Is Smoking Cigarettes a Sin?

by Jack Wellman on May 10, 2011 · Print Print · Email Email

Will a Christian who has been born again be lost if they don’t stop smoking?  Is it sin for a Christian to smoke?  If a Christian smokes, does it mean they really aren’t saved?  Is smoking and being a Christian incompatible?

The Definition of Sin

The Bible gives us the proper definition of sin.  It does not come from human beings or human opinions.  If you watch today’s talk shows, you can see just how far human opinions can deviate from the Word of God; therefore a biblical definition of sin is accurate since it is a definition from God Himself.

In First John 3:4, the apostle gives us the proper definition of sin, “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”  This means that every human that has ever lived has sins and continues to sin.  So we are all in big trouble since we all have and will continue to sin in this life.  Jesus is the only human who never sinned.  He was both man and God and lived a perfect live.  Consequently, this is why Jesus made the perfect sacrifice because He was without blemish and the only perfect One that ever lived.  His death reconciled humans to God.  But only those who believe in Him are the ones reconciled to God (Acts16:30-31).

Sin leads to death as James says in 1:15, “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”  The wages or what we earn from sin is death (Romans 6:23). But whoever believes in Jesus Christ is saved from the penalty of sin (John 3:16).  Since all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard, every human is in big trouble (Romans 3:23).

What Saves Us From Sin?

Humans are unable to save themselves.   Paul quotes Isaiah when he tells us about human efforts to save themselves by works, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away“(Isaiah 64:6).  Paul clarifies it in Romans 11:6, “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”  Any attempt to save ourselves by works is self-righteousness and God will not accept our own works because they are not sufficient.  It is only those who believe in Jesus Christ that are saved from the penalty of sin (John 3:16).

Our best efforts to overcome will never save us.  Holiness is not the way to Jesus; Jesus is the way to holiness.  There is only one way to salvation that is only in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

Famous Christians Who Smoked

Is Smoking Cigarettes a Sin

God tells us that we are to be perfect and abstain from every appearance of evil

There is a veritable who’s who list of Christians who smoked.  One of the greatest preachers and evangelists of the 19th century loved his cigars.  He was Charles Spurgeon.  Other famous Christians who smoked or still do are J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Chuck Colson, Johann Sebastian Bach, Billy Graham, and Jerry Farwell (although the last two quit in their latter years).  This article has addressed all types of tobacco:  cigarettes, pipe, cigar, snuff, and chewing tobacco.

The same questions could be asked about drinking beer, or wine, or eating pork, or…the list goes on.  The fact remains that moderation in all things is a Godly attribute.  Smoking is obviously not healthy and the believer should be diligent in their efforts to quit but what is there in this world that isn’t good for you.  I love to go to fast food restaurants but don’t go very often because I know the menu carries high fat volumes in their foods.  The fact is that it is a fallen world and that there are no perfect Christians.  None are perfect but they are forgiven.

What Saves Believers?

Jesus was more concerned with what came out of the mouth (in words) than what was going into it saying in Matthew 15:11, “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”  It is what comes out of the mouth that defiles believers; it is by our words that our heart is revealed.

Yes, you can still be a Christian and smoke. Is it God’s will that you would quit? Of course because God tells us we are to be perfect and to abstain from every appearance of evil and He desires that we live a happy, healthy, prosperous, and long life.  But at the same time, we shouldn’t judge those who do smoke or those who we see are not perfect. If I caste the first stone, it would have to be aimed at myself.  We should be concerned about our own sins and repent daily and come to the cross of Christ for daily cleansing.  We will still sin and fall short of the glory of God, but whoever believes in Jesus Christ remains his possession forever and He will never leave you, forsake you, or have you snatched from His hand or the hand of God the Father (John 6:37, 10:28-29).

Conclusion

As covered by the apostle John in 1 John 3:4, a true definition of sin is “lawlessness”. Then James reminds us that sin leads to death (James 1:15). The good news is that John also shares that when we believe in what Jesus did for us on the cross we are saved from death, which is the penalty for sin. We are unable to save ourselves, only Jesus saves. Because of sin we live in a fallen world and therefore there are no perfect Christians. Yes, you can still be a Christian and smoke, however God desires that we live a happy, healthy, prosperous life and quitting smoking would be a good thing for any Christian.

