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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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Beyond Comprehension

Christians and the Cup

Eph 5.18; Prov 20.1 

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[This message is not for the lost, it is for the saved.  Drinking is not the problem of the lost, salvation is their problem.] 

[America's Alcohol problem:]  

[  40% of adult Americans have direct family experience with alcohol abuse and alcoholism.] 

[  Marvin Block, former chairman of the American Medical Association Committee on Alcoholism said, "Ours is a drug oriented society largely because of alcohol. Because of its social acceptance alcohol is rarely thought of as a drug, but a drug it is in scientific fact."] 

[  Advertisers this year will spend more than $500,000,000.00 telling you, your children, and I to drink.] 

[  Thirteen- to fifteen-year-olds are at high risk to begin drinking (3). According to results of an annual survey of students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades.] [ -  National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism    No. 37   July 1997] 

[     26 percent of 8th graders, 40 percent of 10th graders, and 51 percent of 12th graders reported drinking alcohol within the past month. ] 

[     Binge drinking at least once during the 2 weeks before the survey was reported by 16 percent of 8th graders, 25 percent of 10th graders, and 30 percent of 12th graders. ] 

[  A survey focusing on the alcohol-related problems experienced by 4,390 high school seniors and dropouts found that within the preceding year, approximately 80 percent reported either getting "drunk," binge drinking, or drinking and driving. More than half said that drinking had caused them to feel sick, miss school or work, get arrested, or have a car crash.]  [ -  National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism    No. 37   July 1997] 

[  There were 16,885 alcohol-related fatalities in 2005 – 39 percent of the total traffic fatalities for the year.] [ 27 Sept 2007] 

[  Nationwide in 2005, alcohol was present in 24 percent of the drivers involved in fatal crashes (BAC .01-.07, 4 percent; BAC .08 or greater, 20 percent). One alcohol-related fatality every 31 minutes] [ 27 Sept 2007] 

[  An estimated 254,000 persons were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present — an average of one person injured approximately every 2 minutes.] [ 27 Sept 2007] 

[  In 2005, a total of 414 (21%) of the fatalities among children age 14 and younger occurred in crashes involving alcohol. Of those 414 fatalities, more than half (224), of those killed were passengers in vehicles with drivers with BAC levels of .01 or higher.] [ 27 Sept 2007]

[  Every weekend night from 10 pm to 1 am one in every thirteen drivers on the highway are drunk.] 

[  From 1am and 6am on weekends one in seven drivers are drunk.] 

[  From 1988 to 1998 four times as many Americans died in alcohol related accidents as were killed in the Vietnam War.] 

[It only takes two drinks to cause slight impairment of balance, speech, vision, reaction time and hearing.  Judgment and self-control are reduced and caution, reason and memory are impaired.] 

[The younger a person starts drinking and the greater the intensity and frequency of its use the greater the risk of that person using other drugs.] 

[  Youth who use alcohol at anytime are seven and a half times more likely to use an illicit drug, and 50 times more likely to use cocaine than a young person who never drank alcohol.] [Dr. Johnny Hunt, First Baptist Church, Wood Stock Ga.] 

[Billy Sunday called liquor the liquid devil.  Billy Sunday noted:] 

[  The Bible says wine is a deceiver, the Bible also say the devil is the great deceiver.] 

[  The Bible says wine bits as a serpent, the Bible also says the devil is the old serpent. (Prov 23.32)] 

["Moderation is not the answer to alcohol abuse,
it is the cause of alcohol abuse."]
[Johnny Hunt]

[Most Christians:] 

[  Believe that Drunkenness is a sin.] 

[  Do not believe that recreational drinking, or using alcohol in moderation is a sin.] 

[  One half of ordained minister's drink.] 

[  One-third of all active churchgoers drink.] 

[  48% of Southern Baptist drink. 16% of those become alcoholics.] 

["Someone might say, "Well, preacher, drinking can't be all that bad.  After all Jesus turned water into wine."] 

A. The Description of Wine (Prov 20.1) [Alcohol and the Bible] 

[Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.] 

1.   Strong Drink [- Means distilled liquor and mixed drinks.] 

[a.  This refers to mix drinks, which are mixed or manipulated so as to boost their alcoholic content.] 

[b. In every Biblical usage, New Testament and Old Testament, its use is condemned.] 

2.   Old Testament Wine (Isa 16.10; Prov 20.1; Isa 65.8) [- A generic word that can mean intoxicating and non-intoxicating wine.  Used 144 times in the Old Testament.] 

[a.  Isa 16.10 - referring to a grape that is being treaded, not fermented.  Still in the cluster.] 

[Isaiah 16:10 And gladness is taken away, and joy out of the plentiful field; and in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither shall there be shouting: the treaders shall tread out no wine in their presses; I have made their vintage shouting to cease.]  

[b.  Prov 20.1 - referring to fermented wine.  Known by the contents of its use. 

Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.]  

[c.  Isa 65.8 - This is another Hebrew word for wine and refers to wine still in the grape] 

[Isaiah 65:8 Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all.] 

[d. Ancient Traditions concerning Wine and Alcohol - The Jewish Mishnah—the ancient oral and later written interpretations of the Mosaic law that preceded the Talmud—states that the Jews regularly used boiled wine, that is, grape juice reduced to a thick consistency by heating. Aristotle described the wine of Arcadia as being so thick that it had to be scraped from the skin bottles in which it was stored and the scrapings diluted with water in order to make a drink. The Roman historian Pliny often referred to nonintoxicating wine. The Roman poet Horace wrote in 35 b.c., "Here you quaff under a shade, cups of unintoxicating wine." In the ninth book of his Odyssey Homer told of Ullyses putting in his boat a goatskin of sweet black wine that was diluted with twenty parts of water before being drunk. In a.d. 60 the Greek biographer Plutarch commented that "filtered wine neither inflames the brain nor infects the mind and the passions, and is much more pleasant to drink." 

