(The following is a summary of the message that was preached on July 21, 2019, by Michael Larsen.)
Today we’re finishing up this four part series we’re calling God’s Extreme Makeover. In this series we’ve been talking about how to become attractive in your inner world. We’ve been taking a look at being spiritually attractive by looking at a passage in the New Testament, Galatians 5, commonly known as the fruit of the Spirit.
“When the Holy Spirit controls our lives He will produce this kind of fruit in us – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.”
First, we talked about peace. Last week we talked about patience. And today, self-control is what we’re talking about.
The biblical PICTURE of what self control is.
The word “self-control” in the Bible in the Greek language means this: holding oneself in. This idea of inner strength. Why does God want us to have it?
Self control defends against temptation & destruction. Proverbs 25:28 “A person without self control is as defenseless as a city with broken down walls.”
Self control leads to godliness & love. 2 Peter 1:5-7 “Your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. And knowing God leads to self control. Self control leads to patient endurance. Patient endurance leads to godliness. Godliness leads to love for other Christians. Until finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone.”
So how come we don’t have self control? Let’s look at some problems.
1. Self control is always on. When something is always on, it can tire us out.
2. Temptation are always there.
3. It’s deeper than I realize.
To move toward a life of self control and inner strength and temperance:
1. I must go below the surface.
I am not a slave.
Romans 6:14 “Sin is no longer your master. You’re no longer subject to the law which enslaves you to sin. Instead you are free by God’s grace.”
Ask the deep questions.
Ephesians 3:16-19, “I pray that from His glorious unlimited resources He will give you mighty inner strength [that’s self control] through His Holy Spirit. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love and may you have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high and how deep His love really is. May you experience the love of Christ and then you’ll be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
2. Gather friends to help
3. You’ve got to give it all up.
Galatians 2:19-20 “For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God's approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. It’s no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
To develop self control I must realize that I can’t do it on my own.