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Is Tobacco Sinful?



Is the use of tobacco wrong? Does the Bible say it is sin? These are frequently asked questions that deserve an answer. No, the Bible does not specifically mention the use of tobacco. But it does give directions and principles that can be used as a guide.

The Bible clearly teaches that our bodies are not our own, that they are intended to be temples for God and for His Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 shows that it is sinful to harm or defile our bodies: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” The use of tobacco has been clearly shown to weaken and even destroy the body that was meant to bring honor and service to God. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

God pleads with men to abstain from those fleshly appetites that dull their spiritual senses. “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). Both the distractions from real values and the carnal pleasure sought in the use of tobacco identify it as an agent that “wars against the soul.” The use of tobacco is an effort to satisfy the fleshly nature. The Bible says, “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).

God wants His servants to live pure lives, separated from the unbelieving society which surrounds them. Accepting Christ and His way, bearing His cross, will cause a person to live differently from those who are not Christians. The apostle Paul wrote, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14). Can it be said that the use of tobacco is a clean, pure, harmless habit that is inoffensive to others? Does it belong to a person who has been separated from the world by the cross of Christ? We must conclude that its use identifies one with those many others on the broad road who seek their own pleasure rather than the will of God.

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