Pastor Shane Ham : Alcohol – Liberty and Legalism

Numb · 44:25 · Recorded June 10, 2018

Alcohol: Liberty & Legalism

Romans 5:15 (AMP) But the free gift [of God] is not like the trespass [because the gift of grace overwhelms the fall of man]. For if many died by one man’s trespass [Adam’s sin], much more [abundantly] did God’s grace and the gift [that comes] by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, overflow to [benefit] the many.

Ephesians 5:18-21 (NIV) Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Romans 16:19 (TEV) …I want you to be wise about what is good, but innocent in what is evil.

Psalm 1:1-4 (NIV) Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.

Some clarifying remarks:

Be careful about oversimplifying the issues.

“Drinking alcohol is a sin.”

“Jesus drank, so I can drink.”

Remember, your life is not about you!

Romans 8:6 (MSG) Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.

Considerations before drinking:

1. Consider the “why.”

Why do I want that drink?

Psalm 4:7 (NIV) You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.

John 6:27 (MSG) “Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”

2. Consider the “what.”

What’s going to be the result of my drinking?

Proverbs 20:1 (KJV) Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV) Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights…

3. Consider the “who.”

Who is this going to affect?

Romans 14:13-15,17 (ESV) Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died… For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

4. Consider the “how.”

How is this going to help me love God and others?

Matthew 22:36-40 (ESV) “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

  • Of the four points to consider before alcohol consumption, which one catches your attention the most? Why?

  • According to Ephesians 5:18-21, what qualities should be exhibited in the Spirit-filled life?

  • As you look back over your life since becoming a Christian, what positive changes have you seen in your motives and desires? What do you need to change, starting this week?

  • How should people today find happiness, according to TV, music, and ads? Where have you searched for happiness? Where do you find it?

  • Read Romans 8:6. Unhealthy thoughts in your mind often lead to a sinful nature. What have you found helpful in dealing with them?

  • When considering “the who,” when has your freedom been a stumbling block to someone else? When has someone else’s freedom been a stumbling block to you? What happened?

  • By Jesus’ definition, what kind of “lover” are you? In what way do you want to grow in love right now: Toward God? Toward those in your family? Toward yourself? How might you do that?

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