3.   New Testament Wine (John 2.1-11; Hab 2.15; 1 Tim 5.23) [- oinios (gk) - It is a general term.] 

[a.  John 2.1-11 - Where Jesus turned water into wine.] 

[1)  While wine is found there the context of drunkenness is not found there.] 

[2)  Jesus himself never spoke the word wine.  Jesus used the words 'cup' and 'fruit of the vine.'] 

[3) The bible declares that Jesus never sinned.  Hence Jesus could never have placed a cup of intoxicating drink in any persons hand.  Why?  Because the Bible states:] 

[Habakkuk 2:15 15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! ]

[b.  Scholars have said that the fermented wine of Jesus day was not the heavy wine we have today.] 

[1)  In Jesus day they would take grapes, dates, apples, and some honeycomb and would put it together and over long periods of time it would ferment.] 

[2)  Yale University released a study that said, the normal process of fermenting fruit of the vine does not produce a drink of sufficient alcohol content to bring on drunkenness.  They noted that there must be a mechanical interference with the process, such as the addition of pure alcohol or other mechanical processes of distillation or it will not produce the kind of wine that is common today.] [Quoted by Dr. Johnny Hunt] 

[3)  The Hebrews would have referred to our wine and beer as strong drink.] 

[4)  Today a minimum of 20% pure alcohol is added to our wine.  A process that finds its origin in the middle ages with the Arabs.  The wine of our day does not remotely compare to that of Jesus day.] 

[5)  Robert Stien did a study comparing the wine of Jesus day with our wine today.  He discovered that the wine of Jesus day was wine mixed with water.  On average it would be three to four parts of water with one part of wine.  This resulted in nothing more than purified water. The wine in the water would kill the germs.  He noted that it would take 22 glesses of wine in Jesus day to equate the alcohol content of only two martinis.] [Christianity Today magazine (June 20, 1975)] 

[a)  This adds light to Paul direction toward Timothy, "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities."  (1 Tim 5.23)] 

[6) Alcohol Content - Naturally fermented wine has an alcoholic content of from nine to eleven percent. For an alcoholic beverage such as brandy to have a higher content, it must be artificially fortified by distilling already-fermented wine. The unmixed wine of the ancients therefore had a maximum alcohol content of eleven percent. Even mixed half and half (a mixture which Mnesitheus said would bring madness), the wine would have had less than five percent alcohol. Since the strongest wine normally drunk was mixed at least with three parts water to one of wine, its alcohol content would have been in a range no higher than 2.25-2.75 percent—well below the 3.2 percent that today is generally considered necessary to classify a beverage as alcoholic. — The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, “Do not get drunk with wine, Eph 5.18] 

B. The Deception of Wine (Prov 23.29-35) 

[Proverbs 23:29-35 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 34Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. 35They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.] 

[This passage, without argument, refers to fermented wine.  In this condition the Bible says leave it alone.] 

1.   The affects of Strong Drink: 

a.   Wine cause emotional problems [- Woes and sorrows.] 

[1)  It will bring you into unnecessary temptation (vs 33) "Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things."] 

[2)  It will cause you to make foolish decisions (vs 34) - "Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast."] 

b.   Wine causes social problems [- Contentions and babblings.] 

[1)  People will take advantage of you (vs 35) "They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not."] 

[a)  According to one study, 60% of college women who were diagnosed with an STD did so while they were drunk.] 

["Alcohol has the tendency to relax your morals."] 

c.   Wine causes physical problems [- Wounds and redness of eyes.  Wine will cause you to see strange things and to utter strange things.] 

[Illustration - Ray, The drunk in Cabbagetown.  The digression of his condition.] 

Ephes. 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;  

[1.  Excess - asotia as-o-tee'-ah (gk) - riot, excess, debauchery 1) an abandoned, dissolute life 2) profligacy, prodigality] 

C. The Discipline of Wisdom (Prov 20.1; Eph 5.18) As God's child God wants you: 

1.   To be Wise (Prov 20.1; Psalm 111.10; Prov 9.10) [- "Whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."] 

[Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. ] 

[Deceived means to be led astray] 

[Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. ] 

[Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. ] 

2.   To be a Winner (Eph 5.18; Prov 31.4-7).  [How does God equip you to win.] 

[a.  He fills you with the Holy Spirit.] 

[Ephes. 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; ] 

[b.  He has crowned you as a King.] 

[1)  Who should not drink - Kings!] 

[Proverbs 31:4-5 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: 5Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.] 

[2)  Who Should Drink - Those who are dying.] 

[Proverbs 31:6-7 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. 7Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. ] 

3.   To be a Witness (Rom 14.12-13; Hab 2.15-16). 

[a.  I will do no harm - There will be no hurtles in my path.] 

[1)  What if I left the Church tonight, went home and went out in my front yard and stood there with a beer in my hand.  Do you know what my lost neighbor would say, "Man, that's just not right."] 

[Romans 14:12-13 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. ] 

[2)  I want God's hand to help me, not hinder me as I witness for him.] 

[Habakkuk 2:15-16 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! 16Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the Lord's right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.] 

[b.  I will be a herald for Jesus] 

[1)  I want our Church to know that I am worthy to be followed.] 

[2)  I want the world to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that changes lives, from me.]



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