The Riches OF GRACE

“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11

Robert W. Reed

February 2004





“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

Proverbs 20:1


+ Drunkenness +


The design of this article is to deal with the issue of drunkenness. This is not necessarily a word study for wine or strong drink, but to show the consequences of its abuse. The Bible is clear that drunkenness is a sin against God. It has destroyed many people, families, and even nations. The end result is misery and death and last of all torment in the everlasting flames of hell. This subject must be considered with great concern and the Bible must be the final authority.


“Men are very much inclined to flatter themselves that they may live in sin and yet die in Christ and go to heaven. But we cannot hope to sow to the flesh and reap everlasting life.”

- Matthew Henry


Our text in Proverbs 20:1 says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” It is a mocker in that it promises pleasure but produces disease, misery, sickness, injury, heartache, and death. We are told that those who are deceived by it are not wise. This means that they are fools. According to Proverbs 31:4-9, wine dulls the senses and perverts judgment. Alcohol consumption is America’s number one drug problem. It is the most dangerous drug because it is more available and accepted. Alcoholism is not a disease. If it is, it is the only disease freely sold in a bottle and legally produced under license. It would also be the only disease that is taxed by the government and promoted through advertisement.


The Sin of Drunkenness


According to Galatians 5:19-21, drunkenness is a work of the flesh, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” The works of the flesh are in total contrast to the fruit of the spirit in verses 22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Again, in verse 21, where drunkenness is mentioned, we are told that they, which do such things, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. This same truth is brought out in I Corinthians 6:9-10, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” We are plainly told in I Corinthians 5:11, to not even have fellowship with someone who professes to be a Christian and is a drunkard, “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” For those who sell liquor or would entice someone else to drink, please consider the warning in Habakkuk 2:15, “Woe unto him that giveth his  neighbour  drink, that put test thy bottle  to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!” When God says woe, you had better stop, for He means business.


The Sorrow of Drunkenness


Please consider Proverbs 23:20-21 in showing that the drunkard shall come to poverty. “Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” Also, in verses 29-35, the characteristics of a drunk man are outlined. In verse 32, the end result of drunkenness is like being bitten by a poisonous snake, “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.” You would not handle a rattlesnake or kiss a cobra, neither should you put the bottle of booze to your mouth. The drunkard has “woe” according to verse 29, that is, he has troubles and sorrow. He also brings misery to those around him.

The first mention of wine in the Scripture is found in Genesis 9:21, “And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.” In the following verses (22-27), drunkenness, nakedness, immorality and a curse is associated with it. The second mention of the word wine in the Scriptures is in Genesis 19:32, where Lot in the context (verses 30-38) is found in a drunken stupor with both of his remaining daughters pregnant by him. The Lord Jesus gave warning against drunkenness in Matthew 24:36-39, 42-46 and Luke 21:34-38. It is clear from Isaiah 5:11-14, 22-24, 28:1, and 3:7 that it brings destruction to an individual or nation. The following is a brief list of individuals whose lives were destroyed by drinking: Nabal (I Samuel 25:36-38), Elah (I Kings 16:6-10), Ben-hadad (I Kings 20:16-21), and Belshazzar (Daniel 5:3,4,23,30). If God told kings not to drink in Proverbs 31:4-6, and told the preacher not to drink in I Timothy 3:3, and told the priest not to drink in Leviticus 10:9, and told the Nazarite not to drink in Numbers 6:3, don’t you think that it would be best for you not to drink also? In Luke 7:33, John the Baptist abstained from wine along with many of the great saints throughout the history of Scriptures. In Ephesians 5:18, we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit and not to be drunk with wine, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” Drunkenness is the Devil’s substitute for being filled with the Spirit. We are told to not walk in drunkenness in Romans 13:12-14. We are commanded to abstain from all appearances of evil in I Thessalonians 5:21. Warning is given to the drunkard in Isaiah 5:11, “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!” and verse 24, “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. We are told in I Corinthians 5:11, to have no fellowship with the drunkard, “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” Other warnings are given in Isaiah 28:1-8, Proverbs 21:17, Joel 1:5, Luke 2:45-46, I Thessalonians 5:5-6, Revelation 9:21, Nahum 1:10, and Lamentations 4:21-22. A great example for us to follow is the Rechabites in Jeremiah 35:5-6, 8, and 14. They abstained from wine and they were blessed of God and became a testimony to others.


The Solution of Drunkenness


The solution to the problem is found in John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” There is freedom in Jesus Christ. We do not have to be a slave to any sin. We can walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and not allow sin to reign in our mortal body. Trust the Lord Jesus Christ not only for salvation but also for deliverance for the wicked vice of drunkenness. God is not interested in the philosophy of man or any twelve step programs. There are two steps to deliverance in Holy Scriptures, repentance and faith, according to Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Amen.


“Alcohol is a poison men take into their mouth to steal away the brain.”

- Shakespeare



"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  Acts 16:31



Victory Baptist Church

Pastor Robert W. Reed

14473 Bellingrath Road

P.O. Box 257

Coden, Alabama 36523

(251) 873-4422