Tag Archives: soberness

Words of Truth and Reason #1851

24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” 25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.” (Acts 26:24–25, NKJV)

Paul was permitted to speak before King Herod Agrippa II (his consort Beatrice, and the Roman governor Festus) for himself in answer to the charges made against him by the Jerusalem Jews (Acts 26:1-3). He spoke of “the hope of the promise made by God” to their fathers (Acts 26:6). He spoke of God raising the dead, of his former persecution of Christians, and of how Jesus of Nazareth appeared to him (Acts 26:8-17). He spoke of Jesus sending him to the Gentiles with His gospel, of his conversion, and of obeying his mission (Acts 26:18-20). Paul said this was why the Jews seized him and falsely accused him – because he testified that Jesus fulfilled Moses and the prophets, bringing forgiveness and light to both Gentiles and Jews (Acts 26:21-23). Festus accused Paul of being insane to believe in things like resurrection, visions, redemption, and a Christ (anointed One). Far from insanity, the gospel Paul preached contains words of truth and reason (“soberness,” ASV). Some still say the gospel is crazy, and Christians are “mad.” Yet, the gospel remains true, upright, and certain. It is still sober, sane, and rational. Name-calling and demonizing its messengers will not lessen the gospel’s truth or its power to save. Honest souls continue to be persuaded and saved (Acts 26:26-29; 18:8; Lk. 8:15).

Be Sober-Minded #1741

6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. (Titus 2:6–8, NKJV)

Christians, young and old, are to be sober in our thinking, controlling our impulses, refusing to be doctrinally careless and morally shameful in our conduct. Alcohol comes to mind as that which hinders being sober-minded and temperate. Although drinking alcohol is quite common in the world (and condoned by an increasing number of Christians), it renders one intemperate and irreverent rather than a godly pattern of good works, moderation, and soundness. The Bible says wine a “mocker” and strong drink is turbulent, and to err thereby is not wise (i.e., foolish, Prov. 20:1). To take the first drink begins to decrease soberness, and left to run its course produces drunkenness (a work of the flesh, Gal. 5:21). How can the first drink of alcohol (which starts the process of intoxication) be wise, when it leads to such foolishness? Without the first drink, one does not get drunk (1 Pet. 4:3). We cannot conclude from Scripture that social drinking is sober-minded conduct – a “pattern of good works” that shows integrity, reverence, and incorruptibility (v. 7). Refuse the mind-altering effects of alcohol by refusing the first drink. In this way, you answer God’s call to be sober-minded and an example of good works in all things.