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Self Control Expressed

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Good morning! We are going to be concluding this series we started at the beginning of the Summer entitled 9 Flavors 1 Fruit
We have been talking about the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23-
The fruit of the Spirit is really this mosaic of the life Jesus....... We can see how the fruit of the Spirit plays out in the life of Christ.
Jesus exemplified these characteristics in his earthly ministry in the gospels.
Jesus had many obstacles he encountered in his life…
• Jesus shows love to everyone he meets. he brings joy into a world that is in desperate need for it.. He calms storms with his peace, He exercises patience and longsuffering with his disciples…
He shows kindness, he does good… He is faithful to the end.. ..He is Gentle and exercises restraint over temptation....
• All the fruits are present in Jesus.
• This morning we are going to be talking about last Fruit of the spirit and that is the virtue of Self Control
Galatians 5:22–23 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
What is Self Control?
For my birthday Pam bought me a box of SA foods… Some of our favorite treats, beef Jerky, chocolates and cookies. So this sermon couldn’t have come at a worse time… You would be glad to know that I managed to finish them all so they are no longer a temptation!!
It has been said that ..... Self-control is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands—and then eat just one of the pieces.
Self-control can be described as Self mastery
• I was reading an article in Psychology today .... which-defines Self-control—as the ability to subdue one's impulses, emotions, and behaviors to achieve long-term goals—
Self-control is described as being synonymous with will power
• And there is this ongoing debate of whether willpower is finite…It’s called ego depletion.
• The concept is that there is a point ---where we absolute no power to resist temptation that comes our way.... at this tipping point Self-control, actually “run out.
• For example ego depletion would say that…when our defenses are down and when we are tired or overworked we are more apt to reach out for that chocolate chip cookie…than when we are feeling more rested..
• Psychology tells us that the answerer to our lack of control… is regulating our behavior… In other words...
• We can Establish better habits and routines, practice being more mindful… give ourselves rewards… We can also avoid triggers that cause loss of control… instead of Walking past our neighborhood bakery and getting that cookie we can choose a different route and avoiding the temptation altogether..
Biblical view on Self Control is a little bit different in that it is not just about mastering skills — and reforming ourselves from the outside in but rather it is transformation from the inside out...
Paul calls Self-Control a Fruit of the Holy Spirit.
• Self-control is not about self-mastery or (self mastery) but Spirit-sovereignty and that involves self-surrender to God’s control
• The reason we need the Spirits help is that it’s simply too difficult to exercise self-control over this fallen, sinful nature within us—these self-centered desires and tendencies that always seem to get the better of us.
• Paul deals with this just before he talks about the Fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16–18 ESV
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The Problem was that the Galatians were trying to wrestle that nature to the ground in their own strength by obeying the law, by gritting their teeth, by trying harder. But it's a losing battle… Paul tells them that’s not it… the key is that It’s the Holy spirit power that is going to help us to overcome temptations...
They tried and tried and failed. Paul tells the Galatians that without the Holy Spirit they are going to keep on failing...Because of the sinful nature.
We need to realize that we cannot not handle total Power of this nature on our own.… and if you think so we are fooling ourselves...
The fastest car on the planet is the Hennessey venom F5 it boasts of going 301 miles per hour… it is claimed to can go 0 - 249 - 0 in 30 seconds…can’t even imagine having this kind of power…
• Now not any driver can get in the car and drive this kind of vehicle. We would put ourselves and others at risk if we thought we could handle this kind of power…
• When you have power and freedom without control… you going to run into problems..
• For example..
• We know the dangers of living beyond our means, of eating or drinking too much, of losing our temper, of committing adultery in our hearts or imaginations.
• We promise ourselves we're not going to do those things again. And we don't, for a while. But eventually, the pressure or pain or temptation is too great and we give in....
• It more than just saying NO to something… we can warn young people of the dangers of sex, drugs and violence… we can say just say no to these things…But when they get out there in the real world—when they're lonely and want to feel loved, when they're sad and want to feel better, when they're angry and want to take it out on someone—their emotions and desires get the best of them, and they can't control themselves
This is where the Fruit of Self- control comes into play and helps us to handle freedom.
Paul says to the Galatians.. “If you walk in the spirit you are not going to gratify the desires of the flesh…”
So, when Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that, ‘the fruit of the Spirit is … self-control’ we must not think of the self in control but the self under the control of the Holy Spirit.
This is absolutely crucial to our understanding of God’s grace… that its his grace that is at work in our lives.... Scripture tells us that when the Spirit is not in control we are really become vulnerable and open to an attacks.
Proverbs 25:28 ESV
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
This city that was once splendid and beautiful but Because its walls are in ruins it is susceptible to invasion and control by enemy forces.... When we see virtue lists and vice lists… we need to view them for our protection… Every day we drive on the roads… and we don’t often see them… but we have Guard rails that protect us from dangers… even dangers we don’t know exist until we need them…
The fruit of the Spirit… are like guard rails and especially the Fruit of Self- Control..… They are like guardrails --- to protect us…from dangerous situations.
.. You may not have noticed Guardrail on the road--- but they are there for our protection…
Andy Stanley says guardrails are, “a system designed to keep us from straying into dangerous or off-limit areas.”
If you ever wondered if we need guard rails… check this video...
T/S Self-control protect us in three primary ways...

1. Self-Control Provides guardrails for Good Leadership .

How many of you are list people? Some of us make lists and put them on your refrigerators… some have lists on your phones… In our family Pam is the list person....Normally, I am included in list… of plans.. But, lists are great… because they give you an overview of a plan… they prioritize what is important…and keep you accountable.... They are like guardrails. Well there are several virtue lists in the Bible… we going to look at a couple of them… Because they going keep us on track..
In 1 Timothy we are given qualities/qualification for spiritual leadership.
What we need to know that virtue lists in Jewish and Greco Roman wold was not to bring judgement or to disqualify people --- rather it was used to inspire and aspire leadership..... They help set the bar or the standard.. to be reached or to be attained....
1 Timothy 3:1–5 ESV
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?
• It was not until coming to Richvale that I heard the word Overseer used instead of elders.... Well, the leadership at the time didn’t make this stuff up… It is found right in the text…. The Greek word is episkope - -has this — speaks of those leaders who serve and give spiritual to the local church.. used of bishops, pastors, elders… overseers.
• Paul tells us this is a good word… or a trustworthy saying… That those who aspire Spiritual leadership have a noble desire
• Desiring to be a Spiritual leader is commendable and to be encouraged. It is a beautiful thing when someone sets their heart to spiritual leadership…its a beautiful pursuit...
• The qualities leadership should not turn us off… that is the last thing on Paul’s mind… what he is doing is setting them up for success… because if Self-Control is absent from your life as a leader… as a husband/wife, parent … or in the work place… it can lead to some dangerous places...
• We have seen this over and over again when Leaders, fall or fail…it leaves behind a trail of damage..
• Paul gives this virtue list to set us up to be successful leaders.
Paul tells Timothy that leaders need to be...
1. Above Reproach - -this speaks of his observable conduct.. (words and actions) This speaks of Ethics…our behavior and we handle ourselves....
This is the key to understanding this section… Being above Reproach… is being Spirit controlled…
• … From time to time situations will present ourselves… Where we are going to have to ask… Am I above reproach in this situation?
Am I going to deal with this issue in the power of the flesh? or the in the spirit?
Why would this be important for leadership… the reason is that...Leadership sets the tone of the system… whether it is in the church, office, or the home.
There are some environments that are simply toxic… Pam worked in a Day care center in Charlotte that had a terrible culture. The staff put each other down… gossip about each other…there was always drama… The tone came from the top down… Modeling bad leadership role models.
Leadership set the Tone… being above reproach
It takes self-control… to be above reproach..
• Being above reproach is being able to control our words and actions. The first item on the list… and overseer should aspire to be...
Being above reproach in marriage. Paul says that Overseers/ spiritual leaders are to be the.
2. Husband of one wife… this has been commonly misinterpretation is quantitative—that he can have had only one wife.
Thus, if he had been divorced or widowed and remarried he could not be an elder.
The correct sense here is not quantitative but qualitative. The man is truly a one-woman man. There are no other women in his life. He is totally faithful… he should be a “one woman/wife man…This was a big deal especially when you consider that call to faith is one given in a culture where marital infidelity was common and at times assumed...
Self-Control… (spirit controlled) means — that we honor the person that God has placed in our lives… we have this hight view of marriage…
The issue is that there Freedom without control… Power… ability… without controls leads to addiction…This the reason why there is such a problem with pornography… is that we don’t have guardrails…
What Peter says — Leaders need to exercise Self-control in marriage...
The best thing that a husband can do for his family is to love his wife...
Winston Churchill once attended a formal banquet in London, where the dignitaries were asked the question, “If you could not be who you are, who would you like to be?” Naturally everyone was curious as to what Churchill, who was seated next to his beloved Clemmie, would say. When it was finally his turn, the old man, the last respondent to the question, rose and gave his answer. “If I could not be who I am, I would most like to be”—and here he paused to take his wife’s hand—“Lady Churchill’s second husband.”
Churchill was a very clever man. He was also a most devoted man—a “one-woman man”—despite his other proclivities.
t/s The next three qualities deal with the heart of this text… all under the heading of being above reproach...
“temperate, self-controlled, respectable” (v. 2),
Well-tempered… one who always in control of his thoughts and person… Not addicted to alcohol or given to rash or radical behavior… One who always has a halter on himself..
Self control means -keeping control over ones passions and desires. Respectful - doing things that are becoming or proper… These all have to do with…Self-Mastery..
Being above reproach includes
The other virtues listed… hospitable…able to teach...... in the way we handle money…not given to drunkenness..They way we raise our children and the way that we manage our households
We got to see these virtue lists as guardrails that are going to make us better leaders....
T/S Self control protect us in three primary ways...
1. Self-Control Provides guardrails for Good Leadership

