*Note: Credit and thanks to Alan Jones for material in this outline.

S.R. 1 Peter 4:1-7


  1. Truth does not Contradict Truth
  2. Example of Satan trying to re-interpret truth to get Jesus to sin.
    1. Matthew 4:5-7 Truth does not contradict
    2. Satan used Psalm 91:11-12
    3. Jesus used Deut. 6:16
  3. Some will use:
    1. Eccl. 9:7 to try to contradict
    2. Proverbs 20:1 and 23:29-35
  4. Often folks will cite
    1. John2:1-11 as proof that Jesus approved of drinking alcohol.
    2. Yet, Jesus did not and would not contradict what He directed Peter to write in 1 Peter 4:3
    3. "For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousals, drinking parties and abominable idolatries" (1 Pet. 4:3). Notice three distinct terms Peter employs: 1) drunkenness; 2) carousals or revelries, the out-of-control conduct associated with drunkenness; 3) drinking parties. This word refers to the act of drinking, then a drinking occasion; "not of necessity excessive, but giving opportunity to excess" (Trench). Peter thus condemns three things: the excess state, the conduct associated with it, and the activity which leads up to it – drinking.
    4. 1 Peter 4:7 “… therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.”


  1. Wine is not always “Wine”
    1. Definition – 1. a. “A beverage made of the fermented juice of any of various kinds of grapes’ usually containing from 10 to 15 percent alcohol by volume.” 2. “Something that intoxicates or exhilarates.” (American Heritage Dictionary)
  2. Hebrew usage of the term “Wine.”
    1. tirosh (38x) the natural grape and its contents, commonly used with corn (grain) and oil, the trio of natural blessings field, vineyard, and tree, see Dt 7:12-13
    2. yayin (141x) a general term, meaning determined by context:
      1. grape Jer 40:10,12
      2. fresh juice Isa 16:10
      3. mixed (syrup mixed w/water) Prov 9:2,5
      4. intoxicating Gen 9:21; Prov 23:31
      5. intoxicating mixed w/drugs Ps 75:8
    3. Grape Juice Could Be Preserved (Must)
      1. “Must could be kept a year. The Romans filled it in jars, shut and sealed them tightly and immersed them in cold river or sea water, thus stopping fermentation.” - Studies in Ancient Technology, Vol 3, p. 130
    4. Hebrew Terms:
      1. ahsis (5x) fresh grape juice; see Joel 3:18
      2. ashishah (5x) a cake of raisins (flagon of wine- KJV); see 2 Sam 6:19
      3. mesech (9x) wine mixed with stimulating drugs and spices; reproved where mentioned; see Prov 23:30
      4. shakur (23x) all fermented drinks except grape wine; included date wine and beer; 19x specifically condemned; Lev 10:9-11
    5. Habakkuk 2:15-16 “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. 16 You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and be exposed! The cup from the Lord's right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory.”
  3. New Testament Usage of Wine
    1. Oinos (32x) parallels Hebrew yayin; general word; context determines meaning
      1. grapes Rev 6:6
      2. intoxicating wine Eph 5:18
    2. gleukos (1x) any beverage short of total fermentation - containing any sugar Acts 2:13
    3. sikera (1x) straight, unmixed wine Lk 1:15
    4. oxos (4x) sour wine or vinegar, given to Jesus on the cross see Mt 27:48
  4. Strength and Dilution of Drink
    1. “The strength of natural wines is limited by two factors. The percent of alcohol will be half the percentage of the sugar in the juice. And if the alcoholic content is much above 10 or 11 percent, the yeast cells are killed and fermentation ceases. Probably ancient wines were 7 to 10 percent” - Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Vol 1, p. 865
    2. Dilution
      1. “Wine was always drunk mixed with water as was the custom throughout Antiquity. Only ‘boozers’ drank pure wine.” - Studies in Ancient Technology, Vol 3, p. 80
      2. “We call a mixture “wine”, although the larger of the components is water” -Plutarch, Symposiacs, III, ix
        1. Greek – lived from 45 AD to 120 AD in Delphi Greece.
        2. Wrote regarding proper behavior in social circumstances - Symposiacs
      3. Ratio determined by the host
        1. Highest recorded 20 parts water to 1 part wine
        2. 3 parts water :2 wine considered strong
        3. 1:1 called “strong wine”
        4. Passover mixed 3:1
        5. Lord’s Supper mixed in the early centuries of the church
  5. Gives Us Perspective
    1. Jesus turning water to wine John 2:1-11
      1. No basis in the text to presume that this was alcoholic or intoxicating.
      2. Especially when we consider everything Jesus taught and did that required soberness and sound judgment.
      3. Would Jesus have done anything to contradict these principles He advocated?
      4. He personally refused “sour wine” even at the point of intense pain.
    2. Deacons not “addicted to much wine” 1 Tim 3:8
      1. Given the context and sum of truth as revealed in Scripture this passage should not be misconstrued to imply that “social drinking” is acceptable on the part of deacons.
    3. Timothy’s use of “little wine” for stomach & ailments 1 Tim 5:23
      1. Alcohol for medicinal purposes is not the issue.
      2. Please note that the verse is parenthetical in context.
      3. Timothy's practice was obviously total abstinence, else the instruction would have been unnecessary.
    4. Truth Does Not Contradict
    5. No O.T. passage authorizes what Proverbs 23:29 – 35 forbids!
    6. No N.T. passage authorizes what 1 Peter 4:3 forbids!
  6. Conclusions:
    1. There is no doubt that the Scriptures condemn the drinking of the intoxicating beverages of our day.
    2. If people are willing to dilute their beverages with water to the ancient strength where one could drink “a little” without becoming intoxicated, then we would have a parallel with what is approved in the N.T.
    3. Be honest regarding motives to drink:
      1. Health – grape juice is where the antioxidants are found – see article
      2. Expectations: Social pressure – teen and business acceptance (1 Peter 4:4)
        1. Parents and professors expect that college students will abuse alcohol.
        2. Professions expect that employees will abuse alcohol and use it to “make sales.”
      3. Do you really picture Jesus saying “This Bud’s for You.”
      4. Can you really encourage the drunk to quit abusing alcohol when he can smell it on your breath?
    4. 1 Peter 4:7 “… therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.”