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Sunday School Lesson #6:
Deciding about Drugs and Alcohol
by Josh Hunt www.joshhunt.com

Note to teacher:

I suspect there is more dishonesty in church about this subject than just about any other. People will quickly come forward to speak against drinking, while many others who do drink and feel comfortable will remain silent. Try to get an honest discussion going. In my opinion, drinking in our day is a, "meat offered to idols" issue about which Christians are going to disagree. Remember, the gospel is about grace and freedom, not about rules and condemnation.


Text is bold is to be read just before you read the biblical text. Footnotes are notes to you, the teacher.



  1. How was drinking handled in the home you grew up in?(1)

Daniel 1:8 - 16

  1. Daniel is often held up as an example of godly living. He is one of the few people in the Bible we do not know anything bad about him. (Joseph was another example; can you think of others?) As we read this passage, look for favorable qualities in Daniel that we could emulate.
  2. What two things did Daniel resolve in verse 8?(2)
  3. Does wine always defile a person?
  4. This says that Daniel did not want to defile himself with royal food. What kind of food do you think this was? What kind of food defiles?(3)
  5. What are your convictions about healthy foods?
  6. What about other health issues, what is your practice about exercise?
  7. Daniel had a problem in living out his conviction. What was it.(4)
  8. What would you have done if your were Daniel?
  9. What did Daniel have going for him?(5)
  10. Do you think it is a sign of godliness that we become people who, like Daniel are well-liked?
  11. Daniel was in a pickle. He had convictions about eating and drinking certain things, yet he was facing getting his head cut off if he did not behave. Getting your head cut off is bad for your health. What did he do?(6)
  12. What can we learn from Daniel's approach? Can you come up with a real, live example, say, of someone in an office whose boss has ask them to do something that they do not feel comfortable with?

Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 21:17; Proverbs 23:20; Proverbs 23:30; Proverbs 23:31; Proverbs 31:4; Ephesians 5:15 - 18(7)

  1. As we read these passages, look for commands that relate to alcohol.
  2. What are some of the dangers of alcohol? Let's make a list.
  3. Can you think of other dangers, not included in these passages?
  4. Can you think of any advantages for alcohol? What are some reasons people might use to practice drinking?
  5. Suppose a new believer told you they enjoy an occasional drink-- maybe a white wine with a nice dinner or an occasional cold beer with a pizza. Would you tell them they were wrong?(8)
  6. Do you think the Bible is against drinking, or against drinking too much?(9)
  7. Suppose someone were addicted to alcohol and they wanted to stop. What advice would you give them? Have you ever walked with someone through the process of becoming free from alcohol?(10)
  8. We started the lesson by asking how drinking was handled by your parents. Let's close by turning it around. How do you want your children to answer that question when the are grown?

Thank you for your Support.

1. It might me interesting to take a note of this. It may be that people's upbringing has more to do with our theology than we know. People whose parents drank and it was not a problem tend to think favorable about drinking.

2. It is difficult to avoid the implication that alcohol and bad (fattening?) foods were placed in the same category. Believers tend to be more hard on alcohol than bad foods. This is not without reason. No one ever got killed from driving under the influence of cherry cheese cake.

3. Verse 16 tells us the opposite: vegetables. Modern nutrition would tend to agree that vegetables are among the best things for you.

4. These direct and simple questions can be used to draw out a quiet person. Don't embarrass anyone, but you might say, "What was it, Jill?" Make sure Jill knows the answer.

5. It seems that the person in charge of Daniel really liked him. All things being equal, the better people like us, the more effective we can be for God.

6. Bill Gothard calls this, "the creative alternative." This is diplomatic skill at its best.

7. If you are following the Life and Work Series, you will notice that I have skipped 2 Corinthians 6:16 - 7:1. The reason is, if you go back and read the context, starting with 6:14, you will see that this is not talking about drinking at all. Rather it is talking about not being yoked with unbelievers. If you are not following the Life and Work Series, don't worry about it. Or, write me at [email protected]

8. Whatever else you tell them, do it with grace. There is no place in the Christian experience for condemnation.

9. It is difficult to go beyond, "It is best not to drink." Jesus clearly drank and Paul commanded Timothy to drink a little. Cultural issues notwithstanding, it is hard to make an iron-clad case against occasional drinking.

10. One of the most cruel things we can do is to simple say, "You are a drunk and you need to stop." It is very difficult to stop, and, without some help, most people cannot.



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