We have collected many questions and answers here at WCWTK. Perhaps you will also like these articles which are similar:

What Are the Signs of the Second Coming of Jesus?

What Do Christians Believe About Dinosaurs?

What is Speaking in Tongues?

Resources:

Holy Bible, New International Version ( NIV)

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Share this post:  |  |  |  | Twitter

{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara Sanders March 17, 2013 at 8:11 pm

It is amazing that no matter what we go threw that God is the answer. You are correct Pastor that as long as we in this body we must continue to bring captive every thought that exalted itself against the plans of God for our life. By all means I know that this is a daily walk that we must pick up our cross which is the word of God and deny ourself. There is no good thing that dwell in my flesh, that is why we needed a advocate and a saviour. Jesus already knew that Barbara was going to be hook on crack, heroin and cigarettes. But Glory be to God that the same God that delivered me from them stronghold will deliever me from smoking. He is well able to take away every desire that is not like him as long as I’m willing and obedient. Once again, this little site is starting to really help me get through the day. Thank God for the body of Christ we are so lovely. It is so good for brotheren to dewell together.

Reply

Barbara Sanders March 18, 2013 at 8:05 pm

I have been watching the serious of the story BIBLE on TV, and it really has been blessing me. It is so many things that we can discuss on this website and get clarity for our walk in Jesus. I’m really just checking in to see whta is the latest news or comments regaidng different topics. I’m doing well with my cigarette quit, i have surrender this addiction over to God and my body has already begun to heal itself. What a mighty God we serve. Thanks for all the wonderful comments on different topics. Sister Barbara

Reply

Jack Wellman March 18, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Barbara…amen my sister. Thank you. First of all…I am overjoyed you are here. I can not thank God enough for bringing you hear to learn more about Him and your so very humble in your words. I am so glad that God didn’t give up on me long ago, a former drug dealer, aduser, addictted, and a former prisoner. It was by God’s grace alone that I went from a disaster to pastor. Congratulations on your conquering the cigarette habit. Your such an encouragement. You give others hope my sister in Christ Barbara.

Reply

Barbara March 19, 2013 at 11:26 am

For I wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places. I must put onthe whole armour of God in order to stand agaisnt all the fiery darts of the devil. Believe me I could not do this in my flesh it is too weak but my spirit is strong and greater is he that is in me then he that is in this world. My flesh is hollering out for the that nicotine but I must be reminded that these kind come out only through fasting and paryer. Thanks man of God for all your encouragement and clarity and love…

Reply

Jack Wellman March 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

Amen Barbara. I still struggle with the desire to smoke pot…even after all these years…and for a beer too! You and I still struggle and it is not against flesh and blood as you so rightly say. This struggle that we are going through is like many have in their life. Even Paul (though not against nicotine) struggled daily with sin. Read Romans 7:15-20 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

Boy, that’s what it feels like…a war…a spiritual war, but there is good news as Paul declares in Rom 7:24-25 “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Thank you Jesus. And thank you too Barbara and I thank God FOR you.

Reply

Barbara March 19, 2013 at 11:54 am

Hey Pastor, good to hear from you… chat soon I’m working, you would not believe that I’m an adiction counselor our God sure does have a sense of humor.

Barb

Reply

Jack Wellman March 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm

The way God works…I DO believe that. You seem the perfect fit being a compassionate woman of God full of biblical wisdom and with such humility that you make the best of God’s counselors. For such a time and place as this God has called you. Nothing is by mistake.

Reply

Elvin March 29, 2013 at 9:56 am

I love your wp web template, wherever did you down load it through?

This site does not display properly on my droid – you may wanna try
and fix that
Audio began playing any time I opened up this webpage, so annoying!

I think one of your ads triggered my browser to resize, you may well want
to put that on your blacklist.
I just added this site to my rss reader, excellent
stuff. Can not get enough!
This is a great website, will you be involved in doing an interview regarding just how you designed it?
If so e-mail me!
Thanks, I have recently been searching for details about this topic for ages and
yours is the best I’ve discovered so far.

Reply

Jack Wellman March 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Elvin, thank you sir for your comment and questions about the design of the website. I am a simple writer and I don’t know bits from bites really. Please feel free to contact us at this link to find our more and in regards to an interview over the design of this website. Thanks for the encouraging comment. Please click on this link to find out more sir:

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/contact/

Reply

Barbara Sanders March 29, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Hello family, I thought I would just drop in and wish every one a happy Resurrection Day, God is so good and it happens to be good Friday. Everyday is good Friday when you have experienced Jesus. Oh taste an dsee that the Lord is good. I don’t care what your struggle it is not bigger then our God… Love sis Barbara

Reply

Joel April 6, 2013 at 9:38 am

This was a very nice article,very well said and straight to the point.

Reply

Jack Wellman April 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Thank you Joel for your words of kindness. Greetings to you sir. What a pleasure to hear such encouragement my friend. I appreciate it.

Reply

Ian Michael Stephens April 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm

When I was fifteen my father died. In my entire existence of life with him I never saw him drink or heard him swear. But he smoked until his early death at 40.But one thing my mother told me my grandfather said who was with my father when he died and who is not a Christian to my knowledge is that when he passed he looked up and smiled the biggest grin my grandfather had ever seen him smile. To die is gain.

Reply

Shane Ghigliotty April 30, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Pastor Wellman, I’ve been a slave to a cigarette addiction for quite some time now and have been trying hard to quit. I can no longer do it on my own. If I may sir ask you for prayer in my spiritual battle to give up the fleshly temptation to quit smoking cigarettes. I’m a new devoted Christian. Just recently been baptized through the holy spirit. Thank you very much brother in

Reply

Jack Wellman May 1, 2013 at 10:47 am

Shane, in the first place, I am overjoyed you are now in the family of God. It is apparent that you are being convicted of this smoking and for that I am glad. I will pray for you my friend and we can pray together in your battle to overcome this but don’t lose heart, for if we stumble and fall, God is ever present to pick us up and dust us off and forgive us. Thank you for your encouragement my friend.

Reply

Shane Ghigliotty May 1, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Thank you very much sir. I appreciate that completely. I am attending an RU program wich is reformers unanimous . You might have heard of it. Its a faith based addictions program. It has really showed me how much God not only wants us to accept His son but have a real relationship with Him. Its really amazing. But I thank you very much Mr. Wellman. Glad that I could talk to somebody like yourself with the wisdom of the word.

Reply

Jack Wellman May 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Mr. Ghigliotty, truly you are such an encouragement and I do pray for your battle but I see that you are passionate about striving to become more like Christ and grow in holiness. I thank God for you my friend. Love that you came to visit us. Please do come again my friend and my desire is that God continues to richly bless you.

Reply

Jordan Bell May 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Yes, It is a sin. You are ruining your body which is a holy temple of Jesus. You can also say that the food we eat is killing us to, But smoking is far worst and can cause major problems. Even though, Jesus saved us from all sins if we believe. We should do our best to stay healthy of our bodies and in our relationships with Jesus Christ!

Reply

deedi July 27, 2013 at 5:14 am

Thank you so much pastor! Really helping!

Reply

Patricia Dairo July 29, 2013 at 6:51 am

I am so happy and relieved that I stumbled on this site I gave my life to Christ in June 2013 and I have been battling with nicotine addiction I smoke 2 to 3 cigarettes a day but I feel very bad every time I smoke cause I believe it’s a sin but after reading your article you don’t want to know how relieved I feel knowing that There is some one out there who can answer to problems that is troubling ones soul I love Jesus with all my soul and when the holy sprit touched me I knew I didn’t want to go back to the world I need prayers from you too pastor I want to completely give up smoking.

Reply

Peter C. September 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I am a 52 year old British Christian and a smoker (since my teens) who has been trying to quit on and off for years. Yesterday, after yet another attempt, I crumbled after just a few days due to unforeseen illness and painful medical treatment (which, incidentally, had nothing to do with smoking). When feeling well again I will retry. But I know I will need spiritual help. Looking around the internet I stumbled upon many blogs that dealt with the issue of Christianity and addictive habits. Most are very condemnatory (even about legal habits such as smoking). But this one was more open minded and encouraging. I thank you. However knowing, in this day and age (unlike that of C.S.Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien), the degree of damage smoking does, I am aware I must accept that to be a better Christian I must strive to be nicotine free. Pray for me. Peter (UK).

