Bible Verses

24 best bible verses about drinking alcohol

Explore our blog post featuring 24 powerful Bible verses addressing the topic of alcohol consumption. Dive deep into scripture to understand the biblical perspective on drinking and its spiritual implications, promoting sober living and a balanced lifestyle.

Last Updated:
April 18, 2024
8 Minutes

Table of Contents

Warnings against Drunkenness


Ephesians 5:18

"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit."

Reflection: This verse contrasts the effects of being filled with alcohol and being filled with the Holy Spirit. Drunkenness leads to reckless and immoral behavior, while being filled with the Spirit leads to a life that honors God.

Proverbs 20:1

"Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise."

Reflection: This proverb personifies alcohol as a mocker and brawler, warning that those who are led astray by it lack wisdom. It emphasizes the potential for alcohol to lead to foolish and harmful behavior.

Isaiah 5:11

"Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine."

Reflection: This verse pronounces judgment on those who prioritize drinking alcohol over other responsibilities. It warns against the excessive consumption of alcohol and its negative consequences.

Romans 13:13

"Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy."

Reflection: Paul urges believers to live in a manner that is appropriate for those who belong to the light. He lists drunkenness alongside other sinful behaviors that Christians should avoid.

1 Corinthians 6:10

"Nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Reflection: This verse includes drunkards in a list of those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. It emphasizes the seriousness of habitual drunkenness and its incompatibility with the Christian life.

Galatians 5:21

"And envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Reflection: Paul lists drunkenness among the works of the flesh that are contrary to the fruit of the Spirit. He warns that those who continue to engage in such behavior will not inherit God's kingdom.

Leadership and Alcohol


Proverbs 31:4-5

"It is not for kings, Lemuel—it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights."

Reflection: This passage warns against the dangers of those in leadership positions consuming alcohol. It suggests that alcohol can impair judgment and lead to the neglect of duties and the oppression of others.

1 Timothy 3:3

"Not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money."

Reflection: In listing the qualifications for overseers, Paul states that they should not be given to drunkenness. Leaders in the church are called to exercise self-control and not be controlled by alcohol.

Titus 1:7

"Since an overseer manages God's household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain."

Reflection: Similar to 1 Timothy 3, this verse lists the qualities of an elder, which include not being given to drunkenness. Those in leadership positions are held to a high standard of behavior and self-control.

Moderation and Self-Control


Proverbs 23:20-21

"Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags."

Reflection: This proverb warns against the excessive consumption of both alcohol and food. It highlights the negative consequences of overindulgence, including poverty and laziness.

1 Corinthians 9:25

"Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."

Reflection: While not specifically about alcohol, this verse emphasizes the importance of self-discipline and self-control in the Christian life. Just as athletes exercise restraint in their training, Christians are called to exercise self-control in all areas, including the consumption of alcohol.

Titus 2:2-3

"Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good."

Reflection: Paul instructs Titus to teach both older men and women to exercise self-control and not be addicted to wine. This passage emphasizes the importance of moderation and the avoidance of excessive drinking.

Positive Uses of Alcohol


Psalm 104:14-15

"He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate—bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts."

Reflection: This psalm acknowledges wine as a gift from God that can bring joy to the human heart. It suggests that alcohol, when used in moderation, can be a blessing.

Ecclesiastes 9:7

"Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do."

Reflection: This verse encourages the enjoyment of food and wine with a glad and joyful heart. It implies that God has approved the moderate consumption of alcohol as part of the enjoyment of life.

John 2:1-11

"What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him."

Reflection: In this passage, Jesus performs His first miracle by turning water into wine at a wedding feast. While not condoning drunkenness, this miracle suggests that alcohol can have a place in celebrations and social gatherings.

1 Timothy 5:23

"Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses."

Reflection: Paul advises Timothy to use a little wine for medicinal purposes. This verse acknowledges that alcohol can have some positive health benefits when used in moderation.

Abstinence and Personal Conviction


Romans 14:21

"It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall."

Reflection: This verse emphasizes the importance of considering the impact of our actions on others. If drinking alcohol causes another believer to stumble, it is better to abstain for the sake of their spiritual well-being.

1 Corinthians 10:31

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

Reflection: This verse provides a guiding principle for all of our actions, including the consumption of alcohol. Whatever we do, it should be done with the aim of bringing glory to God.

Colossians 3:17

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Reflection: Similar to 1 Corinthians 10:31, this verse encourages us to do everything, including drinking or not drinking alcohol, in a way that honors Christ and expresses gratitude to God.

Consequences of Alcohol Abuse


Proverbs 23:29-35

"Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights, and your mind will imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. 'They hit me,' you will say, 'but I'm not hurt! They beat me, but I don't feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?'"

Reflection: This passage vividly describes the negative consequences of excessive drinking, including physical, emotional, and mental suffering. It warns against the deceptive nature of alcohol and the danger of addiction.

Hosea 4:11

"Promiscuity, old wine, and new wine take away my people's understanding."

Reflection: This verse suggests that excessive drinking can impair judgment and lead people astray. It warns against allowing alcohol to cloud one's understanding and decision-making.

Habakkuk 2:15

"Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies!"

Reflection: This verse condemns those who encourage others to drink excessively for the purpose of taking advantage of them. It highlights the potential for alcohol to be used as a tool for exploitation and abuse.

Sobriety and Watchfulness


1 Peter 5:8

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

Reflection: This verse calls for believers to be alert and sober-minded, recognizing the spiritual dangers that surround them. Excessive drinking can dull one's spiritual senses and make them more vulnerable to temptation and attack.

1 Thessalonians 5:6-8

"So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet."

Reflection: Paul contrasts those who are spiritually asleep and drunk with those who are awake and sober. He encourages believers to remain sober and vigilant, protected by faith, love, and the hope of salvation.

Luke 12:45-46

"But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers."

Reflection: In this parable, Jesus warns against the temptation to indulge in drunkenness and other sins when one thinks the master is delayed. It emphasizes the importance of remaining faithful and sober, always ready for the Lord's return.

Frequently asked questions

What does the Bible say about drinking alcohol?

The Bible does not outright forbid the consumption of alcohol, but it warns against excessiveness and intoxication. Verses such as Proverbs 20:1, Ephesians 5:18 and Galatians 5:21 highlight that becoming drunk can lead to poor judgment and behaviors that are not in line with Christian values.

Can alcohol be consumed moderately according to the scriptures?

Yes, the Bible accepts moderate, responsible drinking. As evidenced in verses like Ecclesiastes 9:7 and 1 Timothy 5:23, alcohol, in moderation, can be enjoyed as a gift from God. However, it's crucial to understand what responsible drinking means and not to let it lead us into sin.

What is the Bible's view on drunkenness?

The Bible strongly condemns drunkenness. We see this in verses like Proverbs 23:20-21 and Isaiah 5:11. The scriptures warn that drunkenness can lead to destructive behavior, poor decision-making, and can damage one's relationship with God.

Does abstinence from alcohol make someone more righteous in the sight of God?

Righteousness in the sight of God is not determined by the avoidance of certain foods or drinks but by one's faith and having a lifestyle that aligns with Christ's teachings. This is indicated in Romans 14:17. Abstinence can be a personal conviction, but it doesn't inherently make one more righteous.

What advice does the Bible give for those struggling with alcohol addiction?

The Bible calls those struggling with addiction to seek help and turn to God for strength. Passages such as Psalm 34:17-20 and Philippians 4:13 speak to God's healing power and our ability to overcome challenges through Him. Seek support from your faith community and consider professional counseling as well. 

How can we use the Bible’s teaching on alcohol to guide our daily lives?

We can apply the Bible's teachings on alcohol as a guide towards moderation, self-control, and wisdom in all aspects of our lives. Scriptures like Proverbs 23:19-21 and Ephesians 5:15-18 remind us not to be controlled by our desires, but instead be filled with the Spirit, making choices that honor our body – the temple of God.

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