Saturday, November 7, 2020

CHRISTIAN CHARACTER IN THE AGE OF COVID-19: Self-control (Galatians 5:13-26) Sermon Outline (a blog post for a video sermon for Kenwood Church in Livonia, MI, on November 8, 2020)

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


A.  English words

1.  Temperance - moderation, restraint

2.  Continence - abstinence as in sexuality

3.  Control of oneself

4.  Greek - literally "dominion within"

Strong's Concordance

egkrateia: mastery, self-control

Original Word: γκράτεια, ας, 

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: egkrateia

Phonetic Spelling: (eng-krat'-i-ah)

Short Definition: self-mastery, self-control

Definition: self-mastery, self-restraint, self-control, continence.

HELPS Word-studies

1466 egkráteia (from 1722 /en, "in the sphere of" and 2904 /krátos, "dominion, mastery") – properly, dominion within, i.e. "self-control" – proceeding out from within oneself, but not by oneself.

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).


  copyright © 1987, 2011 by Helps Ministries, Inc.

For complete text and additional resources visit:


NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin

from egkratés


mastery, self-control

NASB Translation

self-control (4).

NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries

Copyright © 1981, 1998 by The Lockman Foundation

All rights reserved

Thayer's Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 1466: γκράτεια

γκράτεια (see  ν III. 3), γκρατείας, , (γκρατής), self-control,Latincontinentia, temperantia (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites): Acts 24:25Galatians 5:23 (22); 2 Peter 1:6. (Xenophon, Plato, and following; Sir. 18:29; 4 Macc. 5:34.)  

THAYER'S GREEK LEXICON, Electronic Database. 

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc. 

All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance


From egkrates; self-control (especially continence) -- temperance. 

see GREEK egkrates

Forms and Transliterations

εγκρατεια εγκρατεία εγκράτεια γκρατεί γκράτεια εγκρατειαν εγκράτειαν γκράτειαν εγκρατειας εγκρατείας γκρατείας enkrateia enkráteia enkrateíāi enkrateian enkráteian enkrateias enkrateías


Interlinear Greek • Interlinear Hebrew • Strong's Numbers • Englishman's Greek Concordance • Englishman's Hebrew Concordance • Parallel Texts

Text Illustration:

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)

B.  Counterfeit

1.  Self-control

2.  Self


A.  A grace

B.  Walking in step with the Spirit


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."


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.

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