THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 9-6-09
LESSON TITLE: “THE WORKS OF THE FLESH ARE: DRINKING”
What a wonderful Lord’s Day it is, as we again gather together before the throne of God to Worship our Maker! We are so happy that you have chosen to be with us today and to give this time to the Lord. In fact, it is our privilege to be with you every Sunday morning, as we consider together, God’s Living Word.
It is my hope and prayer today that we are all uplifted in our fellowship together. Furthermore, I pray that we will glorify and praise our Creator in these acts of Worship which we participate in collectively as those who love God.
As we begin our homage to God on this day, will you bow with me in prayer!
When we think of all that God has done for us in this life, we are reminded of just how worthy of our praise He is. Our first song of the morning helps us to focus on our loving and caring God. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “For the Beauty of the Earth?”
(SONG # 1)
What do we put our faith and trust in today? Is it really in God? Maybe it is in another man? Or possibly it is in some church? The reality is there is only one place we should put our complete faith and confidence - in God. In Corinthians 2:4-5, the inspired Paul said, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” Did you catch all of that? Our faith should never be in words, men or other things - Rather our faith must be in the power and magnificence of our God! Why would anyone choose to serve a man or those of this world, when there is no way that such can offer us eternal life?
There is only one God and one worthy of our full attention and devotion. That is God almighty. Jesus was willing to pay the price, we are challenged to obey the plan, and in doing so we know that God has offered us eternal life. Oh, what a wonderful and loving God we serve.
I also remember a question that Paul asked of the Galatians, he said, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ,” 1:10! You see we have an important decision to make; will we serve God or man? And again I ask, “Who alone can offer the opportunity of eternal life?”
Is your faith in God or in the things of life? Choose today to turn to God and focus on Him and His Word, so that you may be called a child and be faithful according to His promises.
Today we are happy to have brother Jerry Sullins with us to lead us in our main study of the day. Brother Sullins is the Director of the Bible Institute of Missouri.
As far as our discussion, we will be continuing our important study concerning “The Works of the Flesh Are….” The specific lesson of the day will deal with, “Drinking!” So stay with us and after our next song together, brother Sullins will be leading us in the main thoughts of the day. But for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Alas And Did My Savior Bleed.”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
We welcome you to “The Living Word” program again this morning and we are glad that you’ve chosen this time to be with us in our examination of God’s Word. For the past few weeks, we’ve been considering “The Sins of the Flesh” basically that are mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21 and also in 1 Corinthians 6 and Romans chapter 1 and several other places in the New Testament. This day we are going to consider the sin of drunkenness.
Now as far as drunkenness is concerned, I don’t believe that there are any people I know of in the religious world today who would do anything other than condemn drunkenness. Well at least I know that those who try to remain true to the Word of God understand that drunkenness is wrong. In fact, in Galatians 5:19-21 it is mentioned specifically among the sins of the flesh. 1 Corinthians 6 again, drunkenness is mentioned and in several places in the New Testament, this sin is mentioned as one that will cost one his or her soul. So it is important that we understand exactly what the Bible has to say about this.
Now I would like to consider some passages in the Old and the New Testaments because this has been something that God has not sanctioned nor has He accepted throughout all time. We turn to Proverbs in the book of Proverbs chapter 20 and verse 1 where it says, “Wine is a mocker, a strong drink, a brawler, and whosoever is led astray thereby is not wise. So therefore God Himself through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through Solomon here wrote that wine is something that one should not drink. One should not participate in consuming. Then a more, I would say, direct verse or series of verses is found in Proverbs chapter 23 beginning in verse 29 and I’m going to read verses 29-33 where Solomon said, “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 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 shall see strange things and your heart shall utter perverse things.” Now here the directive of God is what? Do not look on the wine when it is red.
