Program Air Date - 5-20-07



"Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,"?says the Lord. Thank you for joining us this morning for the Living Word Program. It is always a privilege to have you with us for this time of offering to God. We welcome you to this service for our Creator.

As most of you know this morning we will have the privilege of glorifying our Lord through songs of praise and through the study of His perfect Word. So may we each do our part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer.


It's now time to join in our first song of the day. So won't you lift your voices to God with the congregation, as we sing together, "His Yoke Is Easy!"

(SONG # 1)


When was the last time someone did something that upset you? Was it today, yesterday, last week, or last month? The fact is we get mad at people almost every day for things which they do against us. What was it that he or she did to make you mad? Did they say something about you or were they talking with others about you. Maybe they said something to you that you didn't like.

Sometimes we get mad at others for things they do when they don't even realize that they have done something to upset us. Were they teasing or joking with us or were they really talking about us to hurt us?

Let's first be careful about judging the motives of those around us. In John 7:24, Jesus said, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." We must look beyond the face value of a person or situation and make sure we are making a proper judgement! But what do we usually do, we make a quick judgement without taking time to think it through. We make ourselves judge, jury and prosecutor within a matter of seconds. What type of judgement is this, righteous or unrighteous, wise or unwise?

The facts are, all of us like to jump to conclusions on these matters and we generally choose to get mad and get even now and worry about the consequences later. During these situations, isn't our first reaction an "eye for an eye" or a "tooth for a tooth." We seem determined to "get even," by any cost or by any means. However, is this really what God wants?

Look at what Jesus taught in Luke 6:29. There He said, "To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either." Jesus said we need to learn to be better than those around us. Return good for evil as Christ would have us to. Another thing to keep in mind, concerning getting even, is that God will take care of the vengeance. Just as we read earlier, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord." Romans 12:19. Therefore, We must act as Christ would act, overlooking evil in order to do good. Thus, letting our enemies know that we are like Christ and not like them.

God will truly care for us if we will obey according to His will. How much easier it is for us not to have to worry about punishing others or getting even with them, because God has promised to take care of that for us. Who will you choose to be like God or your enemy?

Our topic of study today will again focus on our series called "Walking in the Spirit!" Our specific study this morning concerns our final discussion of what this walk does not include, specifically we will talk about "Drunkenness and Revelries!" So stay with us and in a few minutes we will return and be led in this discussion of the Day.

As far as our speaker of the morning, we are happy to have brother Ted Clarke with us. Brother Ted is the minister for the Marshfield Church of Christ. He is also a full time instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for being with us and we look forward to him guiding our thoughts after our next song. So now let's join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "His Grace Reaches Me."

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ted Clarke

Good morning and welcome to "The Living Word" Bible program. I'm happy to be with you this morning and to conclude this series of lessons on "The Works of the Flesh." Our lesson this morning deals with drunkenness and revelries.

When Paul talked about "works of the flesh," he talked about those things that if people engage in these and do not receive forgiveness of sins, then they simply will not inherit the kingdom of God. And so consequently, these are all things that all people ought to be concerned about if they have a desire for a spiritual relationship with God which will bless them here in this life and then also enable them to enter into the eternal life when this life is through.

The word "drunkenness" is found several times in the New Testament and condemned and likewise also in the Old Testament. The term itself refers of course to the imbibing of alcoholic beverages through some degree and we'll talk about that in just a moment. One of the things that oftentimes happens in the New Testament times particularly and also in the Old, the word "wine" is used in such a way as in some people's minds as to imply that drinking of alcoholic beverages was always approved by God and consequently it's not just the casual or social imbibing of alcoholic beverages that is forbidden, but what we might call falling down drunk sort of activities.

There's a statement that is made in a little book called, "Bible Wines" by William Patton by Moses Stewart who was a Hebrew professor and he says this in regards to the drinking of alcoholic beverages. "My final conclusion is this, that whenever the scriptures speak of wine as a comfort, a blessing, a libation to God and rank it with such articles with corn and oil, they mean, they can mean only such wine as contained no alcohol that it could have a mischievous tendency that wherein they denounce it, prohibit it, and connect it with drunkenness and revelry, it can only mean alcoholic or intoxicating wine."

There's another passage over in this book earlier in which it determines to make these kinds of distinctions between alcoholic beverages or the use of wine that is in a way that brings a blessing and the use of wine in the way that brings a curse. For example, in Genesis chapter 27 and verse 28, Moses wrote, "Therefore, God give thee of the dew of Heaven and of the fatness of the earth in plenty of corn and wine." In that of course, he is talking about blessing the crops that would grow, the corn and also the wine or the grapes.

Then down in Deuteronomy chapter 7 and verse 13, God promises, "And He will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee and He will also bless the fruit of thy womb, the fruit of thy land, thy corn, thy wine and thy oil and the increase of thy kind and the flocks of the sheep and the land which he swore in thy fathers to give to thee."

The point in all of that is that in these passages the wine mentioned is a wine of blessing and does not include the alcoholic wines that sometimes are also mentioned. When alcoholic wine is mentioned, it has relationship to those things that are condemned. For example, in Proverbs chapter 20 and verse 1, it says, "Wine is a mocker, an intoxicating drink causes brawling. Whoever is led astray by it is not wise."