2. Self-Control provides guardrails against failure and Ineffectiveness

In 2 Peter 3 we are given another virtue list… In the Esv Bible The pericope or the heading of this chapter is Confirm your Calling and Election… Peter tells us …Christ has called us to his own glory and excellence.... We have been called into salvation.... it through his election and calling.. We often say things like I found Christ.. where the reverse is true… He found you… He saved you.. He chose you…
Now, we respond to that calling… We have been give great promises… but promises still need to be acted upon.. When we act on the promise…
Romans 10:9 ESV
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
• When we do that we become partakers of the Divine nature… We are in Christ and He is in us… Peter says because we are partakers of Divine nature we have escape. From the power of sin.... However, Sin has not been eradicated rather than we have no obligation to the flesh… Sin does not have not have power to control us…
• We still must persevere in faith… we still need guard rails in order to keep us from falling…
• Peter tells us because we have this promise of escaping corruption of the sinful nature… We make every effort… to supplement your faith..
• We got to understand that Peters this pathway to Spiritual maturity… He longs to see Christians succeed..
The Big idea here Making every effort — is linked to being Spirit controlled...
Peter pointed out that election is no excuse for spiritual immaturity or for lack of effort in the Christian life. Some believers say, “What is going to be is going to be. There is nothing we can do.” But Peter admonishes us to “be diligent.” This means “make every effort
2 Peter 1:5–8 ESV
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
• It has been said that the Christian life is like a bicycle: unless you keep moving you are going to fall off… Peter tells us that we are to continue to growing in grace, or we are going to fall into sin…
• Peter makes it clear that we are to make every effort to grow in God’s grace… We do this in two ways we rely on God’s power and we rely on God’s promises..
• What is interesting about this section of scripture is that virtue list is that virtues are connected… they are inseperatebly linked to each other.. There is a sequence that appear to matter… some commentators say that there is no connection… more of a list… but it seems like there is as sequence where each characteristic leads to the next.. like a ladder moving from one wrung to the next.
• Add to faith - Good character— good character add knowledge… knowledge ---self control… self control .... steadfastness.... godliness… brotherly affection… love...
• Maturity begins with Faith and ends with love… … love is the final destination…
• What Peter tells us is that we are to grow in these virtues… in increasing measure… Discipline and self control… being those guard rails.... this is the pursuit of holiness.... we don’t let the grass grow under our feet… When this happens we will be affective and fruitful..
One sure way to fail is to fail try…
… If we don’t make the effort to add to our faith these virtues we are going to ineffective…and unfruitful…
Being ineffective means you’re making no difference, having no impact, leaving nothing behind.
Being unproductive means you’re bearing no fruit, producing no results.
So the opposite is true: If I am growing in these seven virtues, I will also grow in the reach and depth of my impact, and the abundance of fruit...
Paul warns
2 Peter 1:9 ESV
For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
Peter tells us that those who fail to develop these virtues, who are not growing in these qualities, are blind or, at least, very shortsighted.
Peter had harsh words for believers who refused to grow. The word for shortsighted can mean “to blink” or “to shut the eyes.”
Peter may also have meant that these believers were intentionally closing their eyes to Christ’s light, thus causing spiritual blindness. That they have forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin pictures those who deliberately put out of their mind all that Christ had done in erasing the sins they committed before they were saved. A believer who is “forgetful” of this and refuses to grow becomes unfruitful for God.
Each of us should look at this checklist… these are guardrails that are going to promote blessing…leads to eternal life… We need to ask what is out of control? What areas are not being influenced by the power of the H.S.
T/S Self control protect us in three primary ways...
1. Self-Control Provides guardrails for Good Leadership
2. Self Control provides guardrails against failure and Ineffectiveness