Reply

Jack Wellman September 20, 2013 at 9:22 am

I will be honored Peter to pray for you sir. I am glad you came here and know how hard this is and I agree that too many websites are quick to condemn and offer little grace and help. Please do come back again sir.

Reply

Peter C. September 21, 2013 at 5:38 am

Thankyou Jack. I believe quitting smoking will be an important part of the act of repentance for me. By definition, repentance is a continuous and ongoing journey throughout the lives of every Christian, as perfection will never be achieved in this life. I found some wonderful words which are so poignant to my own situation as a Christian who is trying to break free from a destructive, long standing, habit. I have saved them on my computer for quick and easy reference. Aside from smoking, they are so applicable to life in general. Thankyou for your prayers Jack.

“Repentance is not a solo effort. God doesn’t expect us to lift ourselves up by our own bootstraps. Through His indwelling Spirit, God shapes and molds us to make us pure and blameless in Christ. Listen to Paul’s hopeful words: “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). For many people, the first cry of repentance is, “I can’t change by myself; I need You, God.” Thankfully, those are the sweetest words to God’s ear.”

Reply

Jack Wellman September 21, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Well said sir…God can not ever fix what is first not broken. I thank you my friend. Great points and advice sir.

Reply

Mr Anthony Cotton November 3, 2013 at 8:15 pm

I was just trawling the internet about this topic,and I agree that it is a sin. I must look up to you Jack that has you say you went from disaster to Pastor.I don`t know how you did it(God)but you did.
If I had my way I would shut all the cigarette factories down,and ban it just like Cocaine.
Then I would shut all the breweries down,and ban Alcohol altogether.
Thousands would go up the wall,but in time it would pass including me. I would not go out the way trawling the streets for cigarette`s. Quite some time ago you had Speak Easy`s I don`t know what England had.
It`s big business and governments make a lot of money off the tax. This might start www III ?

Reply

Jack Wellman November 3, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Thank you Anthony. It may well start WW III but the governments won’t shut down tobacco because of the money…you are so right my friend. Thanks brother. I am glad you trawled to find us! That’s our good fortune.

Reply

Mellisa November 19, 2013 at 3:12 am

Glad to have found you guys! I am just starting this battle myself, and felt I failed today. Prayers are needed, as I am SOOOO close and yet so far it feels too. I almost made it a whole day, getting closer each day…. You guys make it feel like it will be easier with a feeling of understanding instead of condemnation. Condemnation always makes me feel like giving up, but your loving approach gives me hope to try again. :)

Reply

Jack Wellman November 19, 2013 at 9:12 am

Thank you Mellisa my friend. I am glad this could help ease your burden some…for me, I still battle this urge and some of these urges will not go away until we received new bodies so know that you are not alone.

Reply

Darren Cheek December 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I don’t understand this. So you’re saying that because we have all sinned and we will sin again it’s ok to smoke? That’s a defeatist attitude. God wants us to be Godlike. That, to me, means we should strive to be as perfect, according to you, as Jesus was in his life. We can do the things that Jesus did. We can make this world paradise if we just strive to make ourselves and the earth as great as we and it can be. Jesus himself said we could do all of the things he did if we just believe. Why is it so hard to believe then that we can instead of coasting through this life hiding behind our prayers, we should rise up and take hold of the power God gave us and Jesus reminded us about and make this world a better place. Why is it so hard to believe that we can change the whole world…

Reply

Peter C. December 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Jesus is indeed representative of human perfection. But he lived and died for the weaknesses and sins of ordinary human beings. All that is asked of us is that we, in the short term, recognise and acknowledge those sins. Of course that must, with God’s help, bear fruit, and in the longer term we have to change – often radically so, depending upon how weak and sinful we have been. You write that we can realise a ‘world paradise’. But God, Christ and the Christian faith neither expects an instantaneous transformation for anyone, nor does He expect human beings to create a Utopia. Christ, himself, declared, “My Kingdom in not of this world”. Demand a paradise now and you will cause misery and unhappiness to many and end up creating a hell. And that is the historical track record of both religious and anti-religious fanatics. Jesus Christ is the antithesis of both.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Powered by sweetCaptcha






Previous post:

Next post: