Commentary on "The Water of Life"
Day 7: Friday, April 23, 2010
Today’s lesson could also be titled ‘Natural Beverages’ with pure water being the drink of choice for those interested in good health. The lesson concludes by referring to Rev. 22:17, ‘let the one who desires take the water of life without price’.
Since we are considering beverages, it is the time to investigate the biblical meaning and use of wine, the one beverage Adventist teaching is against the use of because of its alcoholic content. First, we will look at the meaning of what wine is as defined in the Hebrew language.
In the Hebrew language, there are eight words that are translated as ‘wine’ in the English language. They are listed here with supporting biblical references:
‘Yayin’ is the generic word for wine. The following verses support the understanding that it is an alcoholic beverage and would have been the common understanding during New Testament times, Gen. 9:21; I Sam. 25:36, 37; Isa. 28:1; Jer. 23:9. The other Hebrew words that define the meaning of wine are; ‘tirosh’, ‘chemer’, ‘shekar’, ‘asis’, ‘sob’e’, ‘mimsak’, and ‘shemarim’. Each of these words adds to and supports our understanding that wine is alcoholic. The Greek words used in the New Testament also support this definition. Regardless of a person’s opinion as to the whether or not wine should be in their diet, wherever wine is mentioned in the bible, it is an alcoholic beverage.
While there are a multitude of passages that condemn drunkenness, there is nothing in Scripture to consider the temperate use of wine as a sin. In fact, in Deut. 14:26, where the topic is ‘use of tithe money’, the Jew was commanded to buy, drink and enjoy wine and strong drink.
The original Lord’s Supper Jesus held with his disciples was centered on the celebration of the Passover, where drinking wine was included as part of the meal.
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." (Matt. 26:27-29 ESV)
Clearly, Jesus drank wine then and he says he will do so again. The conclusion is unavoidable. The temperate use of alcoholic beverages is not a sin because Jesus is without sin.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, (Eph. 5:18 ESV)
Once again we see that drunkenness is sinful. But, don’t stop there with just that understanding. Notice that there is a comparison between wine and the Holy Spirit. Both wine and the Holy Spirit indwell a person with one very important difference. It is all too easy to over indulge in the use of wine but you can never have too much of the Holy Spirit.
Copyright 2010 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised April 12, 2010. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Glendale, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
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