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Summary: What does it mena to have fruit of self-control and how can we cultivate it?

Introductory Considerations

1. She seemed the same as the rest of us. She loved the Lord and lived for Him, taking every opportunity to serve that she could, but place a little bit of alcohol in her coke and something happened to her. She became a completely different person. Tthat which she had seemed to overcome - alcoholism - took over and she could do nothing about it She was no longer able to control herself to say no and to refrain from drinking more.

2. For most of us this is hard to understand and yet for some we seem controlled by a little white stick called a cigarette. If we are confined to a place where we can not smoke, we crave inside waiting to get outside where we can light up. I’ve seen calm people get very upset because they could not find their cigarettes.

3. Or there may be those of us that cannot stop looking at pornographic pictures - just a quick look. Or to refrain from eating those leftovers in the fridge.

4. Or perhaps there is someone who seems to makes us change who we are. We can be kind and gentle but we are so angry with someone that feelings overtake us and we loose control - saying things or doing things we really don’t want to. We hear of killers who were the nicest people

5. In all these cases there is a common problem - that of not having self- control.


1. How do we get this fruit of the Spirit so we can again be in control of desires and feelings rather than letting them control us?

2. Today we look at the last of the fruit of the Holy Spirit - the fruit of self-control. We look at what fruit is and how we can mature in this fruit.

3. To be honest, I have a problem with the idea of self-control. And as I studied the meaning of the word, I discovered that I was not alone.

4. The word "self-control" seems to stress self - me. And that is what the Greek word "agkretai" means. In Greek writings and philosophy it means status, power by which I can control myself, others, and all situations rather than let myself be controlled.

5. It lets me be free and independent. I am in control and the more I show restraint and self-control the more godly I become. It is mastering myself to become godlike. It almost sounds like Tony Robbins, a Christian science guru. Like the humanistic view that man can be in control of own destiny.

6.. And perhaps because of this the word self-control is used less than 10 times in Scripture and not at all in the gospels. And when it is used it is evident that the Biblical meaning is somewhat different.

7. Self-control is not by me or for me. The passage in Romans makes it clear that we can only be controlled by sinful nature, sin or by the Holy Spirit.

8. And so to the Christian self-control does mean not to be controlled by sin, but also to let Spirit control us rather than ourselves. Because to be self-controlled in Greek sense is to be controlled by sin, as Paul tells in Rom 7.

9. Also the aim of self-control for Christian is different. Aim is not to better self for our sake but to be what God wants us to be. Paul talks about self-control when he talks about strict training (means self- discipline) (1Cor 9:23-25)

10. Kittel says that Paul is controlling self, disciplining self for the sake of the goal toward he strives , to refrain from all the things that might offend or hamper , not for own sake but for sake of the work of salvation, for the sake of others

a. Not to elevate status, I’m in control but to be used by God for others.

b. Really means (Rom 8:7-8) to submit to God’s law and to please God

11. Without God we are out of control. In the examples at start of message people showed that our bodies are out of control.

12. Their belly is their God. 1Cor 6 we are told that our body is temple of Holy Spirit. Eph 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

13. We need to choose - what controls us is our god - what is your god?

14. But some egs. refer to uncontrolled spirit - how our emotions can control our lives. Whether outwardly or inwardly - anger, resentment, self-pity, bitterness, envy.

15. Solomon warned us " to watch over your heart with all diligence for from it flow the springs of life". When we allow emotions to control our lives, the springs of life are polluted and great problems result. Emotions that control lead to greater sins.

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