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January 8, 2020 3:00 am
You'll move in your own flesh you don't move with your own ideas you don't generate your own will. You are blown along under the wind of the Spirit of God were carried along the path that he will go to be filled with the spirit, is to be carried along from day to day from moment to moment from enterprise to power study living in the spirit.
This series answers to crucial questions for every believer. How do I become filled with the spirit and how I make sure I'm abiding in him and enjoying his presence. Well, John, is this study looks at a goal for every believer.
This coming year to live in the spirit at all times.
I want to ask you about some spirit filled friends of yours. People who recently modeled thankfulness and generosity here at Grace to you and invested in the spirits work across the globe. Well here talking about our supporters and were still in the glow of the end of the year, giving in just a few days into January and this is a perfect time for us to say we've all been standing in the stacks of mail and the loving personal messages in the tens of thousands of donations to the ministry and I just want to say look, we we see great sacrifice.
In this we don't know every personal story we we read a lot of wonderful stories but the level of sacrifice that comes through these gifts just speaks volumes about how much you love the truth of luck. It's really not about me even though I have the privilege of being the teacher. It's not about grace to you as an organization you love the truth that's that's why you investing grace to you we we know that I I know that about the people to come to Grace Community Church. People say we go to Grace Community Church and you can say why you go there because we love the truth because we want to hear the truth. The church is to be the pillar and ground of the truth and you love the truth that is the common denominator among all those who have a part in Grace Community Church and all those who were raised to listeners or who download sermons on the Internet or watch us on television or order CDs or get books from the ministry.
Is this common love of the truth that we share together and were so grateful for that. And out of that love for the truth comes your sacrificial giving God will bless his truth. Also, so it's not just a human response is good and noble as it is, I think it's a response empowered by the work of the spirit in the heart, our ability to do what we do through radio books, CDs, television, the Internet is a direct reflection of sacrificial generosity on the part of folks like you. We teach the Bible.
That's what were all about. We can do it but we can't spread it unless you are our partners so thank you for caring. Thank you for realizing the value of the truth and comparable value in making it available in your community. As we enter into 20/20. Yes friend. This verse by verse.
Teaching is both explaining the gospel to nonbelievers and helping Christians around the globe grow spiritually and your support allows us to have that kind of personal life changing ministry so thanks again for your generosity and out, let's get to today's lesson here is John MacArthur continuing his study living in the spirit we are going to digress just a little bit from our text of Ephesians 518 verse 18 introduces to us the topic of drunkenness and that introduces to us the topic of drinking and because there have been so many many questions about this very important area. Many of you have asked is it right.
Should a Christian drink alcoholic beverages.
What does the Bible teach and so forth and so on that we decided to stop here and share some thoughts on that.
Some people say a Christian should not drink at all. Absolutely no it is forbidden.
It is wrong. It is soon other say Christian can drink yes in moderation.
It's fine, especially since the Bible indicates of God's people drink wine and if you do it in moderation. It's it's fine. I've been with Christians in this country in Europe and Latin America and other places as some who did drink and some who did not. Some go to dinner and they wouldn't think of ordering wine and others order it first and then later think about dinner.
I've had the people on various mission fields tell me to stay in such a such a place because the wind was best.
There and I got on the other hand, people who have been in the mission field society for many many years and never have consumed any and all it doesn't seem to be an issue of whether here geographically or somewhere else. But there is indeed a lot of mixed feeling about whether it's right. I've had people come to me and say when you going to preach against drinking and I've had people come to me and say you're not going to preach against drinking are you I would say come and find out. I know there's a lot of concern the last thing I want to do is put everybody under a lot of guilt in the last thing I want to do is to make you think that whether you drink or don't drink as a symbol and emblem of your spirituality spirituality is what you are what you do is only manifestation of that. Now remember, this than our last study of Ephesians 518.
We told you that drinking is used in the contrast here with the Holy Spirit filling because it was not so much a social thing that Paul is looking at as it was theological sure people in that society. Just as in this society.
In every other society around the world through the history of man drink to forget their troubles drink to induce joy drink to induce some sense of comfort. It is true that there is a social element to it, but what Paul has in mind goes way beyond that is theological. You see, wine was used for inducing drunkenness in pagan religions in the worship of pagan gods by the Greeks and the Romans in order to induce what they thought was a higher religious consciousness. They believed that the more drunk they were. The higher level of consciousness they attain to communion with their God is exactly what Paul was saying in first Corinthians 10, when he said you can drink the cup of demons, and the cup of the Lord, you can't go and drink the cup that makes you drunk to commune with the gods and then come and take the cup of communion by which you commune with Jesus Christ our communion demands.
The full use of your faculty as it is energized by the filling of the spirit. In contrast to their communion, which is really them. The absence of your faculties induced by the alcoholic content. In some drink.
