My wife and I were just meditating upon a passage which gives us the answer to your question. The portion I’m referring to is Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God which carries with it salvation for all men has appeared, teaching us that, having denied impiety and worldly lust, we should love soberly, and justly, and piously in the present course of things” (DARBY version). I wish to talk to you about GRACE, for it seems obvious to me that you are too occupied with YOURSELF (your love for God, your gift of preaching and your great spirit of worship) instead of being focused on God’s GRACE. As we shall see, it is God’s GRACE that will enable us to be victorious over sin. The Apostle Paul stated this emphatically in Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under GRACE” (NKJV). Let’s break this passage down to see how you can be delivered from your problem with drinking alcohol.

“For the grace of God which carries with it salvation for all men”: These words teach us the GRACE of God SAVES! We are not saved by good works, character, or the sacraments (of baptism or the Lord’s Supper); we are saved by the pure, unadulterated GRACE OF GOD! Ephesians 2:8-9 declare, “For by GRACE you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” You have said “I am a born again Christian” so you know that it was God’s GRACE ALONE that brought you to faith in Christ which in turn resulted in you being born again. You have also come to know that God’s grace is manifested solely through His Son. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt along us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, FULL OF  GRACE and truth….for the law was given by Moses, but GRACE and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:14 & 17). He is “God’s GIFT to mankind,” for in Him taking our place on the cross for our sins God is now offering all men the GIFT of salvation. This is the very essence of GRACE!

“Teaching us that…” These words reveal that the GRACE of God TEACHES! Grace not only saves, but it also TEACHES US; that is, it instructs those who have been saved. The moment we are saved we enter into God’s “university of GRACE” in order that we might live victorious lives until we are taken home to glory. This is what it means to be “under grace”; we are now to be learning all that God has done for us by His grace and as we are learning more of His wonderful grace we will be taught what we see next.

“Having denied impiety and worldly lusts.” God’s “school of GRACE” is really a “school of HOLINESS.” In His school we are trained to say NO to impiety and worldly lusts. Grace will work IN US to produce a life where we are always conscious of God’s presence WITH US and where we refuse to lust after all that the world has to offer….fame, fortune, power, and pleasures.

“We should live soberly, and justly, and piously.” Grace will cultivate these three virtues in us. SOBERLY has the thought of “self-control,” which means we will exercise self-control over the passions and desires of the Old Nature. This would include your problem with drinking, for God’s grace will teach us and empower us to either abstain altogether from alcohol or, if we use it, not to abuse it. JUSTLY speaks of our dealings with others, for grace will enable us to be “fair with all men, to do the right thing.” And PIOUSLY (or “godly”) addresses our relationship with God, where we will, as stated previously, be conscious of God’s presence at all times and seek to represent Him in everything we do. Thus GRACE instructs us how to live self-ward, man-ward and God-ward.

In closing, let us always remember that we are “under GRACE.” We are not “under law” where we would be occupied with the “dos and don’ts of the Ten Commandments.” To be “under grace” means we are focused on the Lord Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us. We should wake up every morning with this thought, “Jesus loves me and now I have the privilege of living for Him.” Paul expressed this thought beautifully in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Paul could also say, “For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). Being occupied with Christ led Paul to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. It led him to serve the Lord day in and day out, yet he never boasted about his service for the Lord. Instead, he attributed everything he was and everything he did to the GRACE OF GOD. “But by the GRACE OF GOD I am what I am, and His GRACE toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly that they all, yet not I, but the GRACE OF GOD which was with me” (1st Corinthians 15:10).  (389.1)  (DO)