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Smoking is making inroads among Christ's brethren. Apart from being a hazard to health and a drain on finances, smoking is a habit which enslaves a person. "Of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage" or "become a slave" (2 Pet. 2:19). Those who belong to Christ have already covenanted their allegiance to him; they have been bought by his precious blood and they cannot please themselves. It is encumbent upon those so privileged to put aside such unclean and unwholesome practices: "but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified (made holy), but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (I Cor. 6:11). The new man is "created in righteousness and true holiness" (Eph. 4:24). Why then should brethren of Christ allow themselves to come within the grip of this habit?
It might be argued that nothing is said in Scripture expressly about smoking. It is hard to imagine, however, that it does not fall within the scope of the following:
"Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart; they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness" (Epb. 4:17-19 R.S.V.).
Brethren should also consider the effect of their example upon the young. It takes only one brother's poor example to provide others with an excuse to indulge. "None of us liveth to himself". Through our indulgence, we can destroy those "for whom Christ died" (Rom. 14:7, 15).