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Can Christians Drink Alcohol?

By: john weirick

Having a beer at the lake or grabbing happy hour drinks with some friends?

Depending on your family or church background, you probably reacted differently to that question.

Rather than try to convince each other whose opinion on alcohol is right, we can take it up with God.

What The Bible Says About Beer, Wine, and Strong Drink

  • Avoid alcohol when it clouds our judgment and causes us to treat others poorly. (Proverbs 31:4-7).
  • Like anything else when abused, alcohol has the potential to lead us into sin (Proverbs 23:29-35).
  • Drink in moderation to stay healthy (1 Timothy 5:23).
  • Church leaders are free to drink, as long as it’s in moderation and not feeding an addiction that would distract them from serving (1 Timothy 3:8).
  • Flaunting our freedom to intentionally offend others is contrary to the kind of selfless love to which God calls us (Romans 14:1-23, 1 Corinthians 10:23-33).
  • Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine to keep a wedding party going (John 2:1-11). (Anybody else wonder how awesome that wine tasted? Sign me up.)

Does the Bible forbid alcohol? No.

Should you drink alcohol? Depends. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

Get Drunk and Wreck Stuff?

If you can drink in moderation and not make foolish choices, cheers (Proverbs 20:1).

The Bible firmly instructs, “Do not get drunk on wine” (Ephesians 5:18). God’s best for us doesn’t include drunkenness or compromised judgment (Galatians 5:19-21).

We’re at our best when we’re led by the Holy Spirit, not by other influences—whether alcohol, drugs, pride, hate, or anything else.

To Drink or Not To Drink

For those under the legal drinking age, recognize the authorities over you: your parents, state law, whether it allows you to imbibe with your parents, and how you can best honor God’s ultimate authority (Colossians 3:20, Romans 13:1).

For alcoholics or those with an addictive personality, wisdom cautions us to avoid alcohol and situations in which it would be easy to compromise. If you’re not sure, ask God what the best choice is.

Know yourself, know your limits, and know what God wants for you.

The problem occurs when we decide something for ourselves and force it upon others. That’s called legalism and Jesus came to set us free from those kinds of self-righteous rules and the sins they’re in reaction against (Galatians 5:1).

Drink Like Jesus

If you drink responsibly and are bad-mouthed for it, you’re in good company; Jesus was called a drunkard and a glutton because He used meals and parties to connect with people around Him (Matthew 11:19). Perhaps one of the godliest things we can do is befriend people who seem far from God, buy them a drink, and listen to their story.

Alcohol is a gift to be enjoyed, not a substance to be abused.

Alcohol is a gift to be enjoyed, not a substance to be abused.

God is a generous giver and we get to celebrate Him by enjoying His gifts (Deuteronomy 14:26, 1 Corinthians 10:31).

Now that’s something we can all raise a glass to.

If you’re struggling with alcohol or with judging people who drink, we want to help. Stop by the Care Room and talk to staff or volunteers after a service at your NewSpring campus or email

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