So when Paul is saying, do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the spirit, he is saying you're all kind of religious worship is out. The new is in and it is by the Holy Spirit, not by broken so that's the basis of his contrast. That's the basis of his comparison is far more than just a social issue. He's talking religiously. He is saying if you want to walk the worthy walk the walk in humility and in unity and you going a lot different than the Gentiles walk you going to walk in love and light and wisdom, then you will not induce your communion with God through drunkenness, you will do it by the filling of the spirit of God. The point is that drunkenness is forbidden because it is a manifestation of an old way of life incompatible with the okay nice table, but can we know what to do we know whether we should drink or not drink as the Bible say anything to help us well yes it does number give that to you. This is what I call the Christians wine list. I'm I give you eight checkpoints master these eight questions and you have to think them through with me and I really believe first of all, that this will help you to make a decision.
Let me tell you that the Bible does not forbid drinking wine Bible and say that it does not say that wine is forbidden, but it does say some things that help us to know what we ought to do number one this is the first question that came in my mind, is it the same one he met that is drinking today the same as in Bible times better is the wind. Today the same as that. The reason I ask this is because inevitably Christians who drink rely strongly on their right to drink being based on the Bible say what Jesus drank the apostles drank a drink in the Old Testament drink and it doesn't do Anything wrong and I thought about that.
I thought let's get me they want to use a biblical base Bible people didn't. So what's the big deal since I didn't have. They say a refrigeration, then it surely was permitted and they drank a fermented and were drinking fermented. What's the big deal so I immediately began to think well. I wonder if the wind today is the same as it was the and I have found some fabulous information, share with Johanna only give some words to start is of the biblical words and Emily integrate those into the thing we discussed was the wind. They drank the same as ours to use their drinking is the basis of our drinking that's gonna have to be specific. If it doesn't, and that that principles out I will find another art. First of all, the most common word in the New Testament is going us all. I NOS the Greek word owing us is a word that simply refers to the juice of grapes is a very general word is used very commonly and it is the normal New Testament word for wine. Now the Old Testament equivalent, throwing us as union why a Y I and that's the Hebrew word its use.
141 times in the Old Testament and the word EIN is referring watches when to wind that is mixed okay mixed not with other wine but usually with a water sometimes with honey, sometimes with herbs and sometimes with murder but always mixed and all. And even if it was mixed with honey murder and herbs. It could also be mixed with water so they had some various concoction out yet. I and by the way, means mixed wine. I found that in the 1901 Jewish encyclopedia. That's not a Christian interpretation. That's not something we just thought up the Jews themselves looking at their own Hebrew text and examining their own use of words a giant means mixed wine. There two more words, we have to consider glucose from which we get glucose which is of sugar-based kind of thing. Glucosamine's new wine new watches in acts 213 when a set of the apostles on the day of Pentecost are filled with new wine. Is that fresh want, but what is still fermented. It wouldn't take very many days to ferment and even fresh wine just out of the grapes without a refrigeration process would ferment very rapidly, so that was comparatively fresh and was not fully aged it was still potentially intoxicating. That is why it acts 213. They said these men are drunk with new wine. The fact that it was did not mean that it didn't intoxicate it would ferment just as fast. Now you just squeezed out of the grape and drank it. Obviously, it wouldn't necessarily be fermented, but what was called glucose or new wine could be just days, weeks or a few months from from absolute freshness and it would still be fermented by the way the Old Testament word for that is to Roche TIR OSH and to Roche also means new wine so new wine to Roche new wine glucose both cases could create drunkenness. So the fact that it was new wine that didn't mean that wouldn't happen right. I want to be another work, another word you need to know in the Old Testament is Shankar and Shankar mean strong drink and that means unmixed New Testament were to secure it means unmixed omega-3 thing number one owing us and EIN are mixed wine wine mixed with water. That's the predominant use and then there is glucose and to Roche. That's that fresh new wine which by the way was also mixed with water as far as history tells us.
Thirdly, there was Shankar and secure which was unmixed straight wine right out of the great bit of the glass into the mouth. Nothing in between. Based on these terms want to give you some historical insights. In all, it's just gonna come together and I think you find it fascinating. My conclusion is this, I give the conclusion. Firstly, no or little the wine of Bible times was, not necessarily the same as the wine we have today. The wine drunk today is unmixed with water is straight one that is not true of biblical wine not show you why. First of all some of the wine of the Bible times was absolutely on intoxicating it was, it was just not fermented. It was on intoxicating in any said Prof. Samuel Lee of Cambridge University says this he says that EIN that's mixed wine or owing us in the New Testament word does not refer only to intoxicating liquor made by fermentation, but more often refers to a thick onion intoxicating syrup or jam produced by watch this boiling to make it storable, which indicates that was very common for them to take that which came out of the great, the wine that came out of the great and then boil it which would cause the evaporation of all the liquid, the loss of fermentation capacity.
