Lately, my wife and I have been dealing with drinking as a problem for our students (college students and drinking? That never comes up! ya right!) So she wrote this and I wanted to share it with all of you.
I was doing my devo and reading through some verses in Ephesians and I came across 5:18 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit.”
I knew this was some more of God’s perfect timing, especially after some face to face and phone call conversations I’ve been having this week… so I looked it up for further info in the commentary- what it says- well, I wanted to share:
“In our N. American culture, such a command seems almost shocking and unnecessary, since total abstinence is the rule among so many Christians. But, we must remember that the Bible was written for believers in all cultures and in many countries, wine is still a fairly common beverage on the table. The Scriptures do not condemn the use of wine, but they do condemn it’s abuse. The use of wine as a medicine is recommended (Prv. 31:6, 1 Tim. 5:23). The Lord Jesus made wine for use as a beverage at the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11).
But, the use of wine becomes abuse under the following circumstances and is then forbidden:
1) When it leads to excess (Prv. 23:29-35)
2) When it becomes habit forming (1 Cor. 6:12b)
3) When it offends the weak conscience of another believer (Rom. 14:13; 1 Cor. 8:9)
4) When it hurts a Christian’s testimony in the community and is therefore not to the Glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31)
5) When there is any doubt in the Christian’s mind about it (Rom. 14:23)
WOW! Don’t you agree with everyone of those 5 statements?!!
I loved 4 and 5 especially because they are more reflective of ourselves- “If I hurt my testimony for Christ- forbidden…If it doesn’t bring Glory to God… forbidden… If I have ANY doubt in my mind- forbidden!” Wouldn’t it be easier to gloss over ourselves and only focus on others in this issue? However, the Word of God doesn’t allow it!
The recommendation Paul makes is to instead by filled with the Spirit. There’s alot on this, but I love these 2 statements:
1) In the case of drunkenness, there is a dissipation and debauchery. The Spirit’s filling NEVER produces these.
2) In the case of drunkenness, there is a LOSS of self-control. But the fruit of the Spirit IS self- control.
Anyways, I thought this was good stuff to chew on and pray over. Hope it speaks to your hearts, as it did to mine!