This Hebrew word that is used here is talking about fermented alcoholic beverages. These were the beverages that basically are formed from someone who will use fruit or vegetables or grain… In our day and time there is even a synthetic alcohol that is produced from a petroleum product. But anything that is red and in this case, it is talking about fermented. God says, “Do not look upon it.” In other words, do not participate in drinking of it.
Now as we know alcohol is produced in these many different ways and is fermented where it has back in those days and time natural fermentation would only bring it to about 13%, but even under our modern ways of fermentation it is much higher than that. And of course in that day and time, they had no way to distill or at least they didn’t understand that they could distill it and even bring the alcoholic content up much, much higher. But yet in those days and in the days of the New Testament when Jesus and the apostles were alive and doing their work on the earth, there the alcohol that was produced was produced naturally through natural fermentation and this is when it came to be known as “a strong drink.”
When we look at alcohol itself, it is classified by our government today as “a narcotic drug.” It is a sedative. It is an analgesic. It is an anesthetic in the different forms and amounts used. Therefore when someone says that, “When I drink alcohol it gives me a boost and it makes me really feel good,” they’re not talking about it giving them something that gives them a greater energy, but rather it is something that depresses them. It is something that sedates them.
Now first of all, when we look at the content of alcohol, it is basically a poison. If you chemically break it down, it is termed a poison which any poison means it can kill or impair any organism. Immediately when someone begins to drink… I don’t care if it is a drop of alcohol or if it is a glass of wine, if it’s a bottle of beer, if it’s a shot of whiskey, whatever… when they start to drink they begin to go through this process of impairment of the brain, the inhibitions then begin to be dulled and they begin to be sedated. That’s what we see and you know that better than I do because I have never participated in drinking of alcohol in any way, but you know as well as I do that this is exactly what takes place in a person when they are drinking any amount of alcohol.
One person has suggested that this is scientifically proven that approximately with one glass of wine or one bottle of beer or even less than one shot of whiskey over 10,000 brain cells are destroyed immediately. Now we want to get beyond that, but we just want to talk about that just to show you what alcohol is.
But I would like to investigate this word “Wine” and “Strong Drink” as it is used in the Bible. When we turn back to the Old Testament there were basically two main Hebrew words. There were several Hebrew words that were used as it related to strong drink, but there are two that basically that relate to our study this morning. One is “Yayin” which was an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. Whenever that term was used it was by the context that one would determine whether or not it was a fermented drink or a drink that was not fermented, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. Now when you see in Genesis 9 verse 21 when Noah began or that is he drank of the wine and was drunken, but evidently that had to not be fresh grape juice, but it had to be that wine or that grape juice that had been fermented.
Now another Hebrew word that is used in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word “Tiros” which means basically fresh grape juice. Now this word is used like in Isaiah 65 verse 8 where Isaiah said, “As the new wine is found in the cluster…” The cluster of what? The cluster of grapes. Where is it found? It is found within the grapes, that is the grape juice itself. It is the mush, that is the fresh pressed grape juice that comes from that grape. That’s what Isaiah is talking about. It is spoken of in English as being wine.
Well, when we turn to the New Testament we see a Greek word that is used called “Oinos” and another called “Glucos.” Now you know what Glucose is. Well we know what it is in this day and time. It is a form of sugar. The sweetest wine, that is unfermented wine was called Glucos. In most cases in the New Testament the word Oinos was used and almost in every case, and this has nothing to do with the context that is being considered but the word itself means “fresh pressed grapes.” So as we see in the Bible, there as we confirm as we honestly look at it, there was what was called good wine which was fresh pressed grape juice that had not fermented and there was bad wine and that bad wine was that which had been naturally fermented. So one would bring blessing and the other would bring cursing.
