Walking in Self-control

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2 Peter 1:1-7

2 Peter 1:1–7 LEB
1 Simeon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith equal in value to ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 because his divine power has bestowed on us all things that are necessary for life and godliness, through the knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence of character, 4 through which things he has bestowed on us his precious and very great promises, so that through these you may become sharers of the divine nature after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire, 5 and for this same reason, and by applying all diligence, supply with your faith excellence of character, and with excellence of character, knowledge, 6 and with knowledge, self-control, and with self-control, patient endurance, and with patient endurance, godliness, 7 and with godliness, brotherly love, and with brotherly love, love.

Introduction

The struggles of many Christians to walk in self-mastery or self control over the urges of the flesh is the problem of the post-modern church. We have a christianity that says we want christianity but without discipleship. We want to love jesus and have jesus love us but still live like the rest of the world. The absent of self-control led to blatant immorality and abuse of grace. But as we we have read. Self control is not virtue of the believer and it must be pursue at all time we are he is to be christlike. The main intention or purpose of this message is to help us know how to walk in self-control. But we get to the meat of the message we will take the following road: The biblical idea of self-control, the value and power of self-control and then main point, the secrets of achieving self-control.

The biblical idea of self-control

Self-control : the virtue of resolutely controlling one’s own desires (which would produce actions); especially sensual desires. ( bible sense lexicon) It is a positive trait- It include, determination and Resolution. Some words for self-control are: Self-mastery, self-restraint, temperance, self-government, self-discipline.
In out passage self-control” being placed as the consequence of “knowledge.” The false teachers that Peter here confront in the passage would insist that knowledge led to liberty, which with them meant freedom from all control whatever. The idea that we should add to our faith knowledge and knowledge to self-control springs from the fact that knowledge should lead to self-control or self-disciple.
If I know that eating too much chocolate to my health the best thing to do is to stay away from consuming it. But it is easier said than done right-? And because it is easier said than done, this is where self-control becomes a virtue of the Christian man or woman. Ordinarily, no one stops doing something because he or she know it is wrong to do, particularly if that thing derives for him or her great pleasure or a deep sense of temporary fulfillment. Hence if a person is able to stay away regardless the pleasure, then we say that he or she has self-control or self-mastery.
The literal meaning of Self-control is holding the passions and desires in one’s hand- The hand is object of control, hence when your passions and desire are not in your hands, they are out of your hand. Self control is similar to sound mind- if a person is not sound in mind he or she cannot be in control of himself.
In the spiritual sense self-control is being spiritual alert and sound, not given to sin and impulses of the flesh and being in total control of oneself is to be spiritually sober. The opposite is to be spiritually out of order-immorality and self-indulgence whether good or bad.

The value and power of self-control

“seIf you completely conquer yourself, you will more easily subdue all other things. The perfect victory is to triumph over self.” Thomas à Kempis. In other words, without self victory, there is no victory in any form.
God has called us to be self control in all fact of our lives: our flesh- which has to do with our passion, our mental or emotional, speech or language, and in times of persecutions. If we can have self-control, we will be able to live a victorious christian life, and without self-control we will live a defeated Christian life. Hence, self-control is vital for escaping the temptations of life. ( 1 John 2:15-17)
The values:
To maintain a witness of our faith in the larger community, we need self-control. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27, 1 Timothy 3:2) People tend to live by our example and little by our words, hence self-control is necessary factor to being witnesses for Jesus.
1 Corinthians 9:26–27 LEB
26 Therefore I run in this way, not as running aimlessly; I box in this way, not as beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and subjugate it, lest somehow after preaching to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Self Control is key to live holy and obedient life unto God for the glory of his name particularly in the area of appetites- 1 Corinthians 7:36-38, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7. we will need tremendous level of self-control. True holiness does not make a Christian evade difficulties, but face and overcome them. J. C. Ryle. Self-denial of all kinds is the very life and soul of piety. John Wesley
1 Thessalonians 4:3–7 LEB
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, just as also the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 not to transgress and to exploit his brother in the matter, because the Lord is the one who avenges concerning all these things, just as also we told you beforehand and testified solemnly. 7 For God did not call us to impurity, but in holiness.
Self-control saves those who have it from devastating mistakes. (1 Samuel 24:1-7) Because of self-control David saves himself from taking the place of God. God is the one who punishes and avenges for us and not ourselves. But if David didn't have the self-control he would fought a battle that God did not call him to fight. Hence, He would cut short his destination but taking matters in his own hand. On the other hand Saul was a man who lack self-control and because of that he lost the throne and the ministry that God called into. (1 SAMUEL 18)
1 Peter 4:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8- A person who is self controlled is alert spiritually and gains spiritual victories. Hence, the ability to be self-controlled is a sign of spiritual . A person who is not self controlled is not sound in mind. It is like a drunk or sleepy head. Although he is alive but he is not alert and cognizance of his surrounding, hence he is not in control of his self. He can’t distinguished left from right. Similarly in the spiritual sense when a person is not self-controlled, he is out of his mind spiritual. He is not able to make decision about right and wrong. He completed under the power and dominion of his flesh instead of him being in charge of himself.
1 Thessalonians 5:6–8 LEB
6 So then, we must not sleep like the rest, but must be on the alert and be self-controlled. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But because we are of the day, we must be sober, by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet the hope of salvation,
With self-control is which also mean being alert keep us from being vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. His goal is to destroy the saints, and make them forfeit God's purpose for their life. The devil is like a roaring lion, peter said seeking who he may devour. Hence, we cannot afford to be without self-controlled, because he will play us around like a soccer ball, where everything goes and there is no description. (1 Peter 5:8)
1 Peter 5:8 LEB
8 Be sober; be on the alert. Your adversary the devil walks around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
Its Power: Men and women of great legacy had tremendous self-control and lived above scandals, and others who ruined their legacy did so on the premise of loosing their self-control against the impulses of the flesh.
When we look through the bible, men that God used tremendously, they were men and women who practice a great deal of self-control and those who went downhill easily did have self-government, or their heart under control.
David (his opportunity to kill Saul, but he would not), Joseph, (tempted to defiled himself sexually with his Master's wife, but he refused) Daniel, (tempted to indulge into excessive luxury and gluttony at the king's table, he refused and kept himself holy to the Lord) Jesus Christ- When tempted and mocked on the cross, he held his patience and did not give in to the affliction of the wicked. On the contrary those who refused to be controlled, did not very well in their ministry endeavors- Some such as Samson, due to his lack of self-restraint died with his enemies. In history, there are many men who have risen up and done great work but on the flip side ended on the bad side of history due to the fact they were not able to control their appetites.
Without self-restraints we really cannot be able to walk in integrity- that is a cardinal virtue of a christian leader is self-control. Until we can have our desires and appetites under control we cannot go far and cannot leave behind a strong legacy for generation after us.
Romans 1:24-31: In a nutshell, the lack of self-control in one area over a period of time can lead to spiral of hurtful habits and a web of sin. For example if you cannot control your appetite for money, will sooner or later start cheating, and if that too is not under control, you will so exploring with the excess money you are have through scamming to indulge into pleasures because money not made honest time will not be used properly. Eventually, one pleasure will lead to another pleasure and another, and sooner or later you will be completely swamped and cannot seem to get out of the web of sin.