When the liquid departs and they would have a storable kind of pace which they would put in jars of this is no different than women canning things today to preserve the and they would preserve this thick syrupy substance. The grape juice. By the way it was left after the boiling process could not ferment in that condition. It was then stored in new wineskins. There were times and places when they definitely wanted to eliminate any alcoholic or fermentation capability of what they would use so it is not simple enough to just say they drank alcoholic beverage because it was a refrigeration. They got around that.
This way in the thick syrup similar to grape jelly. By the way they very frequently squeezed on bread like jam. Did you know that when they wanted to drink it. They would squeeze it into something and mix it according to planning the Roman historian with up to 20 parts of water concentrated grape juice.
By the way is still around and it's called today did the IBS is used today in the vineyards in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon is used for food seasoning. It is used even to put on bread and it saves the necessity of refrigeration to preserve and non-fermenting drink so I understand from that people is this that the the wine. It was consumed, then, was not necessarily what we know is wind today.
It was a concentrated grape juice with its fermentation and intoxicating property remove the point I'm making is that you cannot defend wine drinking today on the basis that they drank wine, then, unless you can prove that you're drinking the same thing.
They were drinking okay if you can't do that and you gotta leave that argument alone and you gotta say, well, I can drink wine for another reason and okay will go to another reason, but that one is a go to work I must. It's the same. Let me add another thing they not only had the space but they also did stored as a liquid from time to time and liquid would ferment now. According to Robert Steiner. Did the research on this.
In 1975, put it out in Christianity today. They used to keep the liquid form of wine which would be used on a daily basis and maybe they would want to always have to take the paste and mix it if they couldn't didn't have time or for whatever reason it was stored in large jugs called Faure and they would do that from the Faure, they would draw out the wine pure wine unmixed with water, they would pour it into cry tears KRA TRS cry tears of craters friend there in the crater they would mix it with water so that they would pour the water in the mix, and from the crop terribly go to the calyx which is the cup they never served wine from the on parade to the calyx without going through the frontier.
In other words, they didn't serve wine, not mixed with water. It wasn't the paste of the was liquid and it did ferment, then they would mix it with water. Another point I'm trying to make people is this unmixed wine was even unacceptable to that culture.
Strong drink was unmixed and that was for barbarians to drink as we move away from the church of the new test we get into this to the church after the New Testament church. The early church recall they wrote about this and in a volume called the apostolic tradition and in the apostolic tradition. It says the early church followed this same custom serving only mixed wine, whether from a syrup or a liquid base you say what what is the significance of all of this, we try to say when try to save is this if you want to defend the fact that you can drink wine today on the basis of the fact that they drank it in the Bible, then you need to re-examine whether what we drink today is the same as what they drank that and we find out as we get close to the subject that they drank what was either totally on intoxicating, such as the syrup base or what was so diluted with water that it's intoxication level was very, very minimal so the point is this people, whether you talk about the paste whether talk about the mixture. The wine that was consumed in those days was a wine with a nonexistent or negligible alcohol content and drunkenness was something that you set out to do to get drunk and people who did it just linger long until they got drunk and also not seen a guy lose his faculties on wine in 45 minutes by taking a smear for last. That could've happened in the Bible times you have to linger with your wine along to do that. So the point people is just that you cannot use that which was consumed in the Bible as a basis for what we drink today they would look on what we drink today as barbarians, barbarians, that was not what they consume so first question.
Is it the same answer. What no second question is it necessary, is it necessary now I realize that in in the biblical times.
It was somewhat necessary to drink wine and there may be times today when it's necessary. May not the Bible and say you can't do it because the Bible knows it and times in history. There's going to be situations where you don't have much choice.
I mean if you're in a particular country the world what that's all there is and you are dying of thirst, and so for the so on that you got little choice than you're going to take advantage of what is available. So the Bible doesn't just flat out blank wipe it out we have to go to this question.
Is it necessary today the Lord produced wine and the Lord talked about drinking wine is one of the Old Testament because it was of necessity in their society.
But don't conclude that it was permitted to don't conclude that it was intoxicating because it may not have been there may have been times when they had a wine that was a one-to-one mix because that's what the host offer and that's all that was available and had to be very careful there may have been times when when strong drink was offered and in the midst of thirst. They took a small amount because they had no choice may have been times when all these things were there, but we have to keep in mind that in that day and in that agent maybe in some parts of the world today. There is no necessity for this and that's why God doesn't give us a blanket statement, but the point is this.
If we ask ourselves is my drinking necessary.
That's a very important question.
In those days. Maybe they had wine fruit juice, milk and water. I was at little choice today. You can drink anything up in the cupboards or the market you just jam. Everything conceivable, we would have to say this is drinking wine necessary to date. What's in it.
