How are you? How is your week going?
Many of us have goals. We want to pursue certain degrees. We want a certain job. We want to lose a certain amount of weight, or we want to exercise more. We want to save a certain amount of money to purchase what we want. We all have goals.
And to achieve these goals, we have to be disciplined. We have to be self-controlled. But don’t be deceived to think that this is what Paul is talking about in the Fruit of the Spirit.
Like the world’s definition, biblical self-control is the ability to choose the important over the impulsive. It’s the ability to choose the long-term over the short-term. Essentially, for Christians, it’s to choose the eternal over the temporary. The self-control that Paul is talking about is rooted in Christ, motivated by worship, empowered by His Spirit, and geared toward eternity.
This is biblical self-control. So what does it look like? In the passage this past Sunday, we see James describing three aspects of self-control: speech, actions, and compassion.
We are to be quick to hear and slow to speak. When we do speak, it should be thoughtful, gracious, and loving.
We are called to be self-controlled in our actions. Essentially, we don’t just hear the Word, but we do the Word. We live out Christ.
Lastly, we are to be self-controlled in our compassion. James says that religion that is pure and undefiled before God is to visit orphans and widows in their affliction. Essentially, we are to love the broken, help the helpless, and minister to the needy. The people of God display the mercy of God. The children of the Father have the heart of the Father. We are to be self-controlled with our bank accounts and our time so that we give of ourselves. We give to help the helpless and to glorify God who helped us.
So, how do we do this? How can we live out the fruit of self-control?
It’s to know that God was first self-controlled with us. Instead of giving us what we deserve, in His control, He took His eternal wrath and judgment for our sin and poured it out upon Christ on the cross. He is the One who is slow to anger and quick to forgive. We can be forgiven, because Christ was forsaken.
He did not only speak words of love and promise, but He did the Word by sending the Word, Jesus Christ. Christ was the Word who lived the life we could not live and died the death that was for us.
Lastly, we are able to self-controlled biblically, because we were the broken whom God loved, the helpless whom God helped, and the needy to whom God ministered. This is all through the cross.
Because of His self-controlled loving kindness toward us, we are able to be self-controlled for the glory of His name and for the blessing of our neighbor.
As we conclude our Fruit of the Spirit series, may we be a church that displays the fruit of the Spirit, which ultimately means that we display Christ through our lives to one another.
Our last Topical Study will be on Prisca and Phoebe this Friday at 7:30pm! Hope to see you! Also, there is Gym Night this Saturday from 6-9pm! Let us know if you need the location. Lastly, I look forward to this Sunday as we will gather together to worship the Lord. See you then!
May the grace and peace of the Lord be with you. Amen.
Photo credit: https://me.me/i/i-have-abs-olutely-no-self-control-yup-16947281