Should a Christian Drink Alcohol?

Bill Brinkworth

Because many consider God’s Word not relevant or have not read the Bible, they have little conviction about right or wrong.   This lack of discernment includes what God says about drinking alcohol.

Much is said in the Bible about the dangers and effects of drinking.  Indulgence in alcohol is never recommended in God’s Word.  Its use is usually spoken of negatively.  Here are some reasons all, especially Christians, should avoid alcoholic beverages:

Notice that there are two types of wine: new, unfermented wine and alcoholic (fermented) wine.


These verses, and others, show it is not good to drink alcohol.  This is especially true if Christians are concerned about keeping the spiritual “temple” that God gave us clean (I Cor. 6:19) from temptations and sin.

What confuses many, and is often used to justify drinking, is the Bible’s usage of the word “wine.” In the New Testament, that one word is used to describe both alcoholic and non-alcoholic wine.  The Greek word used, “oinos,” references fermented and unfermented “wine.”  The context of the verse usually reveals which type of “wine” it is referring to.

What is non-alcoholic “wine”? We call it grape juice. Sometimes the Bible refers to it as “new wine” (Mat. 9:17, Luke 5:39).  Understand that there was no refrigeration in biblical days, and that it was hot, which would quickly ferment the “new wine.” To keep fermenting from happening, the new “wine” was often simmered so that the water would evaporate from the “wine.” The result would be a thick grape syrup that would keep for a long time.  It also was called “wine.”  Before it was drunk, water would be added to it again.  An ancient shipwreck was recovered with a cargo of containers of the grape syrup, and it was still preserved. 

There are other reasons why a Christian should not drink, even wine.  They include:


Christians are to be led and guided by the Spirit of God, not the spirit of drunkenness.  Interestingly, the old-time drunkards knew that drinking was not of God, and the wrong spirits influenced its users.  To prove that, read the label on a bottle of booze, and it will still be identified as 50% (or another number) Spirits. Therefore, drinking alcohol leads one to follow the wrong spirit, and it will not be the Spirit of God.
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” Eph. 5:18

A Christian should be “Christ-like,” as the name implies.  He should not be, or even be close to the edge of the godless world from which he was saved.  The believer should be as far from temptation and sin as he can get. One cannot lose his salvation, but he can lose his Christian testimony and be ensnared by many of the same pitfalls the unsaved fall into when they indulge in alcohol.   All lose when they drink booze!



Affects from Drinking
Gleaned from Should I? by Jim Jorgensen, Page 51

Physical Effects
Controlled by alcohol: (Isa. 5:11)
Leads to sickness: (Hosea 7:5)
Causes one to stagger: (Job 12:25)
Can cause one to vomit: (Isa. 19:14)
Effects one’s eyes: (Prov. 23:29)
Leads one to be hurt: (Prov. 23:29)
Produces filthiness: (Isa. 28:8)
Provokes one to do dumb things: (Prov. 23:34)

Mental Effects
Impairs judgments: (Prov. 31:5, Isa. 28:7)
Impairs the memory: (Prov. 31:4-5)
Encourages one to lose their temper: (Proverbs 20:1)

Moral & Spiritual
Leads to indifference for the work of the Lord: (Isa. 5:12)
Is allied with gambling and licentiousness: (Joel 3:3)
Is allied with indecent exposure: (Gen. 9:21, Hab. 2:15-16

Ultimately, it can lead to:
Ruined life: (Prov. 23:32)
Poverty: (Proverbs 21:17, 23:21)
Strife: (Proverbs 23:29-30)
Woe and sorrow: (Proverbs 23:29-30)


“Alcohol is a very effective dissolving agent.  It dissolves families, marriages, friendships, jobs, bank accounts and neurons, but never problems.”

This article was featured in The Bible View #610.


Revised: 7/4/2021