Self-Control for Fruitfulness Pt I
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6 (ADD to your faith, virtue) knowledge, self-control, to self-control, perseverance…godliness 7… brotherly kindness…love.
Self-control – the power (under control) to inhibit or exhibit an impulse, at will, regardless of temporal pain or pleasure…
…purchased by so habitually yielding our will to God’s Holy Spirit, that we have no desires independent of Him. (cf Rm 8:13)
I. God expects & commands self-control, & provides all we need to do His will.
Thus it’s not only possible but also profitable. 2Co 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
There is no allurement or enticement, actual or imaginary, which a well-disciplined mind may not surmount. The wish to resist more than half accomplishes the object. ~Charlotte Dacre, The Passions, 1811
II. Classical areas to exercise self-control
(Self-control considered to be key to developing all other virtues)
sexual desire; food; alcohol; money; relationships; recreation/leisure; speech; learning; anger; work
Unwillingness to separate from sin makes us run from self-control Ac 24:25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you."
Without self-control we are prey for Satan 1Cor 7:5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Self-control is a fruit produced by yielding to the Spirit Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
The Spirit of God, uses the Word of God, to produce in us the Mind of Christ.
Required for reward 1Tim 2:15 she will be saved in/by childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.
Lack of self-control makes us animals 2Tim 3:3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
III. Habitual use of REASON replaces vice with virtue
Because we do what we want,
and we want what we value,
as long as our desire for immediate or temporal gratification outweighs our desire for eternal or long term benefit,
we will fail to control our desire for what is wrong,
and reap what doesn’t satisfy,
eroding our self-respect, and our worth and value in the sight of God and others,
and decreasing our ability to resist temptation in the future,
resulting in hopeless loss.
If we honestly seek God’s grace in laying ourselves and desires on the altar, Rm 12:1
setting our affections on God and the things above, dwelling on what is good, and pursuing it as God intended, Col 3:1-5
we will be able, by the Truth and the Spirit, to put to death the untrue desires and deeds of the flesh, Rm 8:13
our appetites will be transformed to craving and experiencing that which is good, Rm 12:2
reaping what satisfies beyond our expectations and experience, Gal 6:7-8
building our self-respect and worth and value in the sight of God and others, Rm 2:7
and increasing our ability to resist temptation in the future, Js 1:12
resulting in holiness, blessing and peace. 2Cor 7:1
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. What forces/factors move us toward or away from self-control? Can a poor motive give a rich result?
2. In what areas do we find it easiest to exercise self-control? Why? What can we learn about the more difficult areas from our successes?
3. How do non-Christians learn to exercise self-control? How is it different for believers?
4. How does self-control differ from Spirit control? Does the Spirit equally control all believers? What part do we have?
5. In what area of you life can you decide to start gaining more control this week? What will help you? How will you get that help?