3. Self-Control provides Guardrail through the Power of the Holy Spirit.

The lack of Self-Control is a sign of the times.
Paul tells Timothy that in the last day’s people will lack self-control:
2 Timothy 3:1–5 ESV
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Here is another list that give us a picture or characteristic of the kinds things to expect in the last days. What is the picture or the mosaic that is being painted? Lack of control.
A sign of the end times will be increasing self-indulgence without restraint. Selfishness will be prevalent. End times will therefore be marked by moral incontinence, and drunkenness is merely a symptom of that morally degenerate condition-
In a society where everything is permissible, promiscuity is merely symptomatic of a greater malady, namely sin. Sin ultimately manifests itself in selfishness.
The egocentric nature of sinful man wants to satisfy its appetite for self-indulgence and gratify every inclination of a wicked heart.
The ‘self’ demands its own way and desires to be master of its own destiny. The self must have power and possessions. Self must satisfy every lust of the flesh.
We, as believers, certainly do not want the self to be in control; rather we desire that the self-come under the divine control of the Holy Spirit.
We are living in a day that we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit… and having the Fruit of the Spirit manifested in and through our lives…
Paul says to the Galatians we have given the fruit of the Spirit for our success!! These are Guard rails
Galatians 5:22–23 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Paul has come full circle in his portrayal of the fruit of the Spirit. He began with love, which is a quality that directs our thoughts and actions outward toward others. And he ends with self-control, which is a quality that directs our thoughts and actions inward toward ourselves for our own good and that of others… One who walks in the spirit is not obligated to the laws..
God gave the law to make people aware of their sin and to restrain evil
God who sent the law also sent the Spirit, the byproducts of the Spirit-filled life harmonize perfectly with the intent of God’s law. A person who exhibits the fruit of the Spirit fulfills the law far better than a person who observes the rituals but has little love in his or her heart.
In his book, Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis, says something like, “Imagine yourself as a house. God comes in to rebuild it. At first, you can understand what he’s doing. Getting the drains right, stopping the leaks in the roof, and so on. You know those jobs needed doing, and so you are not surprised. Up towers, making courtyards … You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage, but he is building a palace. Christ comes into our lives and starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The answer is he is throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards … You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage, but he is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.
We must, then, learn to abide in Jesus Christ. As Jesus himself says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” He is the vine; we are the branches. And unless we abide in him, we cannot bear fruit. No branch can bear fruit of itself; it must draw its resource from the vine. And if we learn the secret of abiding in Jesus, he promises we will indeed bear much fruit to his Father’s glory (John 15:1–5).
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