The fruit of the Spirit: Self Control
Could say I drew the short straw doing the last of the fruit of the spirit…..what else can be said….but we all know that the Bible is like the Tardis-a lot bigger on the inside than you would first think, especially with the Holy Spirit as your guide rather than a Timelord
I’m following in the foot steps of some great speakers:
Pete, with Pat-on joy
? on faithfulness
All drew out a message on the singleness of the fruit of the Holy Spirit but also highlighted the diversity of the effect or evidence of the Holy Spirits’ work in our lives
So I think that’s been covered really well
I want to go off at another angle and show how the truth of the gospel message is central to our understanding of self control-and our ability to see self control in our own lives
Many might link ‘self control’ with temptation and a lack of self control
(Image of cake or chocolate).
It then becomes an issue of rules & regulations………..about us exercising self control, about not giving in to temptation, the guilt when we fail etc etc.
Paul writes in Colossians:
Col 2:23 “Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence”
Paul came from the pharisaical tradition and would have known about the law and regulations-BUT he had had an encounter with Jesus and he now preached a gospel message
I would like to set the scene by reading the start of Galatians 5
Freedom in Christ
Gal 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Gal 5:2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
Paul was saying here that if you want to go back to meeting the requirements of the law-fine-but the work of Jesus would count for nothing
Gal 5:5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Gal 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Gal 5:14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Gal 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Gal 5:17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
Then we have the section about the sinful nature and the spiritual nature, and goes on to make clear the challenge-the need to stay with the spirit and to not forget that we reap what we sow
So here Paul is emphasizing the truth of the gospel message-that we have been set free-and not to allow ourselves to become trapped again
My 1st point is that to be able to know self control we need to know who we are (in Christ); we need to be aware of “self” and the place “self” should be in
Who we are in Christ- the truth of the gospel?
God has rescued us-we’re in the Kingdom of Light
God has forgiven us
Col 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Col 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
Col 1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
We have become free from sin
We’re dead to sin
Our ‘old’ self is dead
Ro 6:6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—
Ro 6:7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Ro 6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
We’re a new creation
2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Gal 6:15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.
To put it another way
- The old me is ‘dead’ and therefore I’m not living under the old rules
- I’ve started again as a new creation, so the old rules don’t apply anymore
- I need to understand who I am now-and live under the new arrangements
There is a very important aspect which I have missed out so far, which is fundamental to my new life
- I now have a halo
- I’m free to do what I like
- Jesus is lord of my life
Mt 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Mt 16:25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
So the final part of this jigsaw is that Jesus is lord of my life…he’s in charge, not me
- I’m clean-forgiven
- Old self has died-I’m made new-born again
- I’ve left the old country and live in a new place
- There’s a new boss in my life, Jesus, not ‘Self’
- The spirit of God at work in me to make me more like Jesus
Our example in Jesus:
Jn 13:3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;
Jn 13:4 so. …….
Sue showed us the dead parrot sketch from Monty Python. To remind us that we are dead.
The sketch can be viewed by clicking on the link to the left of this page
- Patterns of behaviour
- Self aware
- 1Co 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
1Co 6:20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body
1Pe 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1Pe 1:14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
1Pe 1:15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;
1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1Pe 2:10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
- Renewing of the mind
- Ro 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
Ro 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.