It’s because alcohol caters to the flesh and brings our flesh nature to the forefront. Alcohol makes us follow the flesh instead of the Spirit. It brings us closer to the things of this evil world rather than the Spiritual things of God. It should be no surprise then that alcohol encourages and tempts people to all the sins of the flesh.
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another post.
Do you like to drink, Reader?? If you do, you’re certainly not the only one; billions of people like to. And the Bible doesn’t say anything about alcohol being evil in and of itself. Alcohol has existed since the days of Noah, and is seen throughout the rest of the Bible. Even Jesus drank some wine, though He never got drunk. So what could be wrong with alcohol??
Well, besides drunkenness (which the Bible explicitly calls a sin), there’s another major Spiritual concern with alcohol. And that would be how it brings out the sinful flesh nature in us, brings it to the forefront. The flesh vs. Spirit dynamic is one we always need to be aware of on our Christian walk. We shouldn’t indulge in things that encourage our flesh, or that attach us too closely to this world and its sensual pleasures (pleasures that stimulate the senses).
We especially shouldn’t indulge in these things now, during the End Times, because we don’t have much time left to get out of sin if we get stuck in it. Indulging the flesh is never a good idea, but it’s an even worse idea these days.
But let’s talk about it. What, exactly, is the Spiritual problem with alcohol?? First, let’s remember a basic teaching of the New Testament ….
The Flesh Cannot Please God
Flesh vs. the Spirit. That’s the two-side struggle we live through. The two are opposed to each other; they don’t cooperate, they don’t co-habitate, they don’t overlap. They’re incompatible with each other. We can walk in the flesh, or we can walk in the Spirit, but we can’t do both.
This is a major topic in the New Testament, and also one I often write about on my blog. It’s a recurring subject on my blog. The most famous teaching on this topic is in Galatians 5, where Paul flat-out says the Spirit is opposed to the flesh. But I also recently learned that an even stronger teaching is in Romans 8, verse 8 to be precise. Romans 8:7-8 explains that a person walking in the flesh and pursuing the pleasures of this world is hostile to God, so as long as they remain that way, they cannot please God.
(7) The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. (8) Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.Romans 8:7-8 (NIV)
That’s a very strong statement. No matter what good deeds they may do, a person who walks in the flesh and pursues the things of this world instead of the eternal things of God can never be holy. We, as Christians, need to make sure we walk in the Spirit. We need to Love God and be led by God; we need to follow and pursue Him instead of worldly pleasures!!
OK, all that’s great. But what does this have to do with alcohol??
Every Sin in the Book
The flesh vs. Spirit dynamic is like a sliding scale. We can slide one way or the other on it. When we pray, fast, worship God, read His Word, and other Spiritual things that bring us closer to Him, we move more toward the Spirit side of the scale. When we indulge in the sensual pleasures of this world (anything that stimulates the senses), we go closer to the flesh side. Makes sense, right?? Do Spiritual things, get more Spiritual. Do worldly things, stay stuck in the world.
Well, when we indulge in alcohol, we make a drastic, sudden move over to the flesh side. It’s very extreme, and it happens fast. You all know well that when a person is drunk, their inhibitions go away and they act like a fool. Or like a vicious monster. Both are possible. Once a person’s inhibitions are gone, they pursue the low desires of their flesh without any thought to what’s good and bad. They do things they wouldn’t have ever done if they weren’t drunk.
Alcohol encourages all the sins of the flesh.
Since it moves us all the way to the flesh side, alcohol encourages us to commit every sin of the flesh. Let’s think through a few of those, one by one.
This is a big one. I don’t think I need to explain to anyone how alcohol encourages people to lust. People get drunk, and their Spiritual moral compass gets shut down. Then they only hear the urging of the flesh, not the voice of God. They follow the momentary desire of their flesh for sex, with whoever they can.
How many people have cheated on their spouses while drunk?? How many people have done Spiritual harm to themselves by hooking up with someone they had no feelings for, while drunk?? How many people have engaged in risky sexual behavior (like unprotected sex with a total stranger) while drunk?? How many unplanned pregnancies have happened because of the lust that comes from drunkenness?? How much rape and sexual violence has been motivated or encouraged by alcohol??
I could go on and on and on.
And how many people continue to engage in these sins, even tonight?? How long will they continue to sin against themselves, harming their bodies and creating unnecessary consequences for their life?? I’m sure it will continue for as long as people enjoy indulging in drunkenness. It’s sad, but that’s just how life is down here on this fallen world.
This is another big sin that stems from drunkenness. Is it more common than lust?? I don’t know, but we all know that people fall to the sin of wrath when drunk. Again, this should not be surprising or complicated. The more we indulge the flesh, the more the moral compass of our Spiritual nature gets shut down, drowned out.
