Temperance refers to the practice of self-control and moderation in regards to one’s desires and impulses, particularly with regard to alcohol consumption. The Bible speaks about temperance in several passages, promoting the virtues of self-control and moderation.
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul writes in Galatians 5:22-23 that self-control is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. He also advises in 1 Corinthians 9:27 about exercising self-control in all things, and in 1 Timothy 3:2, 2 Timothy 2:22, and Titus 2:2, he advises that church leaders should be temperate.
In the book of Romans, it states “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (Romans 14:6) This verse teaches that all aspects of our lives, should be done for the glory of God and not for our own pleasure or selfish gain.
In addition, the Bible teaches that the use of alcohol should not lead to the harm of oneself or others. In the book of 1 Corinthians, it states “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.” (1 Corinthians 8:13) This verse teaches that our actions should not cause others to stumble or be led into sin.
In the Old Testament, Proverbs 25:28 states, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 23:29-35 also cautions against excessive drinking and its consequences. The book of Isaiah also speaks of the dangers of drunkenness and the importance of self-control in Isaiah 5:11-12, 22.
The book of Proverbs adds that, “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1) This verse indicates that excessive alcohol use can lead to foolish behavior and poor decision making.
One example of temperance in the Bible is found in the story of Daniel, who refused to eat the rich food and drink the wine provided to him by the Babylonian king, instead choosing to eat only vegetables and drink only water (Daniel 1:8-16). This act of self-control and moderation earned him favor with God and with the king.
Another example is found in Ephesians 5:18, which states, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” This verse emphasizes the importance of being controlled by the Holy Spirit rather than allowing oneself to be controlled by alcohol.
In summary, the Bible teaches temperance through various passages, including warnings against the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption, the importance of being controlled by the Holy Spirit, and the examples of Jesus, Daniel and his friends. The main idea is to be self-controlled and moderate in all aspects of life, including alcohol consumption.