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Summary: By allowing the flesh to yield to the Spirit, much progress can be made in the Kingdom of God.

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Proverbs 25:28 KJV He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

I. INTRODUCTION—DISCIPLINE

-The man who rules his spirit is a man who is disciplined. In fact, he is a man who has reached the highest aspect of the Fruit of the Spirit. If you look at the listing of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, it would appear that there is an escalating order there. Temperance or self-control is the last one that is mentioned but one that should gain high priority in our lives.

A. General

Elbert Hubbard—Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.

Harry Truman—In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves. . . self-discipline with all of them came first.

Harry Emerson Fosdick—No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagra is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.

Charles Dickens—I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.—Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.

Henry Ward Beecher—Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself—and be lenient to everybody else.

B. Biblical

Daniel 1:8 KJV But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Romans 13:14 KJV But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

2 Peter 1:5-7 KJV And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; [6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; [7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

1 Corinthians 6:12 KJV All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

-There are multiple other passages that we could refer but for the sake of time I trust you will do some searching of the Scriptures to find a way to grow in your spiritual life.

II. PROVERBS 25:28

-The Proverbs could be rightly called “sentence sermons.” Much of the book of Proverbs are written in a way that you could read through them and ponder and meditate as to how God desires for us to grow.

-There is much wisdom that is packed into the thirty-one chapters. There are great laws of life that are scattered throughout the whole book but as you read through the Proverbs there are certain ones that separate themselves from the others.

• Ants and sluggards—Proverbs 6:6-9.

• Fools galore—Multiple verses in Proverbs.

• The entrapment of sin—Proverbs 7.

• If you don’t know where you’re going you will end up somewhere else—Proverbs 20:18.

• To succeed, fail more—Proverbs 10:4.

• Whatever you earn, spend less—Proverbs 21:20.

• Listen to the jerks in your life—Proverbs 13:18.

• Graze in your own pasture—Proverbs 5:15.

• You never have to explain what you don’t say—Proverbs 13:3.

• Keep your cool when things get hot—Proverbs 14:29.

• Success without succession is failure—Proverbs 22:6.

• The way up is down—Proverbs 29:23.

• Fear is good—Proverbs 9:10.

-Proverbs 25:28 is no exception. If a man can ever gain the ability to master his own spirit, he is well on his way to accomplishing the will of God and the furtherance of the Kingdom.

-Several renderings of this verse can shed some more light on it:

Jerusalem Bible—An open town, and without defenses: such is a man lacking self-control.

RSV—A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

American Translation—Like a city breached and defenseless is a man who has no control of his temper.

The Message—A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.

-If I have mastery of my spirit all is well but if my spirit is not controlled then it corrupts everything that my life comes in contact with.

III. FOUR WAYS TO MASTER YOUR SPIRIT

-If this proverb is encouraging us to master our spirit, then how are we to do it? I think that there are probably four ways that it can be accomplished.

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