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LIFE > Life in the World > Drinkers of Wine > Conclusion > Summary


The following is a basic listing of the summary truths obtained from Scripture through the study entitled: Drinkers of Wine.

One, in the Bible the word “wine” refers to the fermented juice of grapes. It is impossible exegetically to restrict the word to grape juice; in fact, the word is never used of just plain grape juice. To impose such a restriction is to ignore or reject the facts. The wine the people drank could cause and did cause drunkenness; it had intoxicating properties. Wine means wine.

Two, wine is for man to enjoy, if he wishes to do so; it is an indication of God’s blessing and goodness. Wine is the gift of God and is the product of a natural process: yeast on the grapes consuming the sugar in the juice of the grapes when they are crushed. The result is a fermented drink; it is part of the creation work. God made the juice so it could become wine. It is given by God for man to enjoy and rejoice in when he imbibes.

Three, God’s people have always drank wine. The patriarchs drank wine; the Levites drank wine; the kings drank wine; the prophets drank wine; the early Church drank wine; and Jesus drank wine. To drink wine is to follow the example of the Lord and of those who have followed the Lord.

Four, the Bible does not prohibit the drinking of wine; total abstinence is not taught in the Bible. To claim that the drinking of wine is a sin is to go against the record of Scripture. It is to practice foolish exegesis. Prohibition must be predicated and defended on a basis other than God’s Revelation.

Five, the Bible does teach moderation in the use of wine and speaks of the dangers of excessive use of the fruit of the vine. Though wine can be used with a clear conscience, it can easily be abused. Some Christians have difficulty believing that it is possible for another Christian to drink without getting drunk. The wise man says: “I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine (yayin), while guiding my heart with wisdom” (Eccles. 2:3). He felt free to enjoy the wine, but he felt the burden of having his enjoyment controlled by wisdom. He was well aware of the dangers and desired to avoid them. For imbibing to be moderate, it must be guided by wisdom.

Six, the Bible does not require that wine be drunk. It is a possible choice for the believer, but it is not an obligation. The believer is free to drink and free not to drink. Some may decline because of health reasons or just because of the taste. For one who has never drunk wine, the taste buds must be cultivated. Some may decline because of past experiences while an unbeliever. Some may hesitate because of bad experiences with a drinking relative. It is all right not to drink wine, but it is not all right not to drink because it is deemed sinful to drink wine or because one is intimidated by legalistic peer pressure.

Seven, the Bible condemns a lifestyle of drunkenness. There are present dangers, and there is an eternal consequence. Drunkenness destroys sensibility; it takes from the person the ability to act with clear mental faculties. It creates an individual who is unacceptable socially and who is a real nuisance. The capability of making moral judgments is impaired and inhibitions are lowered. Finally, drunkenness leads to judgment and eternal separation from God.

Eight, the freedom of the believer is a precious privilege, but that freedom is not to be used to sin. The Christian is free to enjoy God’s gift of wine, and with this liberty is the responsibility of temperance. With the freedom comes the necessity to control and regulate behavior. Liberty in Christ is not a license to sin.

Nine, the excessive use of freedom may also be sin if the freedom is at the expense of the conscience of an immature believer. The freedom of the strong must always consider the immaturity of the weak; that is, love must govern freedom. Each believer is free before God, and each believer must grant this freedom to other believers. Liberty is not to be limited by legalism. Legalism must be rejected.

Ten, wine can be a blessing or a curse. Both are recorded in Scripture. Noah and Lot experienced the curse. Jesus and those at Cana enjoyed the blessing. The use of wine can be acceptable to God or abhorrent to God.

The juice of the grape is given to him that will use it wisely, as that which cheers the heart of man after toil, refreshes him in sickness and comforts him in sorrow. He who so enjoyeth it may thank God for his wine-cup as for his daily bread; and he who abuseth the gift of heaven is not a greater fool in his intoxication than thou in thine abstinence.
Sir Walter Scott

one sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits in delight beyond the bliss of dreams.
Be wise and taste.
John Milton

A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine.
French Proverb

Return to: Conclusion; Next Article: Abstinence or Moderation

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