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Summary: How not to fall apart, just one lack of self control can cause the whole person to fall You can also listen at www.preaching.co.nr

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SELF-CONTROL

"Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control" Prov 25:28

The most important feature of a city in biblical times was its walls. Walls acted as the cities defences bringing security, an inner peace and displaying an outer strength. A city without walls was defenceless, that had been defeated and was being destroyed by every passing plunder.

A man who lacks self-control is defenceless, open to defeat and destruction by the Enemy.

Paul list self-control, when witnessing to Felix and his wife, as a characteristic of the Christian life (see Acts 24:24-25). In fact self-control is essential if we are to defend ourselves against the attacks of our Enemy. Paul says that Overseers, young and old women, young and old men in fact every one should be self-controlled (see lTim 3:2, Tit l:8,2:2-4)

Paul encourages self-control so that we may be prepared for the return of Christ and portray the Holy Spirit within us (see lThess 5:4-8, Gal 5:23). Peter encourages self-control, that we may be holy, pray effectively and resist our Enemy (lPet 4:7, 5:8). Jesus our example, as we shall see, displayed self-control in every area of His life.

What is self-control ? The original meaning for the term is ’the power to keep ones self in check’, Self-control then is to have rule or authority over every area of your life. A person who is self-controlled would never say "I just could not help myself, when I saw the cream cakes."

Self-control is often linked and limited to sexual passions. Paul however tells us that we should be self-controlled in every thing (see Tit 2:6-7). Many Christians struggle through their Christian lives because of a lack of self-control, never experiencing

an inner peace and living with an outer strength that comes from being in control of their lives, Yet the ability to produce self-control is within every child of God (see 2Tim 1:7). Christians have the Spirit of God within them, enabling them to control every area of their lives.

SELF-SURRENDER

Self-control, is not suggesting an independent struggle against the ways of the world, our sinful flesh or against our Enemy. Self-control only comes as a result of self surrender to the Holy Spirit in our lives. Without the Holy Spirit we would follow the

ways of the world, fall to the temptations of our Enemy and spiritually die as we give into our sinful flesh (see Eph 2:1-3, Rom 8:12-13). Self-surrender is willingly handing over control and authority of your life to the Holy Spirit. Self-control then is obeying the Holy Spirit’s control, Areas in our life that have not been surrendered to the Holy Spirit are defenceless and open to destruction by the Enemy. Self-surrender is voluntarily becoming a slave to the Holy Spirit, freely submitting to the authority of God, becoming as Paul puts it " a slave of Christ" (see Rom 6:6-22, Eph 6:6).

"The entrance fee into the Kingdom of God is nothing but the annual subscription is every thing you have to give" ’H, Drummond’,

SELF-CONTROL, LEGALISM OR LIBERTY

Self-control is not legalism, nor is it a list of ’Do and Do nots’ for the Christian life. Self-control brings us into a liberty where we can be free from the pattern of the world around us. Paul links self-control and the Grace of God (see Tit 2:11-12). The

grace that God shows to us through out our Christian life is the ’Active Favour of God’ that teaches us and enables us to take control of every area of our lives. God wants YOU to say "NO", YOU to "RESIST" and YOU to "REIGN IN LIFE". We often want God to take our weakness away, when what God wants is for us to learn from the Holy Spirit and mature Christian to be self-controlled.

SELF-CONTROL, IN OUR WAYS, WORDS AND OUR WILL

Our ways, words and our will covers every area of our lives. For these to brought under control they need to be surrendered to God’s Word, Will and Ways.

God ways we can say are loving, kind, good, faithful, holy, righteous, merciful. His ways Isaiah said are not our ways (see Isa 55:8-9).

God’s Word is His moral and spiritual commandments to us (see Jh 13:34-35, Exo 34:8-9).

God’s Will is His purpose and desires for us (see Jer 29:11).

Our ways in life are actions, habits or our conduct. Paul tells us to "test our actions" we do this by comparing them to God’s (see Gal 6;4).

A second area of our whole life is our words, what comes out of our mouths needs to in line with God’s word. Some times when we are hurt or angry our tongue can take control, causing us to stumble and fall in what we say. We all have regrets over some thing we have once said when hurt or angry (see Jam 3:1-3).

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