Then again over in chapter 23 of Proverbs beginning with verse 29, he says, "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of wine, of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly. At the last, it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things. Your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea or like one who lies atop the mast of a ship saying, "They have struck me, but I was not hurt. They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake that I may seek another drink?" These of course indicate the problems that drinking alcoholic beverages cause and there is nothing good about what the Proverb writer says in regards to these things. So the word "wine" itself whether used in the Old Testament or the New Testament can mean something that brings blessings and something that brings curses and the difference is that that which brings blessing is not alcoholic in nature and that which brings curses indeed is.

Also, it's obvious that the use of wine in both Old Testament and New Testament is a curse upon the people of God and what God wants them to be and do. In the Old Testament book of Isaiah, in Isaiah chapter 28 beginning at verse 7, he says, "But they also have erred through wine and through intoxicating drink are out of the way. The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink. They are swallowed up by wine. They are out of the way through intoxicating drink. They err in vision and stumble in judgment for all the tables are full of vomit and filthiness so that no place is clean."

The priests were warned not to partake of alcoholic beverages when they served their God in the temple. In the Old Testament of course, the priests there were of a different kind than those of the New Testament. But in the New Testament, there's not a special class of people who are priests, but all who are children of God serve Him as priests in His kingdom, the church of our Lord.

In 1 Peter chapter 2 and verses 4-5, Peter says, "Come into Him as a living stone rejecting indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

If it was wrong in the Old Testament for a priest to drink wine as they attempted to serve God, certainly it is wrong for us in the New Testament. All of us are priests and we're not just on duty part of the time, but we're priests unto God every day of our lives and supposed to dedicate our lives to His service.

Again in verse 9 of 1 Peter chapter 2, he says, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His special people that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."

In both cases in Galatians chapter 5 verses 19-21 and also in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 9-11, drunkenness is designated as one of those sins that will keep people out of the kingdom of God.

Now the word "reveling" there has to do with drunkenness. There are two definitions that I'll read to you rather quickly. In Art and Gingrich's "Greek English Dictionary," it says, "It's a festal procession in honor of Dionesius, a joyful meal or banquet in the New Testament used only in a bad sense of excessive feasting, carousing and revelry."

Thayer says about the same thing in his "Greek New Testament," and indicates that these are things that we certainly want to avoid at all costs.

In fact, Paul says as he closes out this section about "works of the flesh," that there are other things like all of these things that we've studied here. For example, he says, "Now the works of the flesh are evident which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissentions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and such like." Anything that pertains to these sort of actions that we have described through these past several weeks would be things out of harmony with God's Will.

And Paul says, "Of which I have told you before, just as I told you in times past that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

Wouldn't it be a frightful thing on the Day of Judgment for you to have the Lord say to you that you are not worthy of the kingdom because you engaged in these things? Or because you engaged in them in the past and never sought forgiveness? The wonderful thing is that God has promised us through Jesus Christ that whether we've engaged in these things or not, we can receive forgiveness through our precious Redeemer.

When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he wrote to a church that was filled with all kinds of problems. People there in that congregation had come from all walks of life and been engaged in a number of these very things that we've talked about here in Galatians as works of the flesh. And Paul says in verse 9, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterors, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetors, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." If that were the last word, how sad it would be, but Paul said, "And such were some of you." They had engaged in these things but he says, "You were washed. You were sanctified. You were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."

Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and He died for all of our sins. It doesn't make any difference how many of these things we might have engaged in at one point in our lives. If we seek to come to God through His Son Jesus Christ, we can receive forgiveness of every one of our sins. That's the kind of God that loves us and sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for us. When we express our faith in Jesus Christ as God's only begotten Son, when we turn in genuine repentance from those things that separate us from God, when we confess the name of Jesus as Lord and are willing to be buried with Him in baptism, and to be raised with Him to walk in newness of life, every one of those past sins is forgiven. They'll never be brought up against us again. As Paul told those in the church at Corinth, "You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."

You know, you may be one who has engaged in the past or is even now engaging in these types of sins that will cause you to miss the kingdom of Heaven, but if you will return from your sins and obey the gospel, you can be saved today. We would urge you to give these things serious thought. You will receive a warm welcome and an understanding and compassionate hand at the Kansas Expressway congregation. I might add also the Marshfield congregation. Come and express your desires to study God's Word and to turn your life around and we would like nothing more than to study with you and to help you work through the problems in your life so that one day we can stand with you before Almighty God in Heaven, before the judgment seat of Christ to answer for the things that we have done, each one of us according to what we've done, whether it's good or bad and receive that forgiveness of sins and hear those great words, "Enter in to the joys of the Lord."

We thank you very much for your attention this morning and if we can help you in any way, we invite you to please contact us. Good day.

(SONG # 3 - "Let Jesus Come Into Your Heart!")


Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.

Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or free Bible correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

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May we choose not to participate in those things of the flesh which keep us from faithfulness to our God. How will you choose to walk in your daily life?

(Program closing)