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The Bible makes it clear that it's wrong to get drunk. But what about drinking in general? Can Christians have a beer or a glass of wine?

Should Christians drink alcohol and can Christians drink alcohol are different questions! Just because we are free to do something does not mean we should.

Jesus Turned Water into Wine

Did Jesus turn water into alcoholic wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2)? Yes, though some Christians argue that he turned it into a type of grape juice or wine with very little alcohol. Jesus turned water into wine for a good reason. Wine in the Old Testament (OT) was symbolic of God’s favor and blessing. Jesus was symbolically saying at the wedding in Cana that a new era had begun. It wasn’t about alcohol for alcohol’s sake, but a symbolic gesture on Jesus’s part.

The same word for “wine” in Greek is used in Ephesians 5:18 when the Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians not to be drunk with wine. If it isn’t alcoholic wine we’re talking about in John 2, why would getting drunk off of it be an issue?

A Guide for Thinking

Romans 14 is a good guide for thinking about alcohol. If we cause others to sin because of our freedom, we are sinning. If you drink in front of people who are struggling with alcoholism, you’ve missed the point of the freedom you have in Jesus Christ.

Especially if you are underage, drinking alcohol is not okay because it is against the law to do so, and Paul instructs Christians in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the land. If you are gung-ho to drink and are willing to break the law to do so underage, that should be a big red flag for you.

[Related: Is It a Sin to Get “Buzzed”?]

If you personally feel that you shouldn’t drink alcohol, then you should feel free to quit drinking altogether. And though we are allowed to drink alcohol, no Christian is ever permitted to get drunk.

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Do you think it’s wrong for Christians to drink alcohol, or have you heard someone else say that it is wrong? Explain.
  3. Is it okay for Christians to drink underage if they don’t get drunk? Explain why or why not.
  4. Why do you think God tells Christians not to get drunk? Explain.
  5. Do you the Bible’s teachings about alcohol could also apply to drugs or other habits? Why or why not?
  6. “If something is personally sinful to you, then it is actually sin.” Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement.
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.
Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.