I want to consider some of the objections, and of course there is no way on earth we can really exhaust the subject this morning. If you’d like to have further materials on that, just contact the address that is given on this program and we’ll be glad to send you some materials that will help explain this to you even more thoroughly. But in the New Testament people will immediately say, “Well didn’t Jesus change the water to wine in John 2?” Well, certainly he did. But if you know the meaning of the Greek word there, Oinos, what did Jesus change the water to wine, or what kind of wine was he talking about? Well it was good wine which was non-alcoholic. He actually took that water and He changed it into good wine and then the people said what? “You have saved the best wine, or the best until last, the sweetest one.” So that was the freshest one because if you did not have the ways that people do it today to add different elements to the wine, then that wine would be so bitter that after it is naturally fermented that no one would want to taste of it except an outright alcoholic. But in this case, Jesus changed that 120 gallons of water to good wine and there is no reason to mistake that because if you know anything about the original language, that is exactly the case.
Now if this were not true then why would we think at all that Jesus would offer an opportunity for people to become drunkards at that party? Was it not Jesus who said and yes, He did! He had just said, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink pressing him to your bottle even to make him drunk.” That was a quote that Jesus had taken from Habakkuk chapter 2. So therefore we know that in John 2 Jesus was not encouraging people to take alcoholic beverages.
Now we turn to other passages of scripture that we see like Ephesians 5:18, “Do not be drunk with wine wherein is excess.” Paul was saying this to the Christians. Well if you look at this, it is not saying that you can drink a little bit just as long as you’re not excessive. It is just saying basically, “Do not drink wine.” In fact, it says in this verse, if you look at it correctly that this person who was doing it to excess was a person who was filled with a life of encouragableness, living a life of desolution, and so basically the statement is made telling this person that you should not involve yourself in the drinking of alcoholic beverages.
There were other cases that we see in the Bible, but because of time, I want to say one last instance and that is the one that is found in 1 Timothy chapter 5 and verse 13 where Paul told Timothy, “Take a little wine for your stomach’s sake.” Now again I tell you, the word that is used there is oinos and we know how important it is sometimes for us to take grape juice if our stomach is upset. In fact, the apostle Paul even said in this text, “Do no longer drink water, but take a little wine for your stomach’s sake.” He was not telling Timothy to become a social drinker!
Now my friends, I want to ask you a few questions in the closing minutes that we have this morning. Can you honestly say that your influence as a child of God will be better or any good at all if you choose to be a social drinker or moderate drinker? Can you, my brother or my sisters in Christ who are listening this morning, could you consider yourself as a partaker of the divine nature by drinking any alcoholic beverages? Can you say beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you drink any amount of alcohol it is not doing your body any harm? You certainly could not say that. Do you think that God in any way is pleased with you and that you are bringing into captivity every thought in order to be obedient to Jesus Christ Himself by drinking any type of alcoholic beverages? And the final thing that I would say this morning is this to challenge you. Could you, when Jesus Christ comes again, feel right if He came again and found you with alcohol in your hand in a glass or in a bottle or whatever container you might have. Would you really think you would want to be found in that fashion when Jesus comes again? Well alcoholism and the abuse of alcohol is the fourth major social problem in all of the United States of America. But beyond that, there is no authority whatsoever in the scripture for you my friends or you my brother and sister in Christ to participate in the consumption of alcohol in any form except it be specifically for medicinal reasons for any form, but especially for in the form of taking something that you consider to be a pleasure. It is the fulfillment of the lust of the flesh. It is one of those sins of the flesh that is mentioned in Galatians 5:19. By the way, there is one sin mentioned after drunkenness and that is revelry. That means to participate in drunken parties.
So I plead with you today to do all that you can to make sure that you do not violate any of the principles that God has placed down, that you keep your life pure and you keep away from those things that are mentioned in Galatians 5 that will cause you to be involved in the sins of the flesh. May God bless us all with the strength to do those very things.
(SONG # 3 - “Be Not Dismayed!”)
Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Lord’s Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!
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May we choose to stay away from all sin in our lives; In order that we might be seen as faithful children of God, who are willing to give up the things of this world to put God first in all? Are you striving to be righteous for your God in your daily life?