No it is not necessary so it moves out of the category of a necessity into the category of a preference right it's it has to be in the category of a preference of a warrant that's that's only pushing put. So really, if you're going to say that you drink you can't say I drink because they did in the Bible just saying you do because you want to, that's for you prefer that you'd rather drink wine and poker teach ice to your honor will just admit that that's that's basically what it is in our society, but don't use this argument, you say well I really think is necessary is a vital do it then people are going to be offended if I a fine of five lots of unsaved friends and they drink and I feel I need to just have a beer with the boys ready to drink of this with the gang, and I mean I just I just really need to be a part. I just think I do want to offend the me know. Frankie people. That is the dumbest argument ever really that's no argument at all.
That is no argument at all. I mean that it is. If a whole bunch people get together and then they'll scratch behind her left ear.
Do you scratch my left ear. So you be a part.
If everybody in your block doesn't use deodorant. Do you not use your what is that that's no argument that's a non sequitur that is saying anything silly. You know, there are probably as many non-Christians you don't drink as there are Christians who don't.
In this age, there are a lot of unsaved people. Don't drink, you thought you can meet them all in one place of the just go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting their whole bunch of people sworn off altogether. You meet people all the time you are Christian people who don't drink.
I've even been in the situation with Christians and non-christens were the Christians drank in the non-Christian student that is no argument. People are going to make a big theological conclusion about your inability to develop human relationship because you don't drink nothing to say that fact a lot of people who wish to God.
They didn't drink out of.
So I only buy the argument that you gotta do it to be accepted. I've been in South America. I've been down in Latin America where people drink I been in Mexico are people really not been in Israel I been in Europe.
I've never seen to be an issue where somebody would denigrate my Christianity or somebody would think less of me because I chose not to do that.
I don't think that's any argument I do say this if it's a necessity if you if you if you're in a situation where that's that's what is available and that's what's there and you have little or no choice then with discretion.
You need to deal with it as a necessity but admitted in our society is a preference is a preference so I have to ask this through Christ and I just can introduce it and I want to stop by just giving a tutor six more but I listen this third question very quickly. Is it the best choice.
All right admit you can choose to do it is the best choice if there was a lot better for the coffee flood better for the Coca-Cola somebody else's. I never saw a guy drink a Coke and could walk a straight line so we can argue about that. Is it the best choice for me to show you one thing and then I might get into this next time I want to show you who was forbidden by God to drink at all in the Bible will find out whether it's a best choice. But before I do that and just enclosing Luke 115.
I want you to meet the greatest man who ever lived. Okay this is the greatest man who ever lived up until his time.
Matthew 1111 Jesus set up to his time is greatest human beings ever live very very great man and look what it says in Luke 154. He shall be great in the sight of the Lord. I watch and shall drink neither wine or anonymous nor center strong drink. He shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's move now what's going on, the greatest man who ever was a teetotaler.
God forbade him to drink a drop why that's for next let's pray together. Our father, we know that it's easy for us to evaluate our spiritual lives on the do's and don'ts that aren't really the issue. We know you haven't forbidden the drinking of wine and yet there are some things are clear in Scripture were to try to see to help us make a decision. But God, may we always know that it isn't the people who don't drink or spiritual. The people who do or not isn't that simple. There are other things to consider not doing something, never makes us anything.
We are is the issue.
Lord, wherever we are and where we've been in this issue. Help us to see it the way you see help us to understand the way you understand it, so wonderful Lord that you've given us so much truth to deal with so many things to protect us. We know we not only should avoid sin we should avoid anything that could even precipitates to help to write checks for arson, you would have us. We love you because we know you care so much about us even enough to tell us these so we can guard our lives, decision-making for your thank you guys, that's John MacArthur with questions you can ask when deciding if you should drink alcohol. These biblical checkpoints can help you honor the Holy Spirit with your life. The title of his current study here on grace to you living in the spirit. Keep in mind you can download today's lesson and the rest of the living in the spirit study firstname.lastname@example.org or you can order the study on seven CDs, perhaps, to give to a friend or family member to get a copy. Contact us today our website address again TTY.org and our toll-free number 855 grace the living in the spirit seven CD set is reasonably priced and shipping is free and if you'd like to put these messages on your smart phone you can download them for free TTY.also, if you want to learn more about any topic in the Bible maybe the nature of God's sovereignty or creation. How God designed the local church to be.
You will likely find what you're email@example.com we have thousands of online resources that are all available at no cost to you. That includes devotionals blog articles from John and the staff 3500 sermons from John all free to download that website again.
GT Y.now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson reminding you to watch grace to you. Television Sundays on DirecTV channel 378 that's in our BT or check your local listings for workstation in times and then make sure you're here tomorrow is going to show you what should and shouldn't controlling influence of your life. That lesson is a key part of his current study, living in the spirit. It's another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace