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All Right to Drink Fermented Wine for Any Reason?

DANIEL A OLIVA/06/02/2022

" No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities," I Timothy 5:23 ( NKJV)


 A. Many professing Christians who advocate and justify drinking fermented wine use I Timothy 5:23 to support their claim.

  1.Does this passage really teach that professing Christians can drink fermented wine for any reason?

  2. What does the Bible say about this contentious issue? Let us find out as Jesus said in John 8:32.

 B. Our approach in this discussion shall be as follows:

  1. What was the context/exegesis of I Timothy 5:23?

  2. Reasons Given To Justify Social Drinking Then and Now

   3. Bible Principles to be followed in dealing with this subject.


 A. What was the context or the exegesis of I Timothy 5:23?

  1. It is clear/obvious that Paul was not advocating " social drinking" in this passage.

  2. In the Middle East, it was difficult to get " pure and unpolluted water."

  3. Thus, a " little wine" was useful and justifiable for the stomach and possible infirmities.

  4.Paul's counsel was related to medicinal use and NOT social enjoyment.

  5. What kind of wine was Paul recommending to Timothy? The fermented or unfermented wine?

  6. Proverbs 23:30-33 mentioned        "mixed wine which perverts the judgment, causes the eyes to behold evil and to utter strange words!"

  7. Isaiah 65:8 says " the new wine is found in the cluster and there is blessing in it."

  8. " The communion wine representing Christ's pure blood must be unfermented since fermentation is a sign of sin."

 B. Reasons Given To Justify Social Drinking Then and Now

  1.Jesus turned " water into wine" during His first miracle in Cana, Galilee, John 2:1-11

   - this was a wedding feast where Mary, the mother of Jesus was present

   - Jesus and His disciples were also invited

   - this miracle " manifested His glory and His disciples believed on Him" John 2:11

  2. Passover Feast was celebrated with the use of wine

   - the celebration involved eating unleavened bread, washing of hands, drinking of 4 cups of wine and reclining on the table ( sofa)

   - a yearly celebration, not the usual and casual drinking of wine

  3. Elders and Deacons " can or may drink wine" I Timothy 3:3,8 and Titus 1:7

   - used as a defense or justification that they can/ may drink wine

    - NASB translated this as " not addicted to wine"

    - commentators agree that the phrase is " enjoining abstinence" rather than encouraging "casual drinking"

   4. Drinking wine in moderation is not sinful as many contend, so " let us drink and be merry for tomorrow we die! " Epicurus and Paul in I Corinthians 15:32

 C. Bible Principles To Be Followed in Dealing With This Issue

  1. " Eat, drink and whatever you do, do all to the glory of God," Paul said in I Corinthians 10:31

   - will drinking wine lead to the glory of God?

  2. " The end of all things is at hand, therefore, be sober and watch unto prayer," I Peter 4:7

     - is it easy to be sober and watchful when a professing Christian is filled with wine?

     - being sober and vigilant is needed as the devil seeks someone to devour, I Peter 5:8

  3. Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:18 " Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit!"

    - Christians received the gift of the Holy Spirit who lives in them

   - Acts 2:38, I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19

   - "Quench not the Spirit," Paul in I Thessalonians 5:19

   4. Drunkenness is a work of the flesh and will disqualify one from inheriting the kingdom of God, Galatians 5:19-21

   5. Drinking wine " creates doubt and is not of faith; is sinful," Romans 14:23   

   6. " It is good...not to drink wine, nor anything whereby your brother stumbles or is offended, or is made weak," Romans 14:21


 A. We have learned that " drinking a little wine" was not for self gratification and social enjoyment but for medicinal benefit

  1.If this is our problem, it is high time we have to come to Christ for help as He invites us, Matthew 11:28-30

 2. Mark 16:16, " Believe Christ as our Lord and Savior and be baptized."

 3. Repent of our sins and be baptized for forgiveness of our sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38

 B. Now is the day of salvation, do not delay your decision to accept Christ

  1. Paul wrote, " now is day of salvation," 2 Corinthians 6:2

  2.Hebrews 9:27 " after death comes the judgment."