Self-control – Fruit of the Spirit
What is self-control like?
Different from the others – it’s about ‘not doing’ more than doing.
Think of examples (positive and negative):
- Joseph – Genesis 39
- David – 2 Samuel 11
- Cain – Genesis 4v7-8
But is this something we can (or want to) do naturally either? See Acts 24v25 – we’re not comfortable with it either.
This fruit of the Spirit was actually Paul’s initial concern in this passage of his letter: v13
We all know what the flesh produces (and that we mustn’t live that way) – v19-21
Paul knows it’s a struggle for us – v17. See also Rom 7v14-24
How do we get self under control?
The answer is in how this is linked to the other fruit of the Spirit – it’s different and yet completely linked.
How does Paul say to have self-control?
- Love one another – v13-14
- Walk in the Spirit – v16
- Be led by the Spirit – v18
Against these things there is no law – so doing them we are not under the law! The passions and desires of the flesh have been put to death.
It’s no good to say ‘I need to sort out myself to not do the things I shouldn’t, then I’ll worry about doing the things I should’.
We will be walking one way or the other, producing one sort of fruit or the other – either the way of the flesh and our sinful nature or of the Spirit. What did God say to Cain (Gen 4v7)?
Whatever is not given over to living for God will be out of control. We cannot leave a vacuum. Luke 11v23-26
On the other hand don’t think you can aim for love and forget self-control: 1 Peter 1v4-8. Both need to grow together.
How long will this go on?
When do we reach perfection?
Looking at the fruit of the Spirit we see something of heaven.
The Spirit is our deposit (Eph 1v14)
All the fruit of the Spirit will then be ours in fulness
Our sinful nature will no longer exist
God’s nature will be our nature – 1 Corinthians 15v49, Rom 8v29-30
1 John 3v2-3
So let’s purify ourselves, as he is pure