CHRISTIAN CHARACTER IN THE AGE OF COVID-19: Self-control - November 8, 2020
“The irony of the last fruit of the Spirit is that self-control is not about what I can do to control myself.”
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
Galatians 5:13-26 NIV
Fruit and its counterfeits
Love - pleasure
Joy - happiness
Peace - satisfaction
Patience - passivity
Kindness - nice
Goodness - self-righteousness
Faithfulness - knowledge
Gentleness - weakness
I. SELF-CONTROL AND ITS COUNTERFEIT
A. English words
1. Temperance - moderation, restraint
2. Continence - abstinence as in sexuality
3. Control of oneself
4. Greek - literally "dominion within"
egkrateia: mastery, self-control
Original Word: ἐγκράτεια, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Phonetic Spelling: (eng-krat'-i-ah)
Short Definition: self-mastery, self-control
Definition: self-mastery, self-restraint, self-control, continence.
For the believer, 1466 /egkráteia ("self-control, Spirit-control") can only be accomplished by the power of the Lord. Accordingly, 1466 /egkráteia ("true mastery from within") is explicitly called a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:23).
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NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries
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Thayer's Greek Lexicon
STRONGS NT 1466: ἐγκράτεια
ἐγκράτεια (see ἐν III. 3), ἐγκρατείας, ἡ, (ἐγκρατής), self-control,Latincontinentia, temperantia (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites): Acts 24:25; Galatians 5:23 (22); 2 Peter 1:6. (Xenophon, Plato, and following; Sir. 18:29; 4 Macc. 5:34.)
THAYER'S GREEK LEXICON, Electronic Database.
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Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
From egkrates; self-control (especially continence) -- temperance.
see GREEK egkrates
Forms and Transliterations
εγκρατεια εγκρατεία εγκράτεια ἐγκρατείᾳ ἐγκράτεια εγκρατειαν εγκράτειαν ἐγκράτειαν εγκρατειας εγκρατείας ἐγκρατείας enkrateia enkráteia enkrateíāi enkrateian enkráteian enkrateias enkrateías
Edmund Hilary the first man who conquered Mount Everest was asked by an interviewer about his passions for climbing mountains. He gave this reply: "It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves."
Peter the Great of Russia is quoted as saying, "I have been able to conquer an empire, but I have not been able to conquer myself."
Hugo Grotius, the Dutch Jurist and scholar said, "A man cannot govern a nation if he cannot govern a city, he cannot govern a city if he cannot govern himself, and he cannot govern himself unless his passions are subject to reason."
Proverbs says "Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control". (Proverbs 25:28)
A. A grace
B. Walking in step with the Spirit
III. SELF-CONTROL IN A SELF ABSORBED SOCIETY
A. Self-control in light of a narcissistic society
The application of misplaced desires eventually becomes a cycle of addiction where stimulating encounters, relief, and the mad search for new experiences become ingrained in the recesses of the mind. The insatiable appetite to acquire, to own, to indulge, to take pleasure, to consume, is relentless. Rationality and moral self-control are dominated by the rising lust for power, an insidious power that becomes a sacred goal, a wholly consuming interest.
Michael G. Moriarty, The Perfect 10: The Blessings of Following God’s Commandments in a Post Modern World (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Pub. House, 1999), 206
B. Liberties and true liberty
“True freedom is freedom from, not freedom to.”
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”
Galatian 5:16, 17
“Self-control is more often called for than self-expression.”
C. Give credit where credit is due
"Victor Frankl, the Jewish psychologist who spent time in a Nazi concentration camp in Germany wrote, "They stripped me naked. They took everything -- my wedding ring, watch. I stood there naked and all of a sudden realized at that moment that although they could take everything away from me -- my wife, my family, my possessions -- they could not take away my freedom to choose how I was going to respond." www.sermoncentral.com
Demonstrate true self-control this week by testifying to someone about how you have been freed from something. Share this freedom you have in order to encourage them to live a life of self-control by the Holy Spirit.
It is our custom to offer an "invitation" following the preaching of the Word. You may want to follow Jesus. You may want to proclaim your faith. You may want to repent (stop doing ungodly things and start doing Godly things). Perhaps you want to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Possibly, if you have already responded to God’s call in these ways, you would like to become a member of Kenwood Church. If you have been moved by the Holy Spirit to make a decision in your life, I would be honored to speak with you in the upper parking lot following the service about what God is doing in your life.