Secrets to achieving self-control

“The self-denial which is pleasing to Christ consists in little things. Thus to take up the cross of Christ is no great action done once for all, it consists in the continual practice of small duties which are distasteful to us.” John H. Newman. In other words, self control is not gain by doing for the big stuff, but acquiring through the small victories we make every day. In the same way that no one build muscles at a go but over a period of time is so, is the way with walking in self-control. Today, I defeat that urge to lie, or gossip. The next day I resit that urge to lust, and on and on.
“Blessed is the servant who is not prompt to excuse himself and who humbly bears shame and reproof for sin when he is without fault.” Francis of Assisi. In other words, if we are going to achieve self-control, we must not up excuses or rationalize our failure of self-control. We must call sin a sin, and that is the best way to get out of it. 1 John 1:8-9.
1 John 1:8–9 LEB
8 If we say that we do not have sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, so that he will forgive us our sins and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Most importantly, We must never assume, self control is attainable by human will but by the divine power of God. We really cannot overcome sin and urges of our flesh without the power of the spirit working on our inside. The human will has to be empowered by the power of God’s Holy Spirit for self-control to happen. In other words, reliance on the Holy Spirit is the sure path of victory over sin and the urges of the flesh. In the New Testament shows that a fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Galatians 5: 16-17. We are told not be drunk with wine but we fill with the holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:16–17 LEB
16 But I say, live by the Spirit, and you will never carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, for these are in opposition to one another, so that whatever you want, you may not do these things.
Lastly, while we rely on the Spirit, we must engage in fast and prayer keeps to our passion under control and refresh the inner man.
The reason why many fail in the battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came.” R. A. Torrey.
In other words, through prayer we positioned ourselves for victory over the flesh.
“Men, by private fastings, prepare themselves for the exercise of prayer, or they mortify their own flesh, or seek a remedy for some hidden vices.” John Calvin
Fasting must lead us to a greater end the sanctification of our soul and spirit.

Jesus is our hope

What do we see to all this? The struggles and failures of many Christians to gain self-mastery is the problem of the post-modern church. Is there hope? Absolutely yes. Jesus is the hope only if we are willing to believe upon him to enable us to live and love like him even a sinful world.
Jesus endures suffering in all manners, yet he never succumb to the craving of his appetites at the expense of his relationship with God. Even when we at his most weakest moments in the wilderness and the on the cross, Jesus never responded loosely-
Jesus knew that humanity ultimate satisfaction is not found in anything within himself or anything he is able to fabricate. Only through the good news of the Gospel that we can truly be satisfy. The existential vacuum that is in us cannot be filled with food, money, sex, power, fame or anything in the entire universe apart from God himself.
Unless we are fully satisfied in the love and grace of Christ, we always be out of control and lack self control. Why? Because we think that in things such as alcohol, sex, money, power, or human approval will make us significant or determine our worthiness, but we know deep from experience that none of those things truly satisfied and fulfill.
Only when we are full rested in Christ deeply within our soul and spirit that we would be able to gain significant control of ourselves. The Writer of Hebrew said in Christ, we rest from our labor and gain rest.
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