into wine at the Cana wedding in John 2 shows that our Lord approved of wine for celebrations.

However, like all good things from God, we must not abuse them. The Bible does command us not to get drunk:

Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”

Proverbs 23:20a “Do not join those who drink too much wine”

Ephesians 5:18a “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery,”

And older women in the church are to set an example to the younger women in how to behave, in Titus 2:3 they are told not to be “addicted to much wine”.

And the Bible hints that alcohol consumption impairs judgment and so should not be consumed by those in leadership positions, lest it affect their ability to rule:
Proverbs 31:4 “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink,”

And particularly church leaders, they must not be drunkards:
1 Timothy 3:3 (An overseer must not be) a drunkard

Titus 1:7 “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain.”

In short, the Bible teaches that it is ok to drink alcohol as long as we are aware of its effects but none of us are ever to get drunk, especially if you are in a leadership role. Of course, if someone has a particular reason to refrain from drinking alcohol (eg recovering alcoholic) then, part of them being wise would be for them to take steps in their life to refrain from alcohol.

Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au

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