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  • Writer's picturePastor McCarty

Is wine a sinful drink?

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

Many people within the Christian community would consider wine, or more so, the drinking of wine a sinful act. Within the doctrine of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod the use of wine in our administration of Holy Communion is what we believe is consistent with Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper. And the wine that He used was fermented fruit liquid and not any type of fruit juice substitute. In our Gospel reading, for this Second Sunday after the Epiphany, it talks about Jesus being at the wedding feast in Cana. It was there where He performed His first miracle which entailed changing water into wine (6 jars in all).

The wine that Jesus produced in this miracle was of a fermented nature. The Greek word that is used several times for wine, in this portion of Holy Scripture, is oivnos (English – oinos). This is definitively considered an alcohol-based liquid. Are we to say then that Jesus sinned by making this drink for the wedding feast? Certainly not! The wine is not what is sinful, but the misuse and abuse of wine is the sinful act (drunkenness).

In fact, it is not just the excessive drinking of wine which can be thought of as sinful. A person can sin by drinking to much milk, pop, orange juice, or any other type of refreshment. Why would this be true? Because the Bible also speaks, in numerous passages, about something called gluttony. And yes, dear friends, gluttony is most certainly labeled as a sinful act!

The Lord Jesus is the greatest example of living a faithful life to the glory of the Father. What He does is always intended for good and not for evil. In the changing of water into wine, Christ was caring for the needs of others in providing this festival refreshment for the bride and groom, who appeared to be in a pickle! Is wine a sinful drink? Not if it used responsibly and in a way which is pleasing to the Lord, and not in a way that would dishonoring His holy name.

Pastor McCarty


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