Summary: TITUS 1:8 / PROVERBS 16:32
THE WAR OF SELF-CONTROL
There was once an elderly couple that was traveling through the upstate NY. As they were driving along they saw a sign that said, "Helicopter" rides ahead". Pa said to Ma that he always wanted to ride in one of them helicopters.
So they pull into the place and find the pilot. Pa asks him how much for the ride. The pilots says, "$20 each." Pa scratches his chin and states that that’s an awful lot of money. "I would like to ride but that’s to much money". Feeling a little sorry for the old folks the pilot tells them, "Here is what I will do. If you are your wife don’t make a sound, I’ll take you up for free. But if either one of you says a word then you have to pay me $40". Pa says sure I’ll take that deal.
So that take off. They go just about straight up. The pilot does a power dive, just above the trees. He turns the craft one way then the other. At times a most going upside down.
He finally lands and say, "Sir I am a man of my word, you never made a sound, that ride is for free."
Pa said, "Yup, , I almost said something when ma fell out the side."
There is a man with self-control.
Today I want to speak about the subject. Please turn with me to Titus 1:8; that would be page 1032 in your pew Bible. This will be the last week on verse 8. Keep in mind that we have been looking at the qualities that Paul states an elder in the church ought to have. Also keep in mind that we have seen from Scripture that these a qualities that we all as Christians ought to have.
Verse 8 "but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,"
This morning I want us to focus our attention on the last quality in verse 8 "self-controlled". An elder is to be "self-controlled". Now the basic meaning of this word is strength. And it has to do with being in control of the lusts of the flesh, being in control of our sinful desires. Being disciplined is another way of putting it.
Scripture also tells us that "self-control" is one of the fruits of the Spirit, Gal 5:22-23; "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.’
Self-control is one of those things by which others know that we are saved. Those fruits are evidence of salvation.
In Luke 21:34 the Lord Jesus gives to us the opposite of what self-control, "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly."
The one who lacks self-control is lead astray by the temptations of this world. Those who lack self-control are easily caught in the snares of the flesh.
Now to help us understand the concept of self-control better I want us to look at another verse. Please turn to with me to Proverbs 16:32, that is p.560 if you are using a pew Bible.
"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city."
Now that basically is what self-control is, "ruling your spirit." In this portion of Scriptures the Bible compares self-control with one who conquers a city, and states that one who can practice self-control is better then one who can overthrow a city.
Now through out history the world has made much out of military victories. From ancient times we have records of generals and the cities that they have sacked. Has we move through time we can see how we make hero out of generals. I think of two men who became presidents not because of their political abilities but because they were great soldiers, Presidents Eisenhower and Grant. I also think of Colin Powell who probably would have won had he chosen to run, simply because of that fact he was a great general.
We give our warriors the highest honor, the greatest power.
But here in Proverbs 16:32 we are reminded that the simple victory, the private victory of living in self-control is greater then all the great victories of any war. Let us consider why this is so.
First of all it is "Greater In Effort". In ancient times before the invention of artillery and heavy ordnance to lay siege to city took alto of energy, time and manpower. It took Nebuchadnezzar, would had by far the strongest army at the time a year and half to take the relatively small city of Jerusalem.