Bible verses for recovering alcoholics

Suggested Uses for These Bible Verses

  • Daily personal and group devotional topics
  • Topics for support group meetings
  • Scripture memory (antidote for “stinking thinking”).
  • Group therapy sessions based on these topics.
  • Discussions and written assignment topics relating these verses to personal efforts toward recovery

Choose a Subject to View Related Verses

Action (“Walk what you talk”) Anger/Resentment Bitterness
Blame Courage Dependence Upon God
Discouragement “Easy Does It” Faith
Fear Freedom Forgiveness
Friendship With God Guilt Gratitude
Healing Honesty Hope
Humility Joy “Let Go & Let God”
Loneliness “Live & Let Live” Love
Newness of Life Obedience “One Day at a Time”
Open-mindedness Overcoming Pain
Patience Power Prayer
Promises Rebellion Reconciliation/Amends
Relapse/”Slips” Recovery/Sobriety Religion
Serenity/Peace Stumbling Blocks Temptation
Vengeance Will of God Willingness

Scriptures compiled by Chaplain Hal Simmons, Addictions Anonymous Ministry, Englewood, CO

  • Suggest additional verses for this index.

The Life Recovery Bible clearly outlines the 12 steps found in scripture for those with faith attempting to work a 12 step program. Below is a list of the 12 steps and where they can be found in scripture to help Christians incorporate their faith in God into their drug rehab program. Lakeview Health’s addiction counseling staff is equipped to help addicts make the changes needed to remain sober while encouraging their faith in God. Bible verses for addiction recovery will help guide you in making a solid foundation in your Christian recovery.

12 Steps Found in Scripture from the Life Recovery Bible

1) We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Romans 7:18 “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.”

2) Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Philippians 2:13 “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
Luke 9:23 “Then he said to the crowd, if any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”

4) Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Lamentations 3:40 “Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord.”

5) Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
James 5:16 “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”

6) We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”

7) Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
1 John 1:9 “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

8) Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.
Luke 6:31 “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”

9) Made a direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Matthew 5: 23-24 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the alter. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.”

10) Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Romans 12:3 “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”

11) Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

12) Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Galatians 6:1 “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”

This overview of the 12 steps found in scripture is used at Lakeview Health as part of Christian drug treatment. Our specialized drug and alcohol rehab program is designed to give Christians an opportunity to stop their substance abuse and reconnect with God. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, have faith in God, choosing our program may be one of the best decisions you ever make.
Christ by Michelangelo

Bible Verses About Addiction

1 Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear .

1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

James 1:12-15 – Blessed the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

1 John 2:16 – For all that in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

1 Corinthians 15:33 – Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Galatians 5:19-21 – 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are ; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11   9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Peter 2:11 – Dearly beloved, I beseech as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

1 Peter 5:10 – But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle .

Proverbs 20:1 – Wine a mocker, strong drink raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Romans 13:14 – But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to the lusts .

Psalms 50:15 – And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Matthew 6:13 – And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

John 8:36 – If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Romans 5:3-5 – And not only , but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Isaiah 5:11 11Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!

Romans 6:16  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

2 Corinthians 5:17   Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Ephesians 5:18-20   And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Titus 2:11-14  11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

James 4:7  7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

John MacArthur with selected scripture about alcohol and its use.

Those were some King James Bible verses about addiction.  Some are directly about alcohol abuse, others are geared more towards recovery.  Scripture mainly addresses drinking, but this can be applied to any intoxicant.

Of course, recovery is recovery, it applies equally to nearly all addictions.

Remember, the Bible condemns drunkards, not drinking.  It is not if you drink, it is how you drink that the Bible is concerned with.

When people I am close to ask me how I got sober, I tell them “I prayed everyday, sometimes all day.”  When they ask me if it was hard, I answer, “no, it is very natural to talk to God.”  When they press me harder, about how difficult it was to quit drinking. I tell them to “ask the Holy Spirit.  I was just along for the ride.”  The most important thing I did to stay sober was ask God to help and to pray everyday as a matter of routine and to pray the other portions of the day as needed.  Paul talks about constant prayer, it sounds intimidating, but nothing could be easier.

By The Way

The Bible verse about addiction that got me to stop was 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. It took it two years or so to work, but it all began with Paul’s letters to the Corinthians.  Looks like the Holy Spirit can even convict Raging Alcoholics, but I should have known that from the beginning.  The Spirit does not miss, it gets whatever it goes after.

Also, I was a believer in God  (through General Revelation) but did not consider myself a Christian when I first quit drinking, it probably took another year before I was sure what I was doing with God was permanent. I always was a little slow on the up-take.

My first prayer was based on 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. I rightly guessed that God hates sin, my brand of drinking was clearly a sin, therefore God should help me stop.  Like I said, I am a little slow.

My point is, don’t let whatever you think your status with God is stop you. Reach out.  If you know God exists, if you don’t think the things of God are foolishness (1 Corinthians 2:14) than he has already reached out to you.  Reach back.

Home: Dealing With An Alcoholic
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Addiction is not an easy habit to get over. Whether you are suffering from addiction to alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs, these behaviors can make it difficult for the individual to overcome their self destructive behavior. Here is a look at some good Bible verses for alcoholics that may help you understand the trouble with addiction.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” | Ephesians 5:18

“Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat,” | Proverbs 23:20 

“But he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.” | Judges 13:7 

“But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” | 1 Corinthians 8:9

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.” | Luke 21:34

“Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.” | 1 Timothy 3:8

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” | Romans 12:2

“Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder.” | Proverbs 23:31-32

“Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.” | Leviticus 10:9

“Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” | Galatians 5:21

“For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,” | Titus 1:7

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” | Galatians 5:1

“For he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.” | Luke 1:15

“For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.” | Proverbs 23:21

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” | I John 1:9 

“It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.” | Romans 14:21

“Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy” | Romans 13:13

“No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” | 1 Timothy 5:23

“Nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” | 1 Corinthians 6:10

“Not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.” | 1 Timothy 3:3

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” | Galatians 5:19-21

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” | 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,” | 1 Corinthians 6:19

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” | James 4:7

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” | James 5:16

“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. …” | Proverbs 23:29-35 

“Wine a mocker, strong drink raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” | Proverbs 20:1

“Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, wine inflame them!” | Isaiah 5:11

Check out the following video for some great verses provided in the Bible as it relates to the suffering of addiction. This temptation is not easily overcome. Be faithful to the Holy Spirit will help to provide some control over the pressures of everyday life.

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