Alcohol

Problem

An alcoholic is one who is unable to control drinking of alcohol. A person is controlled by the desire, abuse, and misuse of alcohol. Drinking is compulsive and out of control. Personality traits are intensified. Problem areas are intensified. Tendency to overdo in other areas may be evident, as an effort to cover up deficiencies. Drinking on the job is frequent, a drink is needed (i.e., in the morning) in order to “get going”. Work and efficiency are slacking off. Basically a sin-caused problem which has led to enslavement.

Biblical Statement

Though one may be a drunkard, God is able to deliver completely by cleansing, sanctifying, and justifying us (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Though alcohol abuse is a failing of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), the Holy Spirit can and will produce self-control needed to overcome               (Galatians 5:22-23) 

Scripture

  • Proverbs 28:13 “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
  • 1 John 1:8-9 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
  • Jeremiah 2:19 “Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the Lord your God,  and the fear of Me is not in you, “Says the Lord God of hosts”
  • John 3:17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
  • John 4:10 “Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
  • Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
  • Galatians 5:22-23” 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

Counsel

When this statement is made, “once an alcoholic always an alcoholic”, the idea is that “if you drink you will be controlled by the drinking”. To be delivered from the “desire” to drink at all is needed. It has not been the case that one who is an alcoholic has been able to successfully go back to drinking without being controlled by it again. The goal, then is to help the alcoholic stop his drinking instead of the drinking controlling him.

Condemnation is already experienced by a person who has a drinking problem. Rather than condemning, emphasize how to overcome, minister regarding salvation, baptism with the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit. Counsel to live one day at a time. Each day has its own evil (Matthew6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”). The person must determine “I will not have a drink right now”. It is not the thing to do tell the person, “You must stop drinking and never drink again”. He needs that freedom to deny himself a drink “today” without the pressure of having to face life without drinking or be condemned. He has tried not drinking, and it has not worked for him.

Also he may have tried religion or may even be a Christian. He needs the how and not the why of the need to recover from alcohol.

You may pray for deliverance for him – especially deliverance from compulsiveness, psychological and physical dependence, and even the desire to drink.

A person’s life style needs to be modified and changed. The Bible speaks of being “transformed by the renewing of your mind”( romans12:2). Reading habits and thinking habits serve to renew our minds. The Bible and devotional testimonial books should be recommended. He needs to dwell on God, His word, etc., rather than his problem.

Emphasize the principal of praise to God at each temptation to drink. 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”. Hebrews 13:15 “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name”. All are good verses to point out here. This changes ones perspective from self to God.

Encourage the person to contact a Spirit-filled church, a Spirit-filled prayer group, and AA. If possible refer to specific ones. Volunteer to help with the contact of the one and do so, if possible, through the area director of CBN.

Emphasize that to openly condemn the alcoholic may just feed the “joyous agony” already felt because he is “getting what he deserves”. The alcoholic’s behavior need not be tolerated. That can be said to the alcoholic. But offer help if wanted.

For the type of help one can give, contact the Spirit-filled groups available and ALANON organization of friends and relatives of alcoholics.

Prayer

2 Timothy 2:1, 4, 5, 11, 13 – Boldness, courage, God’s faithfulness

  • 2 Timothy 2:1 “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”
  • 2 Timothy 2:4-5 “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”
  • 2 Timothy 2:11 “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him”
  • 2 Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, He remains faithful He cannot deny Himself

Philippians 3:12-14 – forget the past

 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Psalms 103:12 – separation from sin.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Isaiah 40:3 – Strength renewed

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

John 8:36 – Free in Jesus

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Galatians 5:1 – Freedom assured

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

Galatians 5:22 – 23 Fruit of the Spirit

“22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”

Romans 10:17 – Faith imparted

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Romans 8:31 – 39 – Assurance in Christ

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Proverbs 29:25 – safety in Jesus

“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”

With a concordance study every reference for fear, deliverance, healing and praise.

Practice “agreeing with God” about His promises for you and disagreeing with satan, who tries to accuse you to yourself, to God, to our family, to friends, employer etc.

Seek out other reformed drinkers. Look for their support. Read prison to praise and other books by Merlin Carothers.

References

2 Timothy 2:1, 4, 5, 11, 13 – Boldness, courage, God’s faithfulness

  • 2 Timothy 2:1 “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”
  • 2 Timothy 2:4-5 “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”
  • 2 Timothy 2:11 “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him”
  • 2 Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, He remains faithful He cannot deny Himself

Philippians 3:12-14 – forget the past

 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Psalms 103:12 – separation from sin.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Isaiah 40:3 – Strength renewed

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

John 8:36 – Free in Jesus

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Galatians 5:1 – Freedom assured

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

Galatians 5:22 – 23 Fruit of the Spirit

“22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”

Romans 10:17 – Faith imparted

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Romans 8:31 – 39 – Assurance in Christ

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Proverbs 29:25 – safety in Jesus

“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”

With a concordance study every reference for fear, deliverance, healing and praise.

Practice “agreeing with God” about His promises for you and disagreeing with satan, who tries to accuse you to yourself, to God, to our family, to friends, employer etc.

Seek out other reformed drinkers. Look for their support. Read prison to praise and other books by Merlin Carothers.

What to do the first day without a drink?

  1. Clean up, dress up.
  2. Try to eat something.
  3. Don’t exaggerate any discomfort.
  4. Avoid arguments and other conflicts.
  5. Do things you can easily do.
  6. Face your social situation realistically.
  7. Stay away from your drinking buddies.
  8. Know that you are not alone. Many other people are going through what you are today.
  9. Don’t waste time worrying whether you will sleep tonight.

The next few days

  1. Remember, God has delivered you. Sin has no claim upon you.
  2. Be prepared to refuse a drink.
  3. Don’t rationalize that (a) I need a drink to keep going or that (b) the bad times are to be blamed for my being underfed or overly tired.
  4. Reaffirm, I’m not going to have a drink today!