187. Christian Temperance

1. CONCERNING what did Paul reason before Felix?
“He reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come.” Acts 24:25.

NOTE.-Temperance means habitual moderation and control in the indulgence of the appetites and passions; in other words, self-control.

2. Of what is temperance a fruit?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” Gal. 5:22,23.

NOTE.-“Temperance puts wood on the fire, meal in the barrel, flour in the tub, money in the purse, credit in the country, contentment in the house, clothes on the back, and vigor in the body.”- Benjamin Franklin.

3. Where in Christian growth and experience is temperance placed by the apostle Peter?
“Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” 2 Peter 1:5-7. See Chapter 118 Growth in Grace.

NOTE.-Temperance is rightly placed here as to order. Knowledge is a prerequisite to temperance, and temperance to patience. It is very difficult for an intemperate person to be patient.

4. What is said of those who strive for the mastery?
“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.” 1 Cor. 9:25.

5. In running the Christian race, what did Paul say he did?
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Verse 27.

6. Why are kings and rulers admonished to be temperate?
“It is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.” Prov. 31:4,5.

7. Why were priests forbidden to use intoxicating drink while engaged in the sanctuary service?
“And the Lord spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle: . . . that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean.” Lev. 10:8-10.

8. Why is indulgence in strong drink dangerous?
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” Eph. 5:18.

NOTE.-The danger in the indulgence of stimulating foods and drinks is that they create an unnatural appetite and thirst, thus leading to excess. Both food and drink should be nourishing and non-stimulating.

9. For what should men eat and drink?
“Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness! ” Eccl. 10:17.

10. Why did Daniel refuse the food and wine of the king?
“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank.” Dan. 1:8. See Judges 13:4.

11. Instead of these, what did he request?
“Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.” Verse 12.

12. At the end of the ten days’ test, how did he and his companions appear?
“And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.” Verse 15.

13. At the end of their three years’ course in the school of Babylon, how did the wisdom of Daniel and his companions compare with that of others?
“Now at the end of the days . . . the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: . . . and in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.” Verses 18-20.

14. What warning is given against leading others into intemperance?
“Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken.” Hab. 2:15.

15. What kind of professed Christians are not fellowshipped?
“But now I have written unto you not to keep company,
if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard.” 1 Cor. 5:11.

16. Can drunkards enter the kingdom of God?
“Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, . . . nor thieves,
nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Cor. 6:9,10. See Rev. 21:27.

17. For what perfection of character did the apostle pray?
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thess. 5:23.

NOTE.-For notable examples of total abstinence in the Bible, see the wife of Manoah, the mother of Samson (Judges 13:4, 12-14); Hannah, the mother of Samuel (1 Sam. 1:15); the Rechabites (Jer. 35:1-10); and John the Baptist (Luke 1:13-15).

I WAS made to be eaten,
And not to be drank;
To be threshed in the barn,
Not soaked in a tank.
I come as a blessing
When put through a mill;
As a blight and a curse
When run through a still.

Make me up into loaves,
And your children are fed;
But if into drink,
I’ll starve them instead.
In bread I’m a servant,
The eater shall rule;
In drink I am master,
The drinker a fool.