Is Getting Drunk a Sin?

Is Getting Drunk a Sin?

To drink or not to drink. That is the question.

While different Christians may hold varying perspectives on this matter, it is essential to examine what the Bible says about drunkenness and its implications for believers. By exploring the scriptures and understanding the context in which they were written, one can gain insights into the Christian perspective on the issue, “Is getting drunk a sin?”.

Biblical Context:  Is Getting Drunk a Sin

Drunkenness, defined as the state of being intoxicated by consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, is addressed in several passages of the Bible. These passages help shed light on the consequences and spiritual implications of indulging in excessive drinking.

One such passage is Proverbs 20:1, which warns, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise." Here, we see an acknowledgment of the negative effects of alcohol on one's behavior and judgment. It emphasizes the importance of exercising wisdom and avoiding the pitfalls of intoxication.

Isaiah 5:11 also speaks to the dangers of excessive drinking, stating, "Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them!" This verse highlights the potential for addiction and dependency on alcohol, leading individuals away from a righteous life.

The Bible's Stance on Drunkenness

The Bible unequivocally condemns drunkenness and its associated behaviors. Galatians 5:21 warns, "Envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." This passage emphasizes that indulging in excessive drinking and participating in sinful activities can hinder one's spiritual journey.

In 1 Corinthians 6:10, the apostle Paul lists drunkenness among the behaviors that will prevent individuals from inheriting the kingdom of God. This serves as a sobering reminder of the serious consequences of succumbing to the allure of alcohol and its detrimental effects on one's relationship with God.

The Role of Self-Control and the Holy Spirit

A central theme in the Bible is the importance of self-control and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide one's actions. Ephesians 5:18 advises believers, "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit." This verse presents a clear contrast between being under the influence of alcohol and being filled with the Spirit of God.

As Christians, we are called to live a life that reflects the character of Christ and is guided by the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 describes the fruits of the Spirit, which include self-control. Engaging in excessive drinking undermines this self-control and inhibits our ability to live in alignment with God's will.

The Debate: If Getting Drunk is a Sin?

While the Bible condemns drunkenness, the question arises, “Is getting drunk a sin?” or “What if I drink in moderation?”. This issue has been a subject of ongoing debate within Christian circles.

In the scriptures, we find instances where wine is mentioned positively. For example, Jesus performed his first miracle at a wedding in Cana, where he turned water into wine (John 2:1-12). Additionally, Paul advised Timothy, "No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments" (1 Timothy 5:23). These passages suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may not be inherently sinful.

However, it is crucial to note that the Bible also provides warnings about the potential dangers of alcohol. Proverbs 23:20 cautions, "Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags." This verse underscores the importance of exercising caution and moderation, even if one chooses to consume alcohol.

Personal Conviction and Consideration for Others

Ultimately, the decision regarding alcohol consumption is a matter of personal conviction and discernment guided by the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:21 encourages Christians to consider others' welfare and not to cause them to stumble. This principle extends to the consumption of alcohol, as some individuals may have struggled with alcoholism or have personal convictions against its use.

Therefore, it is essential for believers to approach alcohol consumption and the question, “Is getting drunk a sin?”, with sensitivity and consideration for others. If there is a risk that one's actions may lead another person into temptation or hinder their spiritual journey, it is wise to abstain from alcohol in their presence.

Seeking Balance and Spiritual Growth

As Christians, our primary focus should be on cultivating a deep relationship with God and living a life that honors Him. This entails embracing self-control, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and making choices that align with biblical principles.

While the Bible does not explicitly condemn all alcohol consumption, it consistently warns against excessive drinking and its detrimental effects. As followers of Christ, we are called to pursue spiritual growth, prioritize self-control, and consider the well-being of fellow believers.

Honoring God and Maintaining Sobriety

While the Christian faith provides spiritual guidance on the issue of alcohol consumption, practical strategies are also essential for navigating real-world challenges and temptations. Here are some practical tips for maintaining sobriety and making wise choices regarding alcohol:

  1. Set Clear Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries for yourself regarding alcohol consumption, including limits on the frequency and quantity of drinking. Communicate these boundaries to friends and family members to enlist their support in upholding them.
  2. Avoid Triggering Environments: Identify environments or social situations that may trigger cravings or temptations to drink excessively. Whenever possible, avoid these environments or develop coping strategies to navigate them effectively.
  3. Find Alternative Activities: Engage in activities and hobbies that bring joy and fulfillment without the need for alcohol. Whether it's exercising, pursuing creative outlets, or spending time with loved ones, finding healthy alternatives to drinking can help fill the void left by alcohol.
  4. Seek Professional Help: If struggling with alcohol addiction or finding it challenging to maintain sobriety, don't hesitate to seek professional help. There are various resources available, including counseling, support groups, and addiction treatment programs, that can provide the necessary support and guidance on the journey to recovery.
  5. Stay Connected to God: Above all, stay connected to God through prayer, meditation on Scripture, and fellowship with other believers. Lean on God's strength and guidance to navigate the challenges of life, including the temptation to drink excessively.

By implementing these practical strategies and leaning on the support of the Christian community, individuals can maintain sobriety and make choices that honor God in their approach to alcohol consumption.


Reflecting on the Bible's teachings regarding drunkenness, one can glean valuable insights into the Christian perspective on this topic. The Scriptures unequivocally condemn excessive drinking and its associated behaviors, emphasizing the importance of self-control and being filled with the Spirit of God, ultimately answering the question,  “Is getting drunk a sin?”.


The Foundry Publishing- Christianity 101: An Introduction to Faith

Learn Religions- Christianity Basics 101

URI- Christianity: Basic Beliefs

The smarter way to stay accountable
Real-time group support and personalized feedback to help you overcome addiction — no matter how many times you’ve tried.
Learn Morean iphone with the text identify where boundaries may have slipped

Find Effective, Evidence-Based Treatment in the Relay Program for Alcohol Addiction

There is help available to you if you or a loved one has a physical dependence or psychological dependence on alcohol. These urges and compulsive behaviors can control your life, but you can take back control. Relay's addiction recovery program provides a comprehensive, outpatient approach to behavioral change - at home, at your own pace. To each new program member, we provide a personalized recovery plan, a peer support group, progress tracking, journaling, and intelligent insights about your behavior patterns, all within a simple and secure mobile app Our proven approach helps program members achieve the best chance at long-term recovery without the time or expense of rehab or therapy. Try the Relay program for free here; if you need help as you get set up, contact us now at

relay logo

Get connected and stay accountable
with peers

Join a team

A better way to recovery, right in your pocket.

a cell phone with a text message on the screen