The Spirit is Forgiving and cooperative toward others; the Spirit wants to work problems out. The flesh is wrathful, and wants to fight, harm, dominate, and destroy. It wants payback. It wants war, not peace. And the flesh will provoke or indulge in violence for the stupidest of minor reasons; it’s unreasonable, unlike the Spirit.
Alcohol can turn a calm, reasonable person into a violent monster who is a terror to others.
How many people have been permanently injured in bar fights over the stupidest little problems when drunk?? How many people have abused their partners, spouses, or even children while drunk?? How many people have committed violence against themselves or even committed suicide while drunk??
And how many continue to do so?? Violence (wrath) is of the flesh, not of the Spirit. It should be no surprise then that when a person gets drunk and indulges their flesh nature, violence is one of the main results. It’s tragic that all too often, the victims of this violence are whichever defenseless people (like children) happen to be around.
For the sin of gluttony, first I’d say that drinking itself is gluttonous. Beer has a ton of calories, for example. We all know people get “beer bellies” from drinking too much. Alcohol makes people gain fat and so we should be wary of it for that reason. Our bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), so we must not abuse them by harming them through drinking and obesity.
(19) Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? (20) You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body.1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (CEB)
Second, overeating often goes hand-in-hand with drinking. Many bars serve up fatty foods like greasy pizza, wings, fries, and other such things. A person who’s been drinking craves this kind of food, which harms the body, our Holy Spirit temple. Other than that, when a drunk person returns home at night they often raid the refrigerator and gorge on whatever foods and snacks they can find. I know this myself, because I often did this long ago, back when I used to drink. Hunger is one of the effects of alcohol.
Should we be at all surprised?? If we cater to the flesh, we crave the things of the flesh.
In other words ….
In other words, the devil is waiting inside or with the alcohol, watching and waiting to trip us up. It’s fitting that one word for alcohol is ‘spirits,’ because if we indulge in it, demon spirits will entice us and tempt us into committing sins of the flesh.
If we indulge in alcohol, we indulge and walk in the flesh. We cater to our sinful flesh nature, and our Spiritual, moral compass shuts down. The voice of God gets drowned out and the desires of the flesh guide us instead. It’s no wonder that Paul singled out drunkenness as one of the sinful fruits of the flesh in Galatians 5:21. (**Note: The CEB translation of the Bible translates “flesh” as “selfish motives.”)
(19) The actions that are produced by selfish motives are obvious, since they include sexual immorality, moral corruption, doing whatever feels good, (20) idolatry, drug use and casting spells, hate, fighting, obsession, losing your temper, competitive opposition, conflict, selfishness, group rivalry, (21) jealousy, drunkenness, partying, and other things like that. I warn you as I have already warned you, that those who do these kinds of things won’t inherit God’s kingdom.Galatians 5:19-21 (CEB)
Be Alert, Be Sober!!
Now before you object, yes, I know, the Bible does not single out alcohol itself as sinful. Alcohol has existed since Noah’s time, and can be seen all throughout the Old and New Testaments. Jesus turned water to wine in John 2, and drank with the Disciples at the Last Supper. In his letters to Timothy, Paul advised drinking a little wine to help relieve stomach pains.
Alcohol itself isn’t sinful. But drunkenness definitely is. Personally, I think it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether. That’s my honest opinion.
And why is that?? It’s because alcohol caters to the flesh and brings our flesh nature to the forefront. Alcohol makes us follow the flesh instead of the Spirit. It brings us closer to the things of this evil world rather than the Spiritual things of God. It should be no surprise then that alcohol encourages and tempts people to all the sins of the flesh.
That’s why my personal opinion and advice is: Don’t mess with it. Don’t bother with alcohol. Not if you want to follow the LORD as best you can, and maximize Spiritual growth.
I know opinions will vary, but that’s mine. Alcohol encourages and tempts us to all the sins of the flesh, and so I say it’s especially important for us to avoid it now, during the End Times. With so little time left, we don’t want to get dragged into a cesspit of sin and worldliness and not be able to get back out of it before the Day of the LORD.
And Scripture backs me up on this. First Peter 5:8 famously tells us to be sober, alert, clearheaded. The devil is always out there on the prowl, always looking for ways to trip us up into sin. If we overindulge in alcohol, we give the devil a chance, an opening. By catering to our flesh, we give the devil a prime opportunity to tempt us into the sins of the flesh, even ones we would never think of when sober.
There’s no more time for this, not anymore, not during the End Times. Be alert!! Be sober!! Be clearheaded!! Stay on the lookout for the devil, and stay away from anything that gives him an opening to our lives. And alcohol is one of the most powerful and exploitable openings at his disposal. Don’t mess with it. The temporary enjoyment is not worth long-lasting consequences—especially Spiritual consequences!!
(8) Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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