And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 19, Number
In this issue:
Compared to times past, alcohol is a subject that seems to be on the rise in terms of leniency. As a society, we seem to become more and more involved with alcohol and its negative side effects. Even within the church, there seems to be a softening of saints with regards to alcohol. In this article, I will be presenting just a few reasons why Christians are to abstain from alcohol totally. We will do this by answering some of the most prominent questions we hear today in defense of alcohol and its cunning nature.
“What’s wrong with a drink? I won’t get drunk.” While there is a clear difference between drinking an alcoholic beverage and severe drunkenness, the crucial point is this: If one is consuming alcohol, with no purpose to become drunk, how will he or she know when to stop? The stopping point between a few drinks and being drunk is so thin that an impaired individual cannot spot the difference. One drink has the potential to lead into two. Two to four. Rather than taking a chance on losing your soul by participating in this deceptively “fun” activity, chose to abstain. Further answering this question, 1 Timothy 5:23 is a convincing verse for no alcoholic consumption. In it, Paul writes to Timothy and says not to only drink water, but “use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.” This necessarily demonstrates to the attentive reader that Timothy did not drink wine or other alcoholic beverages because Paul told him he should for his sick stomach. To anyone who says “See, Paul encouraged Timothy to drink alcohol, so that grants us permission,” I say this. “Go down to the drug store, and buy yourself some Pepto-Bismol or Tums.”
“Alcohol loosens me up and makes me feel good! You should try some.” To this statement, I respond by saying throughout the Scriptures we are told to be on our guard, to be vigilant, and to think with a sober mind (1 Cor.16:13; 1 Pet. 5:8). Alcohol leads to the exact opposite of being on guard, vigilant, and thinking soberly. Yes, alcohol can make one relax, and “feel good”, but brethren, this is an activity that we cannot participate in. Good fruits are not usually the byproduct of consuming alcohol. It is usually associated with things like sexual encounters, fights, and further bad choices. Not once have I heard, “Dude, I went into the bar last night, got smashed, and the best thing happened...” Good decisions and alcohol do not mix, and will never mix.
These are among the reasons you should totally abstain from alcohol. I have witnessed an increased number of Christians gravitate to the idea that alcohol consumption is not wrong, as long as it doesn’t become an issue of alcoholism or drunkenness. This does not agree with the truth as it is recorded in Proverbs 20:1, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; and whoever is led astray be it is not wise.” Participating in alcoholic consumption is a choice. Let us make the sound and biblical choice of not participating in this sinful action. If you never start or never try it, you never have to quit the sin.
object to using the terms “conservative” and “liberal” churches of
Christ. They say these terms are not found in the Bible. They protest that
using them is tantamount to name-calling, and offends Christian
sensibilities and directives. Such characterizations, when compared to the
Scriptures, could not be farther from the truth. While it is true the
specific terms are not found in the New Testament text, the meanings they
convey are certainly found there (as we will show). Therefore, it is
speaking as the ”oracles of God” to use these identifying terms
concerning the teachings and practices of churches (1 Pet. 4:11). Allow me
same manner, the use of “conservative” and “liberal” help identify what a
congregation teaches and practices. A conservative church “conserves” the
apostolic authority regarding the work and worship of the local church (Col.
3:17; 1 Cor. 4:6, 17). A “liberal” church, on the other hand, does not
restricted itself to the authority of the Bible in its teachings and
practices. Liberal is defined as “broad-minded, especially not bound by
authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms” (Merriam-Webster
Online Dictionary). Hence, churches that introduce innovations to the
worship (i.e., instrumental music), organization (i.e., centralization of
churches), and work of the local church (i.e., the social gospel) are
“liberal” toward New Testament authority. They have gone beyond what is
written (1 Cor. 4:6). Churches that oppose the use of instrumental music in
worship, the social gospel, general benevolence from the church treasury,
church support of human institutions, the sponsoring church arrangement,
etc. are deemed “conservative.” They affirm that local churches, following
the New Testament pattern, do not have these things. They reject and oppose
innovations that ”go beyond” the doctrine of Christ (2 Jno. 9); that
constitute a ”different gospel” from the apostolic doctrine in the
New Testament (Gal. 1:6-9); and that do not follow the ”pattern of sound
words” given in Scripture (2 Tim. 1:13; Phil. 3:17). To speak of
“liberal” or “conservative” churches of Christ is not unscriptural – it
correctly applies scriptural guidelines, and helps identify a congregation’s
teachings and practices. Using these terms is speaking as the ”oracles of
church of Christ in the Bible that was faithful to the word of Christ and
did not go beyond the doctrine of Christ was “conservative” in the sense
that, like the church in Philadelphia, it ”kept My word, and have not
denied My name” (Rev. 3:8). Should we not endeavor to be the same?
We can have no confidence of being in fellowship with Christ when we are not careful to ”keep His commandments” – to do all things by His authority (1 Jno. 2:3-5; Col. 3:17). The same can be said of a local church (Rev. 2:5).
You can find the complete outline of this sermon
plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files
Scripture Reading: Psalm 103:1-5
1. Why are you here today?
I. WHY BE HERE.
A. To Praise
God, not to Just “Show Up,” Psa. 35:18; Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.
II. HOW TO BE HERE.
A. Be here
Reverently, Mal. 1:6-8; Psa. 89:7; 1 Cor. 14:33, 40;
III. WHAT TO DO HERE.
A. Honor God,
How Secularists Reshape Society
Christians are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” The world is less palatable, and darker, when we lose our flavor and put our light under a bushel (Matt. 5:13-16). We must be faithful to Christ in all our conduct, our influence for godliness will be lost. To reuse Paul’s warning, “Some have already turned aside after Satan” (1 Tim. 5:15).
Make no mistake, secularists understand the value of influencing the world. One way they do this is by shaping the thinking of our children. A case in point happened this week, when New Jersey governor Chris Christie “signed into law a bill that requires the commissioner of education to develop guidelines regarding transgender students, including allowing them to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity, rather than biological gender” (“Chris Christie Signs Bill Allowing Transgender Students to Use Restrooms, Locker Rooms of Their Choice,” Stoyan Zaimov, christianpost.com).
The purpose of the law was stated by one of the bill’s sponsors, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle: “These guidelines are needed to ensure that transgender students can safely be themselves without fear of being persecuted, and can help promote a culture of understanding and acceptance that will hopefully influence how students treat each other in and outside of school” (Ibid). The bill intends to condition our children to “understand” and “accept” transgenderism as normal. The influence will be that the transgendered are just being themselves, and those who object are abusive and intolerant.
The war between God and Satan, between light and darkness, rages on (Eph. 6:12; 1 Tim. 6:11-12). Christians must ever be salt and light; Godly influencers who do not comprise with sin. To do otherwise forfeits your influence and extinguishes your illumination of this world.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 07/30/2017
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA