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                         "THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"

                        Wisdom Regarding Alcohol

INTRODUCTION

1. A serious problem today involves the consumption of alcohol...
   a. More than thirty percent of Americans at some time in their lives
      has had an alcohol use disorder - Bridget Gant, National Institute
      On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism
   b. Nearly 100,000 people die every year of alcohol-related causes
      - Dr. James C. Garbutt, medical director of the Alcohol and
      Substance Abuse Program (UNC at Chapel Hill)
   c. Alcohol is more dangerous than some illegal drugs like marijuana
      or Ecstasy and should be classified as such in legal systems
      - Professor David Nutt, Bristol University
   d. Alcohol is blamed for more than half of all visits to hospital
      emergency rooms - ibid.

2. The Book of Proverbs warns against the dangers of alcohol...
   a. Whether in the form of wine or strong drink
   b. With the potential of leading one astray - Pr 20:1

[What further wisdom can be gleaned from Proverbs concerning alcohol?
Let's see...]

I. ALCOHOL IN THE BOOK OF PROVERBS

   A. ALCOHOL CAN LEAD TO POVERTY...
      1. A warning against those who love wine - Pr 21:17
      2. A warning against spending time with winebibbers and drunkards
         - Pr 23:20-21
      -- Alcohol has been the downfall of many businessmen

   B. ALCOHOL CAN DESTROY LIVES...
      1. It can lead to woe and sorrow, contentions and complaints,
         wounds without cause and redness of eyes - Pr 23:29-30
      2. It is seductive, and can destroy one just like the seductress
         - Pr 23:31-32; 5:3-5; 6:24-26
      3. It can alter your senses, leading you to say things you'll
         later regret (e.g., "office parties") - Pr 23:33
      4. It gives a false sense of security, exposing you to great
         danger (e.g., "driving drunk") - Pr 23:34-35
      -- Alcohol has destroyed many lives, both those who drink and
         innocent ones who cross their paths

   C. ALCOHOL IMPAIRS JUDGMENT...
      1. Which is why kings and princes were to abstain - Pr 31:4-5
      2. It is better reserved for the dying and devastated - Pr 31:6-7
      -- Alcohol is not for those who would be wise

[Indeed, "Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is
led astray by it is not wise." (Pr 20:1).  Because of such warnings,
and with the serious problems with alcohol in our society, let's review
what is said about...]

II. ALCOHOL IN THE LIVES OF CHRISTIANS

   A. WHAT IS CONDEMNED...
      1. Drunkenness
         a. A work of darkness, not an element of the armor of light
            - Ro 13:11-14
         b. Conduct that not repented of will keep one out of the
            kingdom of God - 1Co 6:9-10; Ga 5:19-21
         c. Conduct suitable for church discipline - 1Co 5:11-13
      2. Social drinking
         a. We are to dedicate ourselves to doing the will of God, not
            the lusts of men - 1Pe 4:1-2
         b. Thus we are to abstain from drunkenness, revelries, drinking
            parties - 1Pe 4:3
         c. Though we should expect others to think ill of us for
            abstaining - 1Pe 4:4
      -- The popular and common use of alcohol has no place in the life
         of the Christian

   B. WHAT IS COMMANDED...
      1. Concern for the weaknesses of others - Ro 14:14-18
         a. Are we willing to destroy the one for whom Christ died?
         b. Are we more interested in righteousness, peace, and joy in
            the Holy Spirit?
      2. Willingness to forego wine if a stumbling block to others - Ro
         14:19-21
         a. Do we know someone who struggles with alcohol abuse and
            addiction?
         b. Do we love them more than any presumed right we may have to
            drink?
      3. Evidently Timothy had chosen  to forego wine for such reasons
         - cf. 1Ti 5:23
         a. Paul prescribed that Timothy drink wine for medicinal
            purposes
         b. Wine was often used to purify water, yet for some reason
            Timothy had abstained
      -- The Christian must prayerfully consider the role of influence
         regarding alcohol

CONCLUSION

1. What is wisdom regarding the consumption of alcohol...?
   a. In view of the warnings found in Proverbs?
      1) It can lead to poverty
      2) It can destroy lives
      3) It impairs judgment
   b. In view of the teachings found in the New Testament?
      1) Prohibitions concerning drunkenness
      2) Concerns regarding influence on weaker brethren

2. What is wisdom in light of the problems of alcohol abuse in our
   society today...?
   a. Shall we flirt with the seducing effects of alcohol?
      1) Alcohol can be tempting and easily ensnare the unsuspecting
      2) If one in three have succumbed, might not we?
   b. Shall we be insensitive to the weaknesses that many have regarding
      alcohol?
      1) Alcohol is the number one drug problem we face today
      2) If one in three have problems with it, dare we become stumbling
         blocks to them?

It shouldn't take the wisdom of Solomon to see that Christians should
take the dangers of alcohol seriously and be proactive in helping
themselves and others to remain free from its clutches...!
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