1 Peter 4:3
By Ron Halbrook
Three words are used in 1 Pet. 4:3 which have a bearing on modern drinking practices. All three words describe the life style of the old man, dead in sin—living “in the flesh to the lusts of men.” Peter pleads with those who are alive “to the will of God” to leave buried in the shameful past such practices as the oinophlugia, komos, and potos.
1. Oinophlugia — The KJV translates this “excess of wine.” The word methe drunkenness, Gal. 5:21) refers to habitual intoxication, deep drinking, drunken bouts. “Excess of wine” indicates habitual intoxication, but it is more. It marks a step in advance of methe. No one respects the down-in-out drunk, the sickening wino. Such extreme indulgence and debauchery is universally a shame. The gutter drunk “may induce permanent mischiefs on the body” by his habitual, senseless excesses. The body, mind, and soul are deadened and finally destroyed. The fatal debauch of Alexander the Great is signified by oinophlugia in ancient records.
2. Komos — This word appears as “revellings” in KJV. There is a descent or digression in the strength of our three words. There is a level of drinking in komos which is distinguishable from “excess of wine.”
The one who practices oinophlugia staggers, stumbles, or even sleeps in his stupor. If he swings his fist, he is the one likely to get hurt. If he drives, he is more danger to himself than to others; he is likely to drive right up a tree, but other drivers can see him a mile away and get out of his way.
But the one who practices komos is a “live wire.” He is intoxicated, but not so debauched as to miss all the fun. “He’s flying high.” Komos combines intoxication with merrymaking. It suggests shouting, singing, dancing, and generally stirring wanton desires with merry companions—all with the help of intoxicants. “Take one down, pass it around, 49 bottles of beer on the wall,” and the songs go on. “Wine, women, and song” is the modern way of saying komos. Where do we go from here? What is the next level down?
3. Potos — This word is translated “banquetings,” which is obscure to the modern reader. Or, worse, he may confuse the word with our practice of a social meal with speakers, awards or entertainment. Today’s English Version and the NASV translate “drinking parties;” be careful not to read that “drunken parties” which would be komos. Rotherham has “drinking bouts” —not necessarily drunken bouts. New English Bible says “tippling” —drinking, especially continuously in small amounts. Literally, potos is “a drinking” without reference to the amount. The verb form is potizo, “to give to drink,” without regard to amount (as Matt. 10:42— “give to drink...a cup of water”). R.C. Trench says concerning potos, “not of necessity excessive” (Synonyms of the N.T., p. 211). He further explains that potos is related to words of excess in that it “gives opportunity for excess.” This, then, is the cocktail party, sipping the wine, “having a few drinks with the boys,” social drinking. -- From “Social Drinking Demythologized,” Alcohol and The Child of God, pp. 23-25.
The Removing Power Of
A member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) said he read a story that said alcohol will remove stains from clothing. This is quite correct, and just goes to prove the versatility of alcohol.
It will also remove winter clothes, spring clothes and autumn clothes from a wife, husband and even children. Alcohol will remove furniture from a home, rugs from the floor, food from the table, lining from the stomach, vision from the eyes, and judgment from the mind.
Alcohol will also remove reputations, good jobs, good friends, happiness from the hearts of children, sanity, freedom, man’s ability to adjust and live with his fellow man, good health and life itself!
As a remover of things, alcohol has no equal -- IT WILL REMOVE ONE’S SOUL FROM GOD!
By Carl Allen
Drinking alcohol continues to be a problem among men. Alcohol use ultimately brings ruin, and yet, it is a multi-million-dollar product. Living in Kentucky, we are well aware of the bourbon industry, and the dollars (in taxes and profits) it produces yearly.
Can we justify drinking alcohol because of the monetary rewards for the city, county, or state? Can we justify drinking alcohol because so much of the world thinks this is the right thing to do? I find it odd that if alcohol is such a wonderful thing to have, and a “boon” for our economy, why are there “AA” groups and Betty Ford Clinics (now called Hazelden Betty Ford) scattered throughout the United States whose purpose is to help people stop drinking alcohol and overcome addiction?
Often, people will argue that God never condemned drinking alcohol, only the abuse of it (i.e., getting drunk). This seems to be so when we know that yes, God condemned getting drunk (Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor. 5:11, 6:10; Gal. 5:21). Yet, is this the extent of God’s condemnation? Is it OK to drink “a little” and promise not to get drunk?
Actually, God condemns not only drunkenness but everything that leads up to that point. In other words, God condemns “social” drinking as well as getting drunk! This is not an opinion but this statement is based upon the facts of the Scripture. For example, Solomon said, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Prov. 20:1). In other words, wine is personified as mocking us when we drink. Mocking has to do with scorn, derision, to make fun of, or treat cruelly. This is what happens to one when it is in our system. Wine doesn’t make one “ten feet tall and bulletproof.” It is just the opposite! Anyone who thinks otherwise about alcohol is not a wise person. If one is not a wise person, then what is he?
In Proverbs 23:29-35, we read again about the dangers of alcohol. In this case, Solomon begins by talking about people who suffer injuries and yet have no idea how they were injured. Their minds are so messed up with alcohol that they have lost their memory of how it happened (v. 30). Yet, notice that God not only condemns drunkenness but also tells the reader not to even look at the wine (v. 31). “At the last,” it will “bite like a serpent and sting like an adder” (v. 32). Remember, there would be no “at the last” if there were not a “first!” Drinking alcohol is condemned by God from the beginning in this passage!
A New Testament passage that is appropriate in this study is 1 Peter 4:3. There, we read, “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries.” In this verse, we see where Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, spoke God’s word and condemned drinking in any amount. “Excess of wine,” “revellings,” and “banquetings” describe various states of inebriation. Essentially, from the “social” drinking party (banquetings) to the passed out drunk (excess of wine), God, through Peter, said to not be involved in it. Such actions are in the same category as lasciviousness, lusts, idolatry, and the lusts of men (1 Pet. 4:2).
Does this sound like alcohol consumption is a “game?” Does this sound like it is not a serious issue? Christians need to avoid the appearance of evil and need to stop playing games with sin (1 Thess. 5:21-22). Some justify drinking champagne at weddings, while others say it is OK to drink a beer from time to time. We hear of those who think an after-dinner drink, or a “nightcap” before bed is the way to go. Friends, don’t get caught up in Satan’s trap! Alcohol consumption will wreck and ruin our souls. We stand in jeopardy when we are justifying the recreational use of alcohol! Don’t fall for Satan’s lies!