Summary: Titus 1:7
TO DRINK OR NOT TO DRINK
I don’t know about you but one thing that I really enjoy doing is reading the Bible, the Word of God. I know that I do not read it as much as I such, and I am quite sure that none of us do. In speaking with people regarding what the Bible teaches, and this is true with both believers and unbelievers, is that they tend to make one mistake in there understanding of the Bible. And that is the forget the culture in which the Bible written. They think in terms of Matthew, and Paul, or John, writing in the 20th century, instead of the 1st century AD.
We need to realize that some things cannot simply be taken out of their 1st century context and placed neatly in the 20th century. Now I am in know way suggesting that the God’s truth somehow changes, God’s truth is eternal.
But what I am saying is that we need to understand what the truth is the God is trying to teach us. This is why we need to study the Word of God, and understand some things regarding the culture in which the New Testament was written. We need to understand that so that we can apply that truth to our lives today.
Some are simple. The Bible teaches "that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures," That when we place our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour we have eternal life. The fact that you need to admit you are a sinner and go to the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ for forgiveness is a truth that transcends time and culture. Now that truth can be applied to any point in history. We can understand that no matter what culture we live.
We also read a story about Jesus and the money changes. How Jesus chases them out of the temple, calling them thieves. Now I do not see any money changers here this morning. In fact I would be willing to go out on limb here and say that none of you have seen a money changer in a church.
Now because the Bible tells us that "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," there is a true to be learned in that story. In order to understand what that truth is we need go back into the 1st century AD, look at the culture and the circumstances, and then apply the truth that we find to today.
The reason I point this is because today’s topic is like that. When discussing the topic of drinking wine, or other alcoholic beverages many people place today’s cultural taboos and today’s outlook on the 1st century and try to make the scriptures states something it does not state.
We need to look at what the Bible states, look at the culture of the time, and then apply the truth of God’s word to today.
As a preacher of the Word I have no right to preach from my convictions, unless those convictions a based solidly on the Word of God. It matters not what I want the Bible say, or what you want the Bible to say, but what matters is what in fact it does say.
Please turn with me to our verse for today. That would be Titus chapter 1 verse 7. That would be page 1032 in your Pew Bibles. Remember we are still going through the list of qualifications of and elder or leader of the church. This list is given to Titus by Paul as Titus seeks to build the church on the island of Crete.
"For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,"
Now we have spoken of what it is to be blameless, a steward of God, not self willed, not quick tempered and violent, this morning I want to look at the phrase "not given to wine". Now as we have seen in the past sermons, each one of these qualities can be applied to all Christians. This is how all Christians should walk.
The phrase "not given to wine" comes from a single Greek word. The Greek word here is, and please excuse my punctuation, "PAR-O-IN-OS". It can be translated literally "tarrying at wine". It refers to who would use alcohol as a form of escape. One who would set around and drink wine rather then face a problem. One who would seek joy and peace in a bottle rather then in Christ.