John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

18 (Ephesians 5:18)

Verse 18

18.And be not drunk with wine. When he enjoins them not to be drunk, he forbids excessive and immoderate drinking of every description. “Be not intemperate in drinking.”

In which (161) is lasciviousness. The Greek word ἀσωτία, which is translated “lasciviousness,” points out the evils which arise from drunkenness. I understand by it all that is implied in a wanton and dissolute life; for to translate it luxury, would quite enfeeble the sense. The meaning therefore is, that drunkards throw off quickly every restraint of modesty or shame; that where wine reigns, profligacy naturally follows; and consequently, that all who have any regard to moderation or decency ought to avoid and abhor drunkenness.

The children of this world are accustomed to indulge in deep drinking as an excitement to mirth. Such carnal excitement is contrasted with that holy joy of which the Spirit of God is the Author, and which produces entirely opposite effects. To what does drunkenness lead? To unbounded licentiousness, — to unbridled, indecent merriment. And to what does spiritual joy lead, when it is most strongly excited? (162)

- John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible