31 Jul 7/31/16 Alcohol: Liberty is Not License – Pastor Shane Idleman
Complete Sermon Notes
A WORD ABOUT WINE: The person who consumes alcohol walks a very fine line between freedom and sin, responsibility and carelessness, liberty and abuse.
Two purposes – Joy and Relief for suffering
Self inflicted mocking: Proverbs – “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.”
Pastor John MacArthur states what many of us feel but seldom discuss. “It is puerile and irresponsible for any pastor to encourage the recreational use of intoxicants — especially in church-sponsored activities. The ravages of alcoholism and drug abuse in our culture are too well known, and no symbol of sin’s bondage is more seductive or more oppressive than booze.”
The Bible never encourages crossing the line. A preoccupation with alcohol is just one indicator of alcoholism; a preoccupation with drinking at events or social gatherings is another. This is not liberty; it’s addiction.
Jesus was filled with the Spirit. This cannot be said of those who consume alcohol regularly. What is the fruit of today’s preoccupation with alcohol? Conversations often turn away from God, if they were there to begin with. We begin to compromise our time and interests; we’d rather head to Vegas than a prayer meeting.
In Jesus’ day, society was much more isolated. We cannot calculate how many people are affected by today’s social media. A person with 500 “friends” may be encouraging dozens to stumble. It is the selfless motivation of love that keeps us from causing others to stumble (cf. Romans 14).
Be honest. How much do you drink? Is it really one? Do you often plan activities around alcohol (kids parties, bible studies, potlucks, etc.)? Do you often argue and try to justify your position? Paul said that we should not become a slave to anything (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:12).
Confess it to others and bring it to the